Social Movements – Week 5 and 8

Question: By now, you’ve read quite a bit of social movement literature. Choose two frameworks we have covered and explain to us how you think they will be useful to you in analyzing your chosen social movement. Remember, your classmates don’t necessarily know anything about your movement so start with a short paragraph long 

Massive demonstrations occurred all over Brazil where people shared a common identity of antimilitary sentiment and Marxist values. The social structure of Brazil had shifted from one of outrage to one of collective motion. Brazilians formed a massive labor movement in Brazil and started voting en masse as an act of protest. This gave way to the Democratic Movement Party and PT party in Brazil where the labor movement now had new resources, leadership, and organization to bargain with the state. The Democratic Movement Party PT party lead to the fall of the military regime in Brazil and paved the way for socialist democracy with the protest vote that would eventually oust the military regime.

The two frameworks that I believe will be most helpful when analzing the Marxist movement in Brazil is contentious political action and social networks.  Firstly, political contention was all over Brazil in numerous ways.  There were rural worker’s strikes that took up arms against authority and rebel groups using violence such as bank roberies and kidnappings to pressure authority for regime change.  The contentious political action of violence was a mechanism against the regime, and it put pressure on the state.

The second framework I am using to analyze my social movement is social networks.  In Brazil, there were massive networks of people connected by class, culture, and shared beliefs and values.  For example, the middle class made up of professionals and the educated masses gathered for massive demostrations in Brazil against the regime by the millions.  The middle class movement shared the common grievances that the state was restricting civil rights and liberties.  Another group shared by a network were the students.  The students were connected through universities and shared common Marxist philosophies.  The students were the first enemy of the regime and therefore became a proponent of ending the regime.  The students formed massive demonstrations and had printed information passed around between cities; the students had a wide circle of networking all across Brazil brought together by a shared common identity.

Topic:  Use the literature we have covered in lectures and our readings to explain the difference in the effectiveness of the movement that produced Prohibition and the MADD movement.  Remember, the purpose of the literature is to explain phenomenon.  We are interested in why something happened the way it did.  We aren’t interested in merely describing what happened.

The purpose of this article is to explain the differences in the degree to which the Prohibition and MADD movement’s origins were a success.  First, it will be import to address how these movement were produced and then discuss how effective these movement were.

The Prohibition movement started in the 1820s with the rise of the temperance movement and rose in the 1840s lead by religious Protestant groups.   By 1869 temperance became an important policy issue when the national political party Prohibition Party was founded. The Prohibition Party’s policy was to enact laws prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol.  In 1873, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCIU) was founded.  The WCIU were advocates of women and children and believed through education and awareness could prevent abuse from alcoholic husbands.

The Prohibition Party and WCIU were very influential in lobbying for the Prohibition movement.  The temperance movement gained steamed when the group the Anti-Saloon League began attacking the sale and consumption of alcohol in 1906.  By 1917, Prohibition began to take affect with the passing of the 18th Amendment.  The movement took several decades to enact policy change but was eventually successful.

The Prohibition movement used morality as a way to make meaning and this proved to be very successful for the movement.  The movement framed alcohol drinking as a sin, using the religion notion of the “deadly sin” gluttony as a way to attack drinking and create meaning through religious dogma.  This was very important for the movement as it appealed to powerful religious groups and appealed to individuals.  The actions of the WCIU appealed to the sentiment of women and family values, and the Anti-Saloon Leagues’s attack on saloon culture appealed to individual’s values of what was socially acceptable.

While the Prohibition movement took decades to gain steam and supporters and eventually change policy, the MADD movement occurred rather suddenly over the course of years.  The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (formerly Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) was formed out of crisis.  Candance Lightner former MADD after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver in 1980.

The media was quick to pick up on the Lightner story and created a movie based on the death of Lightner’s daughter.  This created a massive awareness of the issue of drunk driving.  Because of the widespread use of the television, the MADD movement was able to (unlike Prohibition) nationalize the issue in a short period of time, gaining supporters from all over the country.  MADD continues to use stories to appeal to the sentiments of people and dramaticize events to create crisis and drive mobilization for its cause.

