rvenkat + social_movements   57

The Power of the Normal by Cass R. Sunstein :: SSRN
How do judgments about law and morality shift? Why do we come to see conduct as egregiously wrong, when we had formerly seen it as merely inappropriate or even unobjectionable? Why do shifts occur in the opposite direction? A clue comes from the fact that some of our judgments are unstable, in the sense that they are an artifact of, or endogenous to, what else we see. This is true of sensory perception: Whether an object counts as blue or purple depends on what other objects surround it. It is also true for ethical judgments: Whether conduct counts as unethical depends on what other conduct is on people’s viewscreens. It follows that conduct that was formerly seen as ethical may come to seem unethical, as terrible behavior becomes less common, and also that conduct that was formerly seen as unethical may come to seem ethical, as terrible behavior becomes more common. In these circumstances, law (and enforcement practices) can have an important signaling effect, giving people a sense of what is normal and what is not. There is an important supplemental point, intensifying these effects: Once conduct comes to be seen as part of an unacceptable category – abusiveness, racism, lack of patriotism, microaggression, sexual harassment – real or apparent exemplars that are not so egregious, or perhaps not objectionable at all, might be taken as egregious, because they take on the stigma now associated with the category. Stigmatization by categorization can intensify the process by which formerly unobjectionable behavior becomes regarded as abhorrent. There is a relationship between stigmatization by categorization and “concept creep,” an idea applied in psychology to shifting understandings of such concepts as abuse, bullying, mental illness, and prejudice.

--Sunstein-ian repackaging of really old ideas from psychology of disgust (Rozin) and his & Kuran's work.
cass.sunstein  norms  dynamics  law  moral_psychology  social_movements  cultural_evolution  dmce  social_networks 
2 days ago by rvenkat
Political Structures and Political Mores: Varieties of Politics in Comparative Perspective | Sociological Science
We offer an integrated study of political participation, bridging the gap between the literatures on civic engagement and social movements. Historically evolved institutions and culture generate different configurations of the political domain, shaping the meaning and forms of political activity in different societies. The structuration of the polity along the dimensions of “stateness” and “corporateness” accounts for cross-national differences in the way individuals make sense of and engage in the political sphere. Forms of political participation that are usually treated as istinct are actually interlinked and co-vary across national configurations. In societies where interests are represented in a formalized manner through corporatist arrangements, political participation revolves primarily around membership in pre-established groups and concerted negotiation, rather than extra-institutional types of action. By contrast, in “statist” societies the centralization and concentration of sovereignty in the state makes it the focal point of claim-making, driving social actors to engage in “public” activities and marginalizing private and, especially, market-based political forms. We test these and other hypotheses using cross-national data on political participation from the World Values Survey.
political_science  institutions  protests  revolutions  social_movements  collective_action  comparative  civic_engagement  civil_disobidience  political_sociology 
february 2018 by rvenkat
Do Political Protests Matter? Evidence from the Tea Party Movement* | The Quarterly Journal of Economics | Oxford Academic
Can protests cause political change, or are they merely symptoms of underlying shifts in policy preferences? We address this question by studying the Tea Party movement in the United States, which rose to prominence through coordinated rallies across the country on Tax Day, April 15, 2009. We exploit variation in rainfall on the day of these rallies as an exogenous source of variation in attendance. We show that good weather at this initial, coordinating event had significant consequences for the subsequent local strength of the movement, increased public support for Tea Party positions, and led to more Republican votes in the 2010 midterm elections. Policy making was also affected, as incumbents responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress. Our estimates suggest significant multiplier effects: an additional protester increased the number of Republican votes by a factor well above 1. Together our results show that protests can build political movements that ultimately affect policy making and that they do so by influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences
protests  collective_action  political_science  social_movements  us_politics 
january 2018 by rvenkat
Growing Outrage by Cass Sunstein :: SSRN
Why and when does outrage grow? This essay explores two potential answers. The first points to a revision or weakening of social norms, which leads people to express outrage that they had previously suppressed. The second points to a revision or weakening of social norms, which leads people to express outrage that they had not previously felt (and may or may not now feel). The intensity of outrage is often a product of what is most salient. It is also a product of “normalization”; people compare apparently outrageous behavior to behavior falling in the same category in which it is observed, and do not compare it to other cases, which leads to predictable incoherence in judgments. These points bear on the #MeToo movement of 2017 and 2018 and the rise and fall (and rise again, and fall again) of discrimination on the basis of sex and race (and also religion and ethnicity).
social_movements  norms  dynamics  moral_panic  virtue_signaling  political_economy  heuristics  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching 
january 2018 by rvenkat
Bitcoin’s boom is a boon for extremist groups - The Washington Post
-- The article completely ignores the fact that bitcoin and _dark web_ is a boon for social activists all around the world. And implications for further surveillance of all transactions (good or bad) is completely unaddressed. A courtesy opinion from Tufekci might have helped. There are problems with the promise of blockchain technology but the tone suggests a irrational fear.
cryptocurrency  alt-right  market_microstructure  surveillance  democracy  extremism  social_movements  WaPo  phobia  moral_panic 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Community and the Crime Decline: The Causal Effect of Local Nonprofits on Violent CrimeAmerican Sociological Review - Patrick Sharkey, Gerard Torrats-Espinosa, Delaram Takyar, 2017
Largely overlooked in the theoretical and empirical literature on the crime decline is a long tradition of research in criminology and urban sociology that considers how violence is regulated through informal sources of social control arising from residents and organizations internal to communities. In this article, we incorporate the “systemic” model of community life into debates on the U.S. crime drop, and we focus on the role that local nonprofit organizations played in the national decline of violence from the 1990s to the 2010s. Using longitudinal data and a strategy to account for the endogeneity of nonprofit formation, we estimate the causal effect on violent crime of nonprofits focused on reducing violence and building stronger communities. Drawing on a panel of 264 cities spanning more than 20 years, we estimate that every 10 additional organizations focusing on crime and community life in a city with 100,000 residents leads to a 9 percent reduction in the murder rate, a 6 percent reduction in the violent crime rate, and a 4 percent reduction in the property crime rate.

