Monthly Archives: April 2011

Authenticity at the Town Hall Meetings?

Republican members of Congress who supported Paul Ryan’s budget plan (almost all of them) are having to defend their votes against hostile crowds at town meetings.  (Note that there is a lot to get angry about in this budget plan.  … Continue reading

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Honoring Bill Gamson

I’m off to the University of Notre Dame this long weekend.  Their Center for the Study of Social Movements will be honoring William A. Gamson with the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements.  … Continue reading

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Are Lawyers Different?: Does the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Deserve a Defense?

Several large gay rights organizations (e.g.) celebrated the decision of King & Spalding, a large law firm, to forgo work for the House of Representatives.  When the Obama administration declined to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act … Continue reading

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Where’s the Peace Movement? (Protest is a blunt instrument)

It’s rare that social scientists studying protest get much attention from the mainstream press, opinion or otherwise.  Although the scholars may get a whiff of excitement from the attention, they’re usually frustrated by the distortions and oversimplifications that seem inevitable–almost. … Continue reading

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Reexamining Organization/s

From the comments, olderwoman writes: Your theoretical point is spot on, but your empirical point about Wisconsin is wrong, and wrong in a way that reflects back to a refinement of theory. Empirically, protests in Wisconsin were organized by a … Continue reading

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Anger, Organization, and the Myth of Spontaneity

When protest explodes/emerges/erupts/ after a politician does–or threatens–something unappealing, we talk about the unrest as a response. So, we saw disruptions at town meetings across the country in 2009 about President Obama’s health care reforms, and we saw large demonstrations … Continue reading

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Clustering Issues: Environmentalism and GLBT Politics

Politico’s Alex Guillen reported earlier this week that young environmentalists were consulting with gay and lesbian activists to figure out how to be more effective, especially in pushing President Obama. The GLBT movement has won–and is winning–several important victories, so … Continue reading

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