Sociology Index

Political Activism

Political Activism can be seen in college campuses, places of worship, voting booths, and public squares. Political activism involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it is through protest, demonstration or lecture. Political activism involves taking a firm stance on an issue, voicing a firm opinion and working to ensure that the change desired by the political activists takes place. Political activism to bring an end to a corrupt or unjust system is disruptive, and very often turns violent. Values-based approaches to political activism resonate with relational approaches to understanding people. Holding a public political office is the most direct form of political activism. Activism, Political Activism, Electronic Civil Disobedience, Computerized Activism, Hactivism, and even Social Activism receive immense public attention in the modern world.

Mahatma Gandhi was one of the most influential non-violent political activists the world ever seen and witnessed. Pippa Norris’s curation of a number of political acts under the banner of ‘political activism’ signals in itself, a notable semantic shift in terminology.

"What was previously internally-focused criticism of the K-pop music industry has transformed into externally-targeted acts of political activism." - Layne Vandenberg.

The Organizational Roots of Political Activism: Field Experiments on Creating a Relational Context - Hahrie Han, Anton Vonk.
Abstract: This article examines the role that democratic organizations play in fostering political activism in America. Activists make democracy work by attending meetings, engaging others, trying to make their voice heard, and participating in myriad other ways.

Political Activism Books

Humour in Political Activism: Creative Nonviolent Resistance
by Majken Jul Sørensen. How humour in political activism contributes to facilitating outreach, mobilisation and the sustaining of cultures of resistance. Drawing on examples of attention-grabbing stunts from around the world, Humour in Political Activism demonstrates how they succeed in turning relations of power upside down. The ambiguity and unpredictability of humour, Sørensen argues, makes it difficult to respond to this form of political activism when it is performed in public.

Citizen Democracy: Political Activism in a Cynical Age (People, Passions, and Power: Social Movements, Interest Organizations) - Stephen E. Frantzich - Citizen Democracy shows ordinary people engaged in extraordinary civic activity. Two young women independently wrote letters of application to the U.S. Naval Academy and in the process moved military education in the direction of gender neutrality.

Political Activists in America: The Identity Construction Model of Political Participation - Nathan Teske - The book argues against approaches that see politics as an inherently costly or unpleasant activity. In contrast, the identity construction approach sees political activism as enabling activists to become people whom they would otherwise have been unable to become. Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism - Pippa Norris.

Citizens in many countries have become disengaged from traditional political participation. This book suggests reasons for questioning assumptions of decline. Not only is the obituary for older forms of political activism premature, but new forms of modern civic engagement may be emerging.

Anti-Communist Minorities in the U.S.: Political Activism of Ethnic Refugees - Ieva Zake - This book will provide a very useful addition to the literature on American anti-communism. It deals with groups and issues that have been neglected in the study of American immigration history and politics. And, it offers an opportunity to develop some comparative themes and analyses of the dynamics within different ethnic groups facing similar issues." - Harvey Klehr, Professor of Political Science, Emory University.

Soundbitten: The Perils of Media-Centered Political Activism - Sarah Sobieraj - There is an elaborate and often invisible carnival that emerges alongside presidential campaigns as innumerable activist groups attempt to press their issues into mainstream political discourse. Soundbitten reveals why media-centered activism so often fails, what activist groups lose in the process, and why we should all be concerned. Soundbitten illuminates the relationship between news and activist organizations.