Social Movements and Social Justice

Midterm Fall 2020 Social Movements and Social Justice


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****Read the directions below carefully. The exam is worth 20 points in total. Please email me your exam no later than, Tuesday : Use assigned readings, power points, notes, lectures, films, and discussions from class to answer these questions. DO NOT consult with your classmates or use internet or other sources not assigned for class, including wikipedia, to answer these questions.

Part I:Answer 4 out of the 9 concepts. In one paragraph for each question, define the following concepts, and provide a brief example that elaborates the concept. Each question is worth 1 point.

1. Disruptive Power (Piven) – *(Chapter 2 )*
2. Social Movements from Above (Nilsen and Cox) – File*
3. Social Movements from Below (Nilsen and Cox) – File*
4. Structure of Political Opportunities (McAdam) – *(Chapter 3 & 5)*
5. Movements as “Fields of Arguments” (see Barker) – File*
6. Social Control Response to Insurgency (McAdam) – File*
7. Oligarchization (McAdam) – File*
8. Mass Strike (Luxemburg) – File*
9. Broken Windows Policing (Vitale) – *(Chapters 1,2.3,9 & 10)*

Part II.Answer BOTH questions. (8 points each).

1. The political scientist E.E. Schattschneider famously wrote that “All forms of political organization have a bias in favor of the exploitation of some kinds of conflict and the suppression of others because organization is the mobilization of bias. Some issues are organized into politics and others are organized out.”
Using Doug McAdam’s concept of the “Structure of Political Opportunities” and his case study of the civil rights movement, explain how the issue of black rights were organized out of the US political system and then subsequently organized back in.


2. The role of the police, as an institution, in society, including their relationships with social movements, is a central issue in contemporary American life. Are they a neutral force who defend and protect the interests of the entire society? Or is their real role to defend an exploitative and oppressive class and racial order, particularly through repressing and undermining social movements? Present your thesis with regard to the police, and provide data, based one engagement with, and possible critique of, Vitale (though you can include other works read in class as well) to back it up.

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