Reflecting on the current social problems occurring in America, such as racism, discrimination, immigration and regulations that were made merely to suppress people. My opinion on activism is that it’s social movements that have brought about successful change and improvement. Protests give ordinary people a chance at having power because it allows them to get the government to listen to them and appease their concerns. The point is about having an important and strong impact on the public about inequality. Social movements have been part of U.S. history and the world for a long time, the risk was extremely high, but the resistance was needed to bring about change. A key factor why some social movements are still around is because the issues are still prevalent. Social movements all have one thing in common, which is individuals coming together around a central issue to make change by sharing demands for equality and getting authorities to respond. Social movements are needed for social and political change. Movements are for ideally every and any kind of individual that has many interests on a never-ending spectrum. Understanding why social movements exist is in how its represented through media, resources and recruitment. That’s why some movements are more successful than others. Social movements today are about organizing for social change, it’s a process of collective action, action overtime that is made by individuals with similar interests and not one type of identity.
I consider myself an activist because I genuinely care about the discrimination, racism and inequality many diverse individuals experience in America, but I don’t just care I try to educate myself about it in order to better assert myself on the problem and add beneficial change to it. I wasn’t always this way because I wasn’t aware of the impact, I can have on circumstances that personally affect me and that don’t but still have a similar effect on others. It goes back to individuals joining together for a cause the all support, but none of those individuals must be the same, what makes them similar and connected is the fight for the social problems that they care about. Experiencing this first hand with the Mayor’s Youth Council in Los Angeles gave me insight about how to function in a social movement and eventually make an impact.
Comprehending politics and social movements in the form of activism isn’t entirely clearly understood by most people but popular culture makes the understanding easier because you don’t necessarily have to be elite to understand it. Popular culture is represented by the media an individual usually uses to get important information from, so it could be the news, podcasts, social media, news articles, etc. The fact that technology has tremendously improved affects popular culture positively because most of the information can be shared a lot quicker and easier and to a wider audience. American popular culture functions to bring together diverse individuals around circumstances they care about and want to see equality and at the very least fairness for. People are free to form opinions about topics and go more in depth depending on what the topic is. It allows people to talk about their views on things they probably would avoid in any other circumstance, this exposure can happen internally if someone is doing this for example on social media, but it can also be external if someone is physically doing this with other people. Popular culture is related to activism because often people learn of activism through popular culture based on the media, they use to get their information and from there people tend to venture out into social movements, which is a collective effort that is used to bring about change. It’s a social movement community that consists of networks of individuals, cultural groups, alternative institutions and institutional supporters as well as political movement organizations.
Since I’ve been in this class, I have learned about the different aspects of social movements that relate to activism such as, claim making performances that includes steps, tools, and resources available to them. Repertoire of collective action that is limited ways of protest that are familiar at a given time, it was made to represent various groups and nonviolent actions. And modular, a movement or cause that can be spread to a wider audience instead of just only a one. So, most of these terms are ways of promoting social movements and successfully achieving one’s goal for getting the conversations started but also betting the action started so that people can actually do add onto the solutions.
Rattansi, Ali. Multiculturalism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Oluo, Ijeoma. So You Want to Talk About Race. Seal Press, 2018.
Staggenborg, Susan. Social Movements. Oxford University. 2016.