Conner, Jerusha O., Johnnie Lotesta, and Rachel Stannard. 2022. Intersectional politicization: A facet of youth activists’ sociopolitical development. Journal of Community Psychology, 1– 20. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22941 This article explores the sociopolitical development (SPD) of youth activists involved in climate justice and gun violence prevention movements. Interviews with 52 youth members of five different youth-led activist organizations and follow-up surveys supplied the data. We found that involvement in youth-led activist organizations facilitates a particular kind of SPD we term “intersectional politicization.” Intersectional politicization involves critical intersectional reflection paired with critical intersectional action. Critical intersectional reflection entails analysis of how marginalized populations are impacted by particular social problems and how various social issues and forces of oppression interconnect. Critical intersectional action consists of participating actively in multiple movements or activist organizations to address distinct issues simultaneously. Intersectional politicization is fostered through organizational trainings and programming, collaborative work with other organizations, dialog with fellow activists, and online activist content. Intersectional politicization raises new considerations for research on critical consciousness and youth SPD.
Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2022. “Organizing a weak anti-prison movement? Surrogate representation and political pacification at a nonprofit prison reentry organization.” Race and Space (Research on Social Movements, Conflicts and Change) 46: 87-107. The nonprofit sector has come to deliver the majority of state-funded social services in the US. Citizens depend on nonprofit organizations for these services, and nonprofits depend on government for financial support. Scholars have begun to ask important questions about the political and civic implications of this new organizational configuration. These questions have direct ramifications for the anti-prison movement given the explosive growth of nonprofit prison reentry organizations in recent years. To see how such organizations may impact political engagement and social movements, this chapter turns its focus on the intricate dynamics of client-staff interactions. Leveraging a yearlong ethnography of a government-funded prison reentry organization, I describe how such organizations can be politically active and at the same time contribute to their clients’ political pacification. Staff members engaged in political activities in surrogate representation of their clients. While staffers advocated on their behalf, clients learned to avoid politics and community life, accept injustices for what they are, and focus instead on individual rehabilitation. By closely studying what goes on within a nonprofit service provider, I illustrate the nonprofit organization’s dual political role and its implications for social movements and political change.
Paret, Marcel. 2022. Fractured Militancy: Precarious Resistance in South Africa After Racial Inclusion. Cornell University Press. What are the legacies and ongoing realities of racial capitalism in the post-civil rights, post-apartheid era? What are the causes and consequences of Black protest, after formal racial inclusion, and how do precarious layers of the working-class forge resistance? Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with activists, Fractured Militancy tells the story of post-apartheid South Africa from the perspective of four low-income Black neighborhoods in and around Johannesburg – along the way, offering parallels and contrasts to the United States. It will be of interest to scholars and students of race, immigration, social movements, development and the political dimensions of capitalism. Marcel Paret traces rising protests back to the process of democratization and racial inclusion, which took the form of an elite-driven “passive revolution” from above. This process dangled the possibility of change but preserved racial inequality and economic insecurity, prompting residents to use militant protests to express their deep sense of betrayal and to demand recognition and community development. Underscoring remarkable parallels to Black Lives Matter in the United States, this account attests to an ongoing struggle for Black liberation in the wake of formal racial inclusion. Rather than unified resistance, however, class struggles within the process of racial inclusion produced a fractured militancy. Revealing the complicated truth behind the celebrated “success” of South African democratization, Paret uncovers a society divided by wealth, urban geography, nationality, employment, and political views. Fractured Militancy warns of the threat that capitalism and elite class struggles present to social movements and racial justice everywhere.
della Porta, Donatella. 2022. Contentious Politics in Emergency Critical Junctures: Progressive Social Movements during the Pandemic. Cambridge University Press. Social movements have often played an important role in emergencies, mobilizing in defense of those rights that they perceive as being at risk or more urgently needed than ever. In general, progressive social movements develop in moments of intense change, mobilizing with the aim of turning them to their advantage. the variable mix of challenges and opportunities related to a critical juncture. The specific balance of challenges and opportunities faced by progressive social movements during the Covid-19 crisis is a central question addressed in this volume. Based on existing research on the first phases of the pandemic Covid-19, this Element addresses the ways in with the health emergency had an impact on the repertoire of action, the organizational networks and the collective framing of progressive social movements that adapted to the pandemic conditions and the related crises, but also tried to transform them.
Calhoun, Craig, Dilip Gaonkar, and Charles Taylor. 2022. Degenerations of Democracy. Harvard University Press. Three leading thinkers analyze the erosion of democracy’s social foundations and call for a movement to reduce inequality, strengthen inclusive solidarity, empower citizens, and reclaim pursuit of the public good. Democracy is in trouble. Populism is a common scapegoat but not the root cause. More basic are social and economic transformations eroding the foundations of democracy, ruling elites trying to lock in their own privilege, and cultural perversions like making individualistic freedom the enemy of democracy’s other crucial ideals of equality and solidarity. In Degenerations of Democracy three of our most prominent intellectuals investigate democracy gone awry, locate our points of fracture, and suggest paths to democratic renewal. The authors call for bold action building on projects like Black Lives Matter and the Green New Deal. Policy is not enough to save democracy; it will take movements.