a forthcoming book based on this work
https://www.semcoop.com/uneasy-peace-great-crime-decline-renewal-city-life-and-next-war-violence

and a dilute version here
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/upshot/the-unsung-role-that-ordinary-citizens-played-in-the-great-crime-decline.html
crime  longitudinal-study  causal_inference  sociology  non-profit  institutions  social_movements  cities  models_of_behavior  book 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Ethno-nationalist populism and the mobilization of collective resentment - Bonikowski - 2017 - The British Journal of Sociology - Wiley Online Library
Scholarly and journalistic accounts of the recent successes of radical-right politics in Europe and the United States, including the Brexit referendum and the Trump campaign, tend to conflate three phenomena: populism, ethno-nationalism and authoritarianism. While all three are important elements of the radical right, they are neither coterminous nor limited to the right. The resulting lack of analytical clarity has hindered accounts of the causes and consequences of ethno-nationalist populism. To address this problem, I bring together existing research on nationalism, populism and authoritarianism in contemporary democracies to precisely define these concepts and examine temporal patterns in their supply and demand, that is, politicians’ discursive strategies and the corresponding public attitudes. Based on the available evidence, I conclude that both the supply and demand sides of radical politics have been relatively stable over time, which suggests that in order to understand public support for radical politics, scholars should instead focus on the increased resonance between pre-existing attitudes and discursive frames. Drawing on recent research in cultural sociology, I argue that resonance is not only a function of the congruence between a frame and the beliefs of its audience, but also of shifting context. In the case of radical-right politics, a variety of social changes have engendered a sense of collective status threat among national ethnocultural majorities. Political and media discourse has channelled such threats into resentments toward elites, immigrants, and ethnic, racial and religious minorities, thereby activating previously latent attitudes and lending legitimacy to radical political campaigns that promise to return power and status to their aggrieved supporters. Not only does this form of politics threaten democratic institutions and inter-group relations, but it also has the potential to alter the contours of mainstream public discourse, thereby creating the conditions of possibility for future successes of populist, nationalist, and authoritarian politics.