Through candlelight vigil’s, the movement was able to demonstrate solidarity in the deaths of victims of drunk driving.  Unlike the protest which is an act of contention against government, the candlelight vigil is a symbolic act of public awareness of death; death and remembrance services bring a sense of community to individuals and allows for relieving of grievances.  Framing drunk driving as a form of death created meaning in the movement.

The MADD movement’s success continued as the movement was brought to the national stage with a Congressional press conference.  The press conference brought further media attention to the movement and put the issue of drunk driving on the Congressional agenda.  MADD began gaining more and more volunteers across the country and gained support from family members of victims of drunk drivers and others sympathetic to MADD’s cause.  Because MADD appealed to family values and sentiment and dramatized events, it was able to gain funding and support.

Through tools such lobbying, media framing, usage of statistics, and public service announcements, MADD was able to change policy by changing the alcoholic limit law from .10 to .08 levels.  This was a important victory for the MADD movement and remarkable that a group could be so influential toward changing policy on the national level in such a short period of time.  The MADD movement continues to this day and has even spread to Canada; registered as a non-profit organization, MADD is funded from public donations.

Comparing the Prohibition and MADD movement, the MADD movement’s origins proved to be much more successful than the Prohibition movement.  The Prohibition movement took several decades to gain steam and change policy while the MADD movement gained national support over the course of one year.  Through channels such as television, the MADD movement was able to spread its network nationally while the Prohibition movement was largely lead on the local front.  Prohibition failed to institutionalize at the national level.

MADD was able to build connective structures of the public on the national level bringing individuals together in solidarity making meaning through the death of loved ones.  Unlike Prohibition, every member or supporter of the MADD movement was brought together in solidarity for a common purpose.  The Prohibition movement on the other hand failed to build national connective structures because the movement’s supporters were too grouped on local levels, members supporting different arguments such as some supported Prohibition because of religious reasons while some supported temperance because of the rights of women and children.  MADD was able to target its focus and create an antagonist as the repeat offender, the criminal, while Prohibition targeted everyone and created a criminal in all individuals.

Another way the creation of the MADD movement was more successful than the creation of Prohibition was in the movement’s various organization mechanisms.  Movements face a need to balance structure and flexibility; the Prohibition movement lacked structure at the national level having no leaders and no central organization for the movement.  The movement was a myriad amount of voices in favor of temperance and the Prohibition law was a reaction to the voices.  Once the main players voices became silent and lost interest in the movement, the movement failed; Prohibition was not able to last more than two decades before repeal.  The movement’s structure was too loose such that the movement splintered.

The MADD movement is an organization and has central leadership and a centrally organized agenda; through this organization, the movement is able to channel its message effectively to the state.  Through localization at the state level, the MADD movement is able to remain flexible to adapt to the various laws related to alcohol that differ in each state.

In conclusion, the MADD movement’s origins proved to be far more successful than the origins of the Prohibition movement.  While both movements were able to create national policy change, MADD proved to be far more successful in maintaining that change.  While the Prohibition movement vanished, the MADD movement continues today.  While both movements supported the themes of temperance, the MADD movement, not the Prohibition movement, attached abusers of alcohol not users of alcohol, therefore demonizing target populations rather than all individuals.

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Methods of Inquiry- Week 5 & 6

Basic Personal Values, Core Political Values, and Voting: A Longitudinal Analysis Author(s): Shalom H. Schwartz, Gian Vittorio Caprara and Michele Vecchione Source: Political Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 3 (June 2010), pp. 421-452

Literature:

  • how political values relate to one another
  • left or right ideology does not explain attitudes
  • research largely fails to test political values of electorate
  • value construct: prior research focuses on limited sets of values

Variables:

  • basic personal values: “abstract beliefs about desirable goals that transcend specific situations” (p.428)
    • power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security
  • core political values: beliefs and assumptions about government, citizenship, and society
    • law & order, traditional morality, equality, free enterprise, civil liberties, and blind patriotism
  • Measurements: developed scale to measure core political values

