The Presbyterian Church USA recently announced they would start to perform gay marriages. There has been an incredible split forming among their ranks, and they are going to face more opposition in the coming months. Do you think that it would be appropriate to agitate against the Presbyterian Church? Yes or no, and why? Thinking of the keywords from this month’s reading, who would be the appropriate group of people to agitate against, and to what end?
Discussion focus: What does it mean to be a militant or moderate activist, which kinds of activism techniques will be better suited for each type of activist, and when should activism and agitation against a target should start or stop?
Please confirm attendance on the Facebook event page so that I have an idea of how many to expect.
(1)Herbert W. Simons, “Requirements, Problems, and Strategies: A Theory of Persuasion for Social Movements.” The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Volume LVI, February 1970, Number 1.
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(2)”New York Congregation Is the First to Leave Presbyterian Church (USA) Following Vote to Approve Gay Marriage”
This reading is aimed specifically at leaders of a social movement. This is not an instruction manual or paint-by-numbers guide with guaranteed success, it is a scholarly article that presents some of the most valuable roles that a social movement must consider.There are some very important issues raised about how a social movement leader should interact with followers. Many social movement members will not be fit to lead.
The burden of command, as the military might call it, is a very serious responsibility and is integral to the success or failure of a functioning group. This discussion is about recognizing that leaders of a social movement have a responsibility to help others find ways to be of benefit. If a man or woman is simply lacking in command or fails to perform a leader’s roles and responsibilities, it does not mean that person is unable to be of benefit to a given movement– what it means is that it’s the leader’s responsibility to find ways to engage followers in a manner that allows them to be productive. This discussion is also explicitly about what a leader must do to take care of followers. Again, this is a leader oriented discussion with a side-discussion on what a demonstration in or around your community might look like.
Key words: Moderate, militant, power-vulnerable, power-invulnerable.
The Google+ Hangout video chat seems to be really difficult to work correctly, so we’ll do this month’s discussion via TinyChat. A link to the video chat room will be posted one hour before the start time. As always, you do not have to do the reading but you will get more out of the discussion if you do!