--my summary: framing effects and latent preferences produce a mechanism for ethno-nationalism, authoritarianism and populism to interact. But I don't understand this *context* business as well. Feels like a _everything is obvious_ explanation...Not very convincing

-- see also the special issue
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjos.2017.68.issue-S1/issuetoc
us_politics  european_politics  brexit  trumpism  political_psychology  framing_effects  political_economy  behavioral_economics  democracy  public_opinion  social_movements  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Social media and political discussion: when online presence silences offline conversation: Information, Communication & Society: Vol 20, No 7
This paper explores the relationship between the use of social media, attitudinal strength, perceived opinion agreement with social ties, and willingness to discuss a political issue in different online and offline contexts. Unlike the anonymous environment of some Internet forums, social media are closely tied to the relationships and activities of everyday life. Social media increasingly make ties from offline contexts persistent online, and, because of the ambient nature of these technologies, awareness of the opinions, interests, and activities of social ties has become pervasive. As such, the use of social media is likely to affect everyday conversation about political issues in on- and offline contexts, including the home, workplace, social gatherings with friends, community meetings, and on social network sites (SNSs). Based on a national probability survey, we find that the use of SNSs (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) has a direct, negative relationship to deliberation in many offline settings. Some uses of these platforms are associated with having a lower, perceived opinion agreement with social ties. As part of a spiral of silence, this further reduces the willingness of social media users to join political conversations in some offline settings. Only those with the strongest attitudes on an issue are immune.
media_studies  social_media  social_networks  networked_life  opinion_formation  collective_action  political_psychology  social_movements  dmce  teaching  via:zeynep 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Analytic Activism - Paperback - David Karpf - Oxford University Press
Among the ways that digital media has transformed political activism, the most remarkable is not that new media allows disorganized masses to speak, but that it enables organized activist groups to listen. Beneath the waves of e-petitions, "likes," and hashtags lies a sea of data - a newly quantified form of supporter sentiment - and advocacy organizations can now utilize new tools to measure this data to make decisions and shape campaigns. In this book, David Karpf discusses the power and potential of this new "analytic activism," exploring the organizational and media logics that determine how digital inputs shape the choices that political campaigners make. He provides the first careful analysis of how organizations like Change.org and Upworthy.com influence the types of political narratives that dominate our Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines, and how MoveOn.org and its "netroots" peers use analytics to listen more effectively to their members and supporters. As well, he identifies the boundaries that define the scope of this new style of organized citizen engagement. But also raising a note of caution, Karpf identifies the dangers and limitations in putting too much faith in these new forms of organized listening.
book  social_movements  networked_life  social_media  media_studies  political_sociology  political_science  via:zeynep 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Online clustering, fear and uncertainty in Egypt’s transition: Democratization: Vol 0, No 0
Does the uncertainty associated with post-authoritarian transitions cause political and social polarization? Does ubiquitous social media exacerbate these problems and thus make successful democratic transitions less likely? This article examines these questions in the case of Egypt between the 11 February 2011 fall of President Hosni Mubarak and the 3 July 2013 military coup, which overthrew President Mohamed el-Morsi. The analysis is based on a Twitter dataset including 62 million tweets by 7 million unique users. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, we demonstrate how clusters of users form and evolve over time, the density of interactions between them, and the flow of particular types of information through the clustered network structure. We show that the Egyptian Twitter public developed into increasingly isolated clusters of the like-minded which shared information unevenly. We argue that the growing distance between these clusters encouraged political conflict and facilitated the spread of fear and hatred, which ultimately undermined the democratic transition and won popular support for the military coup.
networked_life  social_movements  social_networks  twitter  democracy  collective_cognition  information_diffusion  networks  teaching  via:zeynep 
february 2017 by rvenkat
Hegemony How-To | AK Press
Hegemony How-To is a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is deeply ambivalent about questions of power, leadership, and strategy. Hopeful about the potential of today’s burgeoning movements, long-time grassroots organizer Jonathan Smucker nonetheless pulls no punches when confronting their internal dysfunction. Drawing from personal experience, he provides deep theoretical insight into the all-too-familiar radical tendency toward self-defeating insularity and paralyzing purism. At the same time, he offers tools to bridge the divide between anti-authoritarian values and hegemonic strategies, tools that might just help today’s movements to navigate their obstacles—and change the world.

