10 February, 2016: collective action paper first draft: marxist-revolution-brazils
Forum: First Required Discussion
- You are required to post your first posting to provide your own view on the question by 11:59 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3.
- Then, you are required to respond to the views of your classmates posts at multiple times during the discussion before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5.
- You have to post your original post before you can see your classmates’ posts. This is to encourage original thinking rather than good summarizing skills.
- Your posts will be evaluated based on both substance and on our level of engagement in the discussion. At the end of the discussion, I will email your grade to you along with my comments on your submissions.
- Emphasize the course material – this isn’t just a casual exchange of opinions. Civility counts.
Based on the material from this week and Ken Burns presentation, what concepts from Tarrow’s book can you apply to describe and explain what happened with the rise and fall of prohibition? Don’t try to get all possible concepts that you could use from Tarrow. Chose a smaller number and explain them in narrative form. You should be shooting for approximately 300 words of well-organized narrative. Post it on the designated discussion board. Then, comment on the posts of your classmates.
Alcoholism was seen as a social problem and Prohibition (prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcohol) was a seen as a way to “cure” society’s ills by actors such as government officials, interest groups, and public opinion. Prohibition became law in 1919 and States ratified the law in record time.
During the Prohibition era, a subculture emerge that qualified as contentious collective action. There was widespread rebellion against Prohibition in the form of speakeasies, clubs where alcohol was sold and drunk. People came together to challenge authority and break law by drinking, selling, and buying alcohol. A flapper movement also arose where women were going to speakeasy clubs and drinking and smoking like men; social values such as temperance, restraint, and virtue were challenged.
Violence such as organized crime became contentious activity as social networks formed and an informal economy arose based around the distribution of alcohol. Even small actors such as gangsters made an impact on their opponents.
Prohibition was seen as a huge failure given the rate at which everyday people drank. The buying, selling, and drinking of alcohol became a repertoire of contention such that it was socially acceptable to break the law and drink. Drinking was viable and became modular as more and more people broke the law so the law eventually was repealed.
Prohibition itself was a movement as it was passed was because a broad wave of people thought it was a solution to a societal problem. Prohibition failed because of the failure of enforcement of the law and rise of contentious political action. Alcohol is a learned behavior and rational choice models predict people are motivated by narrow self-interests and drinking alcohol was in their interests. Prohibition failed because of the massive contentious political behavior.
Dan Okrent talked about his book Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (Scribner, 2010). In the book he explored the politics of how the 18th Amendment was pushed through and divided the country, permanently changing the politics and nature of urban life. Topics included how the speakeasy changed America’s drinking habits and how Prohibition led to organized crime and created a fight that still exists across liberal and conservative lines. Mr. Okrent talked about how Americans drank before, during, and after Prohibition. He responded to questions from members of the audience.
“The Way We Drank,” was a program on May 4, 2010, of the Chicago History Museum’s Prohibition Month.
After watching the lecture and reading the readings, I wanted to add to my earlier discussion and discuss the history of alcohol use, further on the women’s movement, and other variables that might have had an affect on the fall of Prohibition.
In the 1840s, dominant alcohol behavior was the saloon/western subculture where alcohol was drank in high quantities largely because of how dirty the water was.
During this time, there was a women’s suffrage movement; temperance values were stressed and there existed a lack of women’s rights. Class divide between rich and poor women: poor women not allowed in saloon.
During Prohibition, suddenly women were in the bars. This was an incredible social revolution. Fun fact: suddenly women needed bathrooms. The phrase powder room was created because small spaces in bars were sectioned out for women’s usage.
The Fall of Prohibition:
Two possible independent variables for the fall of Prohibition:
- The Depression: “The Depression also played a crucial role in undermining elite support for prohibition.” – Levine and Reinarman (1991) Alcohol as source of tax revenue during harsh economic times.
- Failure to Enforce: too many people disregarded the law or found ways around the law, including domestic and criminal activity and therefore collective social action likely convinced Congress Prohibition was a failure. “In 1931 the “Wickersham Commission”2 report was delivered to the U.S. Congress. The report concluded that enforcement of the 18th Amendment had broken down. One problem was the difficulty of coordinating state and federal enforcement of the strictures against alcohol.” – Munger and Schaller (1997)
Prohibition was ended with the 21st Amendment which gives states rights for states to decide legality of alcohol sales and consumption.
Tarrow, Sidney. 2011. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics, third edition.
- The role of print and spreading information
- Books, newspapers, printed songs, and pamphlets
- Spread of literacy and the rise of popular politics
- “If reading increased commerce, commerce fed reading (Habermas 1989).” p.59
- Literacy and the desire to conduct business
- More than a commodity, print was a form of association
- A new public forum
- Newspapers were spread widely
- Subversive: circulated horizontally
- Helped to build knowledge of parliament and politics
Associations and Movement Networks
- “Latent conflicts between ordinary people and their opponents were transposed into pamphlet wars, ribald songs, and scatological cartoons and prints.” p.62
- “Print and association made it possible for people in widely scattered towns and regions to know of one another’s actions and join across wide social and geographic divides in national social movements. By the twenty-first century, they would routinely cross national frontiers in transnational social movements.” p.63
The Modularity of Association
- “It was not so much formal organizations, but the informal social networks that lay at their heart, that were the sources of movements.” p.65
- Informal networks and organizations: important because legislation prohibited discussion of politics in associations
- “If print and association were both channels in the development of social movements, in combination they made for an explosive mix in providing the fuel for contention.” p.67
- Link between print and association
Weak Ties and Strong Movements
- “While newspapers circulated the idea of movement, movements expanded the market for print, as people tried to share – if only vicariously – in what was happening around them. By their very mastheads, newspapers announced themselves as agents of movement.” p.68
- “Primary associations and face-to-face contacts provided solidarity for social movements among people who knew and trusted one another.” p.69
- “But it took the experience of reading the same journals, associating in the same groups, and forming coalitions across class and geographic lines to build the formal connective structures that allowed movements to be diffused to new publics, and the scale of contention to mount from the neighborhood and the locality to the region and the nation.” p.69
- “But national movements needed more than the “push” provided by print and association. They also needed the pull of solidarities and common targets and a focal point for their claims.” p.70
Print played a large role in the spreading of information. Information was spread in the form of books, newspapers, songs in print, and pamphlets. The spread of literacy among the populous gave rise to a popular, public discussion of politics. Newspapers helped to build knowledge of parliament and politics. Print was more than just spreading information, print became a form of association, the new public forum. These associations worked as informal networks. Tarrow writes, “print and association made it possible for people in widely scattered towns and regions to know of one another’s actions and join across wide social and geographic divides in national social movements” (p.63). These associations became social movements as more and more people became involved in the public discourse of politics. Newspapers were ways information regarding contentious activity were spread and people were connected and associated together because of the words in print.
In a couple of well organized paragraphs, explain Nownes and Neeley’s reasons for rejecting the strong version of Walker’s patron theory.
Nownes and Neeley perform and experiment that would conclude, “Can public interest group formation be attributed primarily to the efforts of wealthy patrons?” (p.128). Nownes and Neeley’s performed their experimental survey and their conclusions lead them to reject Walker’s theory that patrons are an important factor in mobilization theory. Walker theorized that public interest groups acquire patron support in their early developmental stages while older, more established groups acquire little patron support and that mobilization is dependent on attracting patrons. He argues the importance of the role of institutions in aiding patrons in their work. Walker “downplays the role of leadership” accoding to Nownes and Neeley.
Nownes and Neeley conclude Walker’s theory that interest group mobilization forms because of the role of patrons should be rejected because most interest groups in their findings do not form on the basis of the patron alone. Walker’s conclusions were that the amount of “seed money” an organization receives directly affects the organization’s success. Nownes and Neeley conclude that 1) while “seed money” is important, it does not require the help of the patron and that 2) there have been many successful public interest organizations form without placing the crucial role of the patron.
Nownes and Neeley write, “Perhaps we should rethink Jack Walker’s ‘patron-member’ distinction and instead focus on Salisbury’s (1984) ‘institution-individual’ distinction,” (p.142). Nownes and Neeley argue Salisbury’s institution-individual would be a much better framework to explore how individuals and institutionals engage with rewards and incentives. They conclude Walker’s theory on the importance of the patron or entrepreneur is a “mistake.”
Tarrow tells us that the growth of media and the experience of reading allowed movements to transcend local boundaries. Explain his argument in a couple of well-written paragraphs with examples.
Print played a large role in the spreading of information. Information was spread in the form of books, newspapers, songs in print, pamphlets, and satirical cartoons. The spread of literacy among the populous gave rise to a popular, public discussion of politics. Newspapers helped to build knowledge of parliament and politics. Print was more than just spreading information, print became a form of association, the new public forum.
These associations worked as informal networks. Tarrow writes, “print and association made it possible for people in widely scattered towns and regions to know of one another’s actions and join across wide social and geographic divides in national social movements” (p.63). These associations became social movements as more and more people became involved in the public discourse of politics. Newspapers were ways information regarding contentious activity were spread and people were connected and associated together because of the words and ideas in print. Associations were informal and there was no membership, but readers of journals and newspapers shared a common identity.