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Review “Activist Claimsmaking” (Chapter 3 of Social Problems)

In the Chapter 3 of Social Problems, Joel Best analyzes the role of social movementsin claimsmaking and the social problems process. He discusses the research on how social movements frame their claims, including

  • diagnostic frames
  • motivational frames, and
  • prognostic frames

as well as how social movement engage in frame alignment to connect with constituents and audiences through

  • bridging
  • amplification
  • extension, and
  • transformation.

He also discusses sociological research on the important of resource mobilization to social movement success. Finally, he argues that sometimes are better than others in terms of facilitating the rise of social movements. Social movements try to take advantage of cultural opportunities and political opportunities in order to press their claims.

Read “When We Fight We Win,” Chapter 5 of When We Fight We Win

For this assignment, you will read Chapter 5 (pp. 103-128) of When We Fight We Win, entitled “When We Fight We Win: The Struggle for Economic Power.”

Apply Best’s Concepts to the Occupy Wall Street Case Study

Write a 200-250 word discussion that applies at least two of the above concepts from Chapter 3 of Social Problems to the case of Occupy Wall Street described in Chapter 5 of When We Fight We Win. What was new about how the Occupy Wall Street movement framed the problem of economic inequality? What victims and villains did the movement target? What kinds of resources was Occupy able to mobilize? Why 2011? What kinds of cultural or political opportunities opened up that explain why the Occupy Wall Street movement began in 2011?

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