Tagged: social movements

Silence Does Not Equal Siding with the Oppressor: Why I Decided Not to Attend the March

Aside from disliking huge crowds, there are many reasons why I decided not to attend the Women’s March this upcoming Saturday (January 21st, 2017). This inauguration is scary and telling of times to come. It has been a while since I have been this scared, especially after moving to a red state. Up until now, I have been steadfast in my sociological training. Many professors tell budding sociologists they need to be (p)olitical as opposed to (P)olitical because objectivity is...

One History for All?: Pride

I will never forget my first Pride. I was living in New York City for the summer working as an intern at the Human Rights Watch. The office, last minute, decided to join the parade with people from the office and their families marching with signs regarding LGBT human rights issues. I got to carry the HRW banner (pictured above, I’m on the right) that read clearly “Tyranny has a Witness.” How many people can actually say their first Pride...

Unist’ot’en action camp: the importance of autonomy in resistance

As the Midwest and Northeastern United States thaw out from our early January “Polar Vortex,” I can’t help but wish governments and corporations would make self-improvement resolutions like so many people do during this time of year. Corporations are, after all, afforded the rights of “personhood,” so why not? What would their lists include? In my dream scenario these bodies would resolve to abolish themselves but, assuming this won’t happen any time soon, I significantly lower the bar. Perhaps something like, “This...

Riot Grrrl and the Rejection of Resonating Frames

A few weeks ago, I went to see The Punk Singer, a new documentary about Kathleen Hanna – a force within the Riot Grrrl movement. I was mentally and emotionally transported back to the 1990s, reflecting on my late-teens-and-early-20s self. I became nostalgic for that raw anger at injustice channeled into high energy and creative expression, carried along by a sense of excitement and hope, and the supportive feeling of community that, at times, largely consisted of the feminist music...

Enemies of the State: untangling anarchism from the government shutdown

  At the time of this posting, the government shutdown drags on, the debt default is on the horizon, and Democrats and Republicans are waging the battle of blame. Spin is, of course, business-as-usual in politics. Figuring prominently into this fight is the question of who is acting responsibly. What stands out to me, as a student of social movement studies, is one particular strategy to smear opponents as irresponsible and therefore dangerous: the recent persistent use of the term...

Cannabis Legalization on the Ballot: Framing the Debate in Three States

There is something curious happening this election season, and it has nothing to do with 47% or Obamacare. Voters in three states – Washington, Oregon, and Colorado – will be casting ballots on whether or not to legalize cannabis. Whether or not these measures ultimately pass, they amount to the most direct challenge to the legitimacy of US drug policy since the War on Drugs began over 40 years ago. Of particular interest here are the similarities between the proposed...

Woody Guthrie Turns 100: The Folk Icon, His Music, and Social Movements

Two days ago marked what would have been the centennial birthday of iconic folk artist Woody Guthrie (1912-1967), perhaps best known today for his classic “This Land is Your Land.” His biography is a fascinating (and short) read and provides some context for the scathing social commentary in many of his 100+ songs. Much of his music is raw, simple, and emotionally charged – just a man and his guitar. But it was also forged in his own contentious politics...

The Law & Social Movements: Six Months after SOPA & PIPA

Six months ago today the U.S. Congress was in the midst of a debate over legislation that would fundamentally alter the relationship between the state, intellectual property holders, and the Internet. In opposition to the legislation, known as SOPA (House version) and PIPA (Senate version), thousands of web sites – including major sites such as Wikipedia and reddit.com – voluntarily blacked themselves out in protest. A closer examination of this incident and events that have transpired since provides insight into how...

Lessons learned from Hollaback!: On the development of social networking sites for qualitative research

While social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have gained global notoriety for their influential stake in recent political movements, a recent article in the New York Times has shed light on another form of new media praxis that includes neither a “like” button nor a hashtag. The article, titled “Keeping Women Safe Through Social Networking,” brings attention to the success of an organization called Hollaback!, a project that, according to the website, “is a movement dedicated to ending...

Fake-Booking, Astroturfing, and Other Social Movement Hazards

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpM5e6lFzkY ] by NickieWild What makes social movement activity “authentic”? Recently in American politics, there has been a lot of discussion about “astroturfing”: protests at and disruptions of town hall meetings held by members of Congress that appear to be grassroots activity, but which are sponsored and organized by corporations and PACs (Political Action Committees). Two of the recent major players in this controversy are FreedomWorks, conservative anti-taxation PAC chaired by former U.S. Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and...

Facebook In Iran: Social Movements and Democracy

by NickieWild Although Iran has been known to censor internet sites based upon “moral” objections to content, political censorship is prevalent as well. However, Iranians account for over 50% of all internet users in the Middle East, with over a third of their population being connected. As in most other countries, the net is a youth-driven phenomenon, and the popularity of Facebook in Iran has grown accordingly. Mir Hussein Moussavi, a moderate challenger to the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has...