Jonathan Smucker is the Director of Beyond the Choir and has worked for more than two decades as an organizer and strategist in grassroots social movements. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The Sociological Quarterly, and elsewhere.

https://jonathansmucker.org/
social_movements  democracy  collective_intention  cultural_cognition  sociology  via:zeynep 
february 2017 by rvenkat
The Tech Resistance Awakens
-- a typically misleading grandoise sounding title but our very own Maciej Ceglowski is mentioned often.
hactivism  social_movements  us_politics  political_economy  sociology 
february 2017 by rvenkat
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism | Perspectives on Politics | Cambridge Core
In the aftermath of a potentially demoralizing 2008 electoral defeat, when the Republican Party seemed widely discredited, the emergence of the Tea Party provided conservative activists with a new identity funded by Republican business elites and reinforced by a network of conservative media sources. Untethered from recent GOP baggage and policy specifics, the Tea Party energized disgruntled white middle-class conservatives and garnered widespread attention, despite stagnant or declining favorability ratings among the general public. As participant observation and interviews with Massachusetts activists reveal, Tea Partiers are not monolithically hostile toward government; they distinguish between programs perceived as going to hard-working contributors to US society like themselves and “handouts” perceived as going to unworthy or freeloading people. During 2010, Tea Party activism reshaped many GOP primaries and enhanced voter turnout, but achieved a mixed record in the November general election. Activism may well continue to influence dynamics in Congress and GOP presidential primaries. Even if the Tea Party eventually subsides, it has undercut Obama's presidency, revitalized conservatism, and pulled the national Republican Party toward the far right.
social_movements  us_politics  us_conservative_thought  sociology  class_struggles 
february 2017 by rvenkat
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism - Hardback - Theda Skocpol, Vanessa Williamson - Oxford University Press
Shortly after the Democrats' resounding victory in 2008, many prognosticators envisioned an enduring Democratic majority. As conventional wisdom had it, the Republican Party would be hamstrung by its far right wing, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis and the failures of the Bush presidency. Republicans, so the thinking went, would need to rediscover the center and cater to it. However, this is not what happened. Shortly after Obama took office and proposed bold new legislation that expanded the scope of federal power, a grassroots conservative movement spread like wildfire through the prairies: the Tea Party Movement.

In this sharp analysis of the Tea Party, Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson combine finely grained portraits of local Tea Party chapters with a big-picture analysis of the larger movement's rise and likely fate. After explaining the movement's demographic makeup as well as the organization and operation of local chapters, Skocpol and Williamson explore their belief system. Drawing from extensive interviews with Massachusetts and Virginia chapters, they found that while Tea Partiers profess to hate government, they are generally supportive of programs that working people pay into like Social Security and Medicare. They reserve their hostility for programs that fund the 'undeserving,' which puts the movement squarely in line with the long tradition of postwar American conservatism. Perhaps most interestingly, they have found that the movement resents illegal immigration more than any other social or economic phenomenon—even in places like Massachusetts, which is not a gateway for undocumented aliens.

The authors take their story through the 2010 Congressional elections and assess what the Tea Party's strength means for both the Republican Party and the Conservative movement in the future. Much of what the Tea Party supports cuts against other Republican commitments, like the elites' commitment to cutting social security and expanding free trade, so the movement's successes will generate new fissures. Also, the ongoing attempt by the national Republican Party to co-opt the movement will probably lead to contradictions and conflict. That said, they are a powerful new social movement in American politics—more powerful than most foresaw when they initially burst on the scene—and they will play an important role in conservatism for the foreseeable future.
social_movements  us_politics  us_conservative_thought  book  sociology 
february 2017 by rvenkat
Bermeo, N.: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: The Citizenry and the Breakdown of Democracy. (Paperback)
For generations, influential thinkers--often citing the tragic polarization that took place during Germany's Great Depression--have suspected that people's loyalty to democratic institutions erodes under pressure and that citizens gravitate toward antidemocratic extremes in times of political and economic crisis. But do people really defect from democracy when times get tough? Do ordinary people play a leading role in the collapse of popular government?

Based on extensive research, this book overturns the common wisdom. It shows that the German experience was exceptional, that people's affinity for particular political positions are surprisingly stable, and that what is often labeled polarization is the result not of vote switching but of such factors as expansion of the franchise, elite defections, and the mobilization of new voters. Democratic collapses are caused less by changes in popular preferences than by the actions of political elites who polarize themselves and mistake the actions of a few for the preferences of the many. These conclusions are drawn from the study of twenty cases, including every democracy that collapsed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in interwar Europe, every South American democracy that fell to the Right after the Cuban Revolution, and three democracies that avoided breakdown despite serious economic and political challenges.

