Sunday, 12 July 2015
Identity Work in a Movement
Self, Identity, and Social Movements (Social movements, protest & contention),
Ed. Sheldon Stryker, Timothy J Owens and Robert W White, University of Minnesota Press, 2000,
Chapter 2 "Identity Work Processes in the Context of Social Movements" (pp. 41-67), page 56
Our last extract from Snow and McAdam's work comes several pages later. Read it carefully and draw your own conclusions.
Successful movements rarely create compelling collective identities from scratch. Rather, the redefine shared identities within establisged social settings as synonymous with an emerging activist identity. It is clear, for example, that the civil rights movement grew as quickly as it did because, in many communities, it was able to appropriate the shared identity of church member and use it as the motivational impetus for protest activity. Descriptive accounts of some of the early church-based campaigns in the movement highlight the importance of these identity appropriation processes.