By Kathleen M. Blee
With civic engagement more often than not understood to be at the decline and conventional bases of neighborhood and technique of engagement more and more fractured, how do humans get involved in collective civic motion? How do activist teams shape? What hampers the facility of those teams to invigorate political existence, and what permits it?
Kathleen Blee's groundbreaking new examine offers a provocative solution: the early instances subject. via following grassroots teams from their very beginnings, Blee strains how their experience of danger shrinks through the years as teams improve a shared experience of who they're that forecloses recommendations that have been as soon as open. whilst, she charts the turning issues at which recommendations re-open and teams develop into receptive to alter and reinvention.
Based on looking at greater than sixty grassroots teams in Pittsburgh for 3 years, Democracy within the Making is an unparalleled examine how usual humans come jointly to alter society. It supplies a close-up examine the deliberations of activists at the left and correct as they paintings for animal rights, an finish to the drug exchange of their neighbourhood, same-sex marriage, worldwide peace, and extra. It exhibits how grassroots activism supplies a substitute for civic disengagement and a discussion board for envisioning how the area will be reworked. while, it records how activist teams turn into mired in dysfunctional and undemocratic styles that their individuals dislike, yet can't fix.
By studying the chances and pitfalls that face nascent activist businesses, Blee unearths how severe early offerings are to the good fortune of grassroots activism. important for students and activists alike, this sensible but profound examine indicates us, during the examples of either teams that flourish and people who flounder, how grassroots activism can higher dwell as much as its democratic power.
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Extra info for Democracy in the Making: How Activist Groups Form
But following this religious conversion, do they reject witchcraft entirely or simply give it a new meaning (demons and bad spirits)? Do they put it into another framework of meaning, which of course guarantees its continued importance in their lives? Conversion'; Greil and Rudy, 'Conversion'; Horton, 'African Conversion', idem, 'On the Rationality of Conversion: One'; idem, 'On the Rationality of Conversion: Two'; Lofland, Doomsday Cult; Lofland and Skonovd, 'Conversion Motifs'; Richardson, Conversion Careers; idem, 'The Active vs Passive Convert'; Robbins', Cults; Snow and Machalek, 'The Sociology'; Snow and Phillips, 'The Lofland-Stark Conversion Model'; Staples and Mauss, 'Conversion'; Straus, 'Religious Conversion'.
For the sociological 'levels of adherence', see Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia, p. 45ff. 9 10 TOW ARDS A NEW MODEL OF RELIGIOUS CONVERSION CAREERS 29 a person's conversion career. 1 '. " . Pre-affiliation - \. c:................. "" If""'' ' Disaffiliation The starting point of the new model of religious conversion careers is the individual, who feels a certain urge to be or become religiously involved, to give expression to certain feelings of religious meaning (personality factors). g.
From a scholarly point of view, religious conversion is connected with other theoretical discussions, for instance with actor/structure debates or recruitment to social movements. I Analysing the dynamics of why people move from one religion to another, or from a rather passive to a highly committed form of religious participation, now seems more relevant than ever. The literature on conversion, which started impressively with WiIliam lames (The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, 1902) and other psychologists in the first half of the twentieth century, came to be dominated by the John Lofland and Rodney Stark ('Becoming a world-saver: A theory of conversion to a deviant perspective', 1965) and later by the Rodney Stark and Roger Finke (Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side 0/ Religion, 2000) approaches to the sociology of religion.