Theory

  • Basic personal values are aligned in a circular structure with ten dimension, one for each basic personal values

Hypothesis

  1. “core political values mediate relationship of basic personal value to voting” (p.423) such that basic personal values affect core political values which affect voter choice behavior outcomes (relationship of independent variable: basic personal values and dependent variable: core political beliefs.
    1. “The hypothesis for each political value specified one set of basic values expected to relate positively to the political value and another, motivationally opposed set, expected to relate negatively.” (pg. 437)
    2. In Hungary in the 1990s, it was found that core political beliefs such as traditional versus modern ideals were affected by basic personal values such that those with core beliefs of tradition were affected by tradition and conformity values and modern core belief were affected by stimulation, hedonism, and self-direction.
  2. Value–attitudes–behavior hierarchy
  3. Structure of basic personal values will measure up with core political beliefs on separate sides of circular structure model.

“The current research tests three broad hypotheses: 1) The circular motivational structure that organizes relations among basic personal values also organizes and gives coherence to core political values. 2) Both basic personal values and core political values predict voting choice systematically. 3) Core political values mediate the effect of basic personal values on voting choice.” (pg. 429)

Methods

  1. First, the authors decided if a basic personal value was aligned or in opposition to a given core political value such as tradition would be aligned with tradition, conformity, and security on the positive side basic personal values: hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, and universalism were on the opposite, negative side of the circular model.

Results

  • core political beliefs and basic personal values fit circular behavior model suggesting the relationship between variables: basic personal values and core political beliefs can be organized and structured.  Left-right ideology fails here.
  • found correlation between basic personal values and core political beliefs in 47 of 48 relationships; greater relationship that left-right ideology
  • Using multiple regression analysis, found core political values mediated basic personal beliefs in voting suggesting the values-attitude-behavior model is correct.
  • found core political beliefs affect voting outcomes and core political beliefs are affected by basic personal values

Quiz

In the Schwartz, et al, article, the authors argue that there is a difference between the two concepts of core political attitudes and basic personal values. How are each of these concepts defined by the authors?

  • The authors define two variables: basic personal values and core political beliefs.  These two variables are very different because the authors have argued basic personal values are not only separate from core political values but may actually have a positive and negative affect such that core political values are influenced by basic personal values.
  • The authors define basic personal beliefs as “abstract beliefs about desirable goals that transcend specific situations,” (p.428) and are substructured by measurements of power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security.
  • The authors define core political values as beliefs and assumptions about government, citizenship, and society.  Core political values are substructured with measurements of law & order, traditional morality, equality, free enterprise, civil liberties, and blind patriotism.

What do Schwartz, et al, hypothesize with regard to the relationship between basic personal values and core political values?

  • The authors give two main hypothesis and the relationship between basic personal values and core political beliefs such that there may be modeled a “circular motivational structure that organizes relations among basic personal values also organizes and gives coherence to core political values” and that “core political values mediate the effect of basic personal values on voting choice.” (pg. 429)
  • The first hypothesized relationship is that a core political value will be aligned positively by basic personal beliefs that respond to it and be aligned negatively to basic personal values that do not respond to it.  This may be modeled in a circular structure where basic personal values was aligned or in opposition to a given core political value on a positive and negative side respectively.  For example, tradition would be aligned with tradition, conformity, and security on the positive side while the basic personal values: hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, and universalism were on the opposite, negative side of the circular model.
  • The second hypothesized relationship is that basic personal values affect core political values such that there exists a relationship of the independent variable: basic personal values and the dependent variable: core political beliefs.  For example, in Hungary in the 1990s, it was found that core political beliefs such as traditional versus modern ideals were affected by basic personal values such that those with core beliefs of tradition were affected by tradition and conformity values and modern core belief were affected by stimulation, hedonism, and self-direction.

What is the scale Schwartz, et al, create to measure core political values? Explain it, don’t just use direct quotes from the article.

