© 2011

Collective Action for Social Change

An Introduction to Community Organizing

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

    1. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 1-7
  3. Overview

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 11-30
    3. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 31-44
  4. History and Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 45-45
    2. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 47-91
    3. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 93-107
  5. Case Studies

  6. Key Concepts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 177-177
    2. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 179-190
    3. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 191-204
    4. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 205-218
    5. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 219-238
    6. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 239-255
    7. Aaron Schutz, Marie G. Sandy
      Pages 257-279

About this book


Community organizers build solidarity and collective power in fractured communities. They help ordinary people turn their private pain into public action, releasing hidden capacities for leadership and strategy. In Collective Action for Social Change , Aaron Schutz and Marie G. Sandy draw on their extensive experience participating in community organizing activities and teaching courses on the subject to empower novices to think like an organizers.


campaign community community organizing interview organization organizations social change strategy teaching

About the authors

AARON SCHUTZAssociate Professorand Chair of theDepartment of Education Policyand