Unique in its historical and regional scope, this book offers unsettling but important lessons about civil society and regime change--and about the paths to democratic consolidation today.
book  democracy  political_science  social_movements  institutions 
february 2017 by rvenkat
Does a Protest’s Size Matter? - The New York Times
-- interesting viewpoint on the impact of lessening coordination costs on size of protests, value of political signaling, spread of ideas,... This argument might have implications on the ability of state to control its dissenters among its denizens.
democracy  collective_intention  social_movements  social_networks  collective_cognition  us_politics  zeynep.tufekci  dmce  networks  teaching  for_friends 
january 2017 by rvenkat
Twitter and Tear Gas | Yale University Press
A firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing internet-fueled social movements’ greatest strengths and frequent challenges

To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change.

Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance.
zeynep.tufekci  book  democracy  freedom_of_speech  cultural_cognition  sociology  social_media  social_movements  collective_intention  collective_cognition  social_networks 
november 2016 by rvenkat
Combining natural language processing and network analysis to examine how advocacy organizations stimulate conversation on social media
"Social media sites are rapidly becoming one of the most important forums for public deliberation about advocacy issues. However, social scientists have not explained why some advocacy organizations produce social media messages that inspire far-ranging conversation among social media users, whereas the vast majority of them receive little or no attention. I argue that advocacy organizations are more likely to inspire comments from new social media audiences if they create “cultural bridges,” or produce messages that combine conversational themes within an advocacy field that are seldom discussed together. I use natural language processing, network analysis, and a social media application to analyze how cultural bridges shaped public discourse about autism spectrum disorders on Facebook over the course of 1.5 years, controlling for various characteristics of advocacy organizations, their social media audiences, and the broader social context in which they interact. I show that organizations that create substantial cultural bridges provoke 2.52 times more comments about their messages from new social media users than those that do not, controlling for these factors. This study thus offers a theory of cultural messaging and public deliberation and computational techniques for text analysis and application-based survey research."
to:NB  text_mining  network_data_analysis  social_networks  social_movements  social_media  networked_life  via:cshalizi 
october 2016 by rvenkat
The Logic of Connective Action | Comparative Politics | Cambridge University Press
Description Contents Resources Courses About the Authors
The Logic of Connective Action explains the rise of a personalized digitally networked politics in which diverse individuals address the common problems of our times such as economic fairness and climate change. Rich case studies from the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany illustrate a theoretical framework for understanding how large-scale connective action is coordinated using inclusive discourses such as “We Are the 99%” that travel easily through social media. In many of these mobilizations, communication operates as an organizational process that may replace or supplement familiar forms of collective action based on organizational resource mobilization, leadership, and collective action framing. In some cases, connective action emerges from crowds that shun leaders, as when Occupy protesters created media networks to channel resources and create loose ties among dispersed physical groups. In other cases, conventional political organizations deploy personalized communication logics to enable large-scale engagement with a variety of political causes. The Logic of Connective Action shows how power is organized in communication-based networks, and what political outcomes may result
book  collective_intention  collective_dynamics  political_science  democracy  game_theory  social_media  social_movements 
july 2016 by rvenkat
Margetts, H., John, P., Hale, S., Yasseri, T.: Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action. (eBook and Hardcover)
As people spend increasing proportions of their daily lives using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, they are being invited to support myriad political causes by sharing, liking, endorsing, or downloading. Chain reactions caused by these tiny acts of participation form a growing part of collective action today, from neighborhood campaigns to global political movements. Political Turbulence reveals that, in fact, most attempts at collective action online do not succeed, but some give rise to huge mobilizations—even revolutions.

Drawing on large-scale data generated from the Internet and real-world events, this book shows how mobilizations that succeed are unpredictable, unstable, and often unsustainable. To better understand this unruly new force in the political world, the authors use experiments that test how social media influence citizens deciding whether or not to participate. They show how different personality types react to social influences and identify which types of people are willing to participate at an early stage in a mobilization when there are few supporters or signals of viability. The authors argue that pluralism is the model of democracy that is emerging in the social media age—not the ordered, organized vision of early pluralists, but a chaotic, turbulent form of politics.

This book demonstrates how data science and experimentation with social data can provide a methodological toolkit for understanding, shaping, and perhaps even predicting the outcomes of this democratic turbulence.
book  collective_intention  collective_dynamics  political_science  democracy  game_theory  social_media  social_movements 
july 2016 by rvenkat

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