Last Class!

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Friday, 12/10/2010, at 2:35 PM

We return in the last class to the relationship between globalization and social movements. Globalization has been associated with the vast migration of people, particularly from the global South to the global North.  Among them are diasporic communities who develop fierce nationalist identifications with their countries of origin. How does this activism express the sense of marginalization they experience in their new homes? What impact does this activism have on the countries they have left?

Please respond to the question above in your posts.

In addition, I would like all of you to be prepared to discuss one other issue for our last class. Identify one question that we addressed this semester that has influenced your views on the challenges and prospects for organizing a successful social movement around  a particular issue. I'd like you to discuss an issue that concerns you--peace, LBGTI rights, feminism, immigrant rights, labor, etc--and consider how our discussions of protest--within and outside institutions, employing human rights frames, allying with political parties, employing electronic media, etc--have informed or complicated your views of activism around this issue. You need not post your comments on this second question. Just be prepared to discuss it in class.

For Dec. 8th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Friday, 12/3/2010, at 2:27 AM

My manuscript seeks to build on but also challenge the literature on social movements.

First it suggests that scholars have limited their understanding of social movements by confining their attention to non violent movements of subordinate groups Would you agree  that right wing, violent movements should be considered social movements? Why or why not?

Second, it argues that there is a symbiotic relationship between parties and movements. What do you think Hindu nationalists have achieved by forging close ties between parties and movements?

Third, it suggests that some of the most successful social movements have found religion—as they interpret it—an invaluable resource. How, why and with what consequences?

Critically assess one or more of these themes. Feel free to challenge or disagree with my arguments.  

For Dec.1st

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Sunday, 11/21/2010, at 10:09 PM

Many environmental movements emerge among poor communities that seek to protect their subsistence needs. Some of these local movements have forged ties with transnational organizations and networks. How have transnational forces influenced and changed local environmental struggles –in positive and potentially negative ways?

For November 17th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Wednesday, 11/10/2010, at 11:31 PM

Women's movements are among the most international social movements. And yet their sources of power are often local and national. What explains this apparant paradox? Why is it both important and yet diffcult for women's movements to address distinctive local and national conditions while maintaining global ties and perspectives?

For November 10th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Friday, 11/5/2010, at 8:48 AM
Scholars have tended to treat labor movements and social movements as discrete phenomenon. However Brazil and South Africa, Sediman argues, witnessed the emergence of social movement unionism which combined the attributes of social and labor movements. Evaluate Seidman’s argument and its broader relevance.

For Nov 3rd

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Wednesday, 10/27/2010, at 10:23 PM

The readings show that there is enormous variation in the extent to which activists in Asia, Africa and Latin America adopt and adapt human rights ideals.   Why have human rights ideals been so contested in many regions? And conversely, why do social justice struggles in other contexts employ a human rights framework?

For Oct. 27th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 10/21/2010, at 3:07 PM

Activists have adopted various strategies to oppose the economic inequalities that are associated with globalization. One entails consumer boycotts of corporations that engage in exploitative labor practices. Another entails organizing demonstrations at the meeting sites of powerful international financial institutions like the WTO and the IMF. Evaluate the different goals and the strengths and weaknesses of these two different approaches.   

For October 20th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Friday, 10/15/2010, at 2:15 PM

Many social movements have engaged in far-reaching resistance to globalization. However as the readings suggest, we should not assume that all such resistance is designed to increase equality and social justice. How would you explain the varieties of protest movements that have emerged amdist globalization?

For October 13th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Monday, 10/11/2010, at 8:33 AM

The readings provide different assessments of the implications of globalization for alleviating poverty and inequality. How would you evaluate the authors’ views on who wins and who loses as a result of globalization?

For October 6th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Friday, 10/1/2010, at 9:50 AM

Find a web site that is committed to fostering activism on and off line. You can look at Move On (, Political Research Associates (,  the Christian Coalition ( or choose a different web site. Your post should describe the web site you explored, evaluate its strategies of mobilization and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.

For Sept. 29th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 9/23/2010, at 11:11 PM

Some of the authors we’ve read (i.e. Piven and Cloward, Scott) believe that people are most likely to challenge injustice by organizing outside and against institutions.  Others (i.e. Tarrow, Katzenstein) believe that protest has moved out of the streets and into institutions. These authors present very different views on the relationship between oppositional movements and political institutions. What is your position on the different views the authors present? Where do you stand?  

Question for Sept. 22nd

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Friday, 9/17/2010, at 9:59 AM

As we discussed in our first class, the ideas and strategies of social movements have travelled historically from the regions in which they emerge to other parts of the world. However transnational social movements and advocacy networks have clearly grown in the recent past. What explains this? How would you compare the conditions under which national and transnational social movements emerge? And how has the character of movements changed as they have become more transnational?

You can respond to all of these questions or focus on one of them. Please remember to submit your response by 2 pm on Tuesday.