Activist lives

Courageous or crazed, activists tip into our awareness in the context of a moment and a movement.  But when the media spotlight moves and the placards disappear, the activism often continues.  Here are two new projects that put the ebbs and flows of activist life in high relief:

Catherine Corrigall-Brown‘s book, Patterns of Protest, appears next week.  She traces the ongoing participation of activists in political life as they shift in and out of active engagement and across issues.  It’s a fascinating and important corrective to two prevalent–and simplistic–views of activists: 1) that activism is a temporary bout of madness or adolescence that passes; 2) that activists are different from everyone else, fighting on the frontlines of their causes consistently throughout their lives.  Catherine shows how activists negotiate the balance between personal and political commitments and maintain active lives as citizens between periods of intense engagement.

And here’s a chance to support a new film:

Michael Heaney and Melody Weinstein are seeking publicity and financing for their film, The Activists, which tells the stories of the individuals who made up the antiwar movement that worked–and works–to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (link below).

Both works offer compelling life stories and thoughtful analysis.

About David S. Meyer

Author and professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine
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