  • Survey respondents answered a questionaire to measure core political values using frameworks by Feldman (1988), McCann (1997), Jacoby (2006), Gunther and Kuan (2007), and Schatz, Staub, and Lavine (1999).  The values measured were equality, free enterprise, traditional morality, law and order, blind patriotism, civil liberties, immigration, and military intervention.  Respondents were given statements and asked on a scale of increasing agreement whether or not they agreed or disagreed with the statement.  The scale was in five intervals, 1 was given for “completely disagreeing,” a 2 was given for agreeing slightly more at “agreeing a little”, a 3 was given to those who “agree somewhat”, 4 was coded for those who “agree a great deal,” and 5 was given for those who “completely agree.”  As the scale increases, respondents agree slightly more each interval.

How did Schwartz, et al., measure basic personal values? You should be able to answer this in a couple of sentences.

  • Schwartz et al. write that for each given basic personal value, “respondents indicate how similar the person is to themselves on a scale ranging from “very much like me—6” to “not like me at all—1.”  The scale is listed as decreasing from complete similarity at number 6 to complete difference at number 1.  The authors do not list the 6-1 decreasing scale.

Quiz submitted: 1713a

Third Short Writing Assignment
PSC 502
Spring, 2017

Read the material provided at this website describing the Belfast Project’s oral history project that focused on members of the Irish Republican Army: http://www.chronicle.com/interactives/belfast

Assume you are a member of the IRB at Boston College and you have been asked to vote on approval of the project before it is begun.
Basing your decision only on the article’s description of the project and the course material for this week on the protection of human subjects, how would you vote?
Would you approve it as described, deny it as described or ask for modifications?
Support your decision with a memo explaining how your conclusion is based on the existing principles in place for the protection of human subjects.

Your explanation should be presented in a 1-2 page, double-spaced essay with an introduction and conclusion. Email it to me before the end of day on Sunday, February 26.

Dominique Awis

24 February 2017

Methods of Inquiry

3rd Assignment

Project Approval

To fellow colleagues,

As a member of the IRB at our Boston College, I must relay my opinion to the committee on the project. The project involves collecting interviews over a long-term period of several years. This will come at great costs the committee and must be fully considered. I must say that it will be a dangerous venture to interview members of a former Irish terrorist group, and the interviews must be conducted with utmost safety that cannot be guaranteed.

For the protection of the interviewees, I must regretfully disagree with the premise of the project and therefore will cast my vote against approval of the project unless certain guarantees may be met. Scientific inquiry is of the utmost importance to me, however, I cannot, in good conscious, vote on a project that would potentially put the lives of the interviewees at risk because of strict ethical research standards we should live by as professional scientists.

The study will be conducting interviews with dangerous former “criminals” or those who broke the law committing acts of rebellion, terrorism, and treason. There is no guarantee of the researcher who will conduct the interviewees safety. If the interviewer is proceeding at his or her own risk, I will overlook this caution. The main reason why I am inclined to deny the approval of this project is because the lives of the interviews cannot be guaranteed as safe. The interviews are bound to release incriminating information that could leave to the arrest and trial of the interviewees.

As a researcher of good conscious, I believe it would be in the interviews best interest if any incriminating information such as names, crime details, dates, etc. should be withheld from interviews. Ethically, it would be improper for the committee to let the interviewees incriminate themselves and fear of facing arrest. The committee must put the lives of the interviewees above research. If the Tuskegee experiments have taught us anything, it would be that lives of the subjects must be the first priority of researchers. I cannot personally in good conscious, as a citizen of the United States, collect evidence to brutal crimes such as murder, arson, and kidnapping and withhold that information from the state.

Because I cannot agree to have this information collected, the interviews would have to exclude any questions that could potentially record incriminating evidence that would lead to the disruption of the lives of the test subjects. In conclusion, unless the interviewer is careful in the questioning to leave out of the interviews any incriminating information such as names, dates, and places, I will not agree to the project. As researcher and scientists, we must uphold the highest ethical standards of research and that includes protecting the lives of the subjects.