Movement Dynamics And Outcomes Essay

1179 words - 5 pages

Social movements come about for various reasons and are driven by various means. People are motivated for movement by things that affect them personally. Social movements can be defined simply as an organized effort of a group to promote or resist change either within the group, or society as a whole. For change to be sought, people must see something as troublesome. Varying political environments may also support or hinder social movements and activist factions. Activists and social movement organizations may have increased access to sway the ideas of politicians, opportunities to take advantage of political instability, or exploit the political system’s ability to inhibit their ...view middle of the document...

This left the remaining activists looking for someone or something to follow. The demise of SDS led to the birth of the radical activist group known as the Weathermen.
The Weathermen, also know as Weather Underground, advocated violent revolutionary activism. Outraged by the Vietnam War and racism in America, the organization waged a low-level war against the U.S. government through much of the 1970s, bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, and evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history. The FBI considered them as “domestic terrorists.” The Weather Underground advocated things such as "bring the war home,” and that they did. In October 1969 activists associated with the Weathermen demonstrated in Chicago. They ran through the streets, yielding bats and pipes, smashing cars and shattering shop windows along the way.
Social movement activists may select from a range of possibilities to demonstrate their desire for a change. Some movement tactics and strategies are rare, some quite common, and some are out dated. Some activists rely solely on verbal pleas, and other movements may rely on political activism and physical demonstration. Although some movements and activists still use threatening tactics and violence, this has become uncommon within very organized political systems. Movements may employ confrontational tactics which typically elicit a response from their opposition or other external actors. Disruptive tactics such as sit-ins, for instance, are used to draw attention from their opposition and the population as a whole and to cause disorder. This is not unlike a child acting out to draw attention to itself. In some scenarios it is necessary to be violent, disruptive, or play on social taboos for your ideas to be recognized. Disruptive tactics are very effective at getting your ideas recognized by both the general public and the opposition. These ideas hold true to the tactics used by the Weather Underground. Their activism strategies appealed to youth and students. The freedom, excitement, sexual experimentation, and drugs were a calling to join the cause.
Being rowdy, exuberant, and violent are not always the most effective way for activists to participate in the social movement marketplace. Social movement tactics and strategies must be framed according to the current political and social environment, the movements cause, and the position of the opposition. The frame of the movement must be chosen so it is relevant to the current culture surrounding the movement. If the movement’s ideas and tactics are not framed correctly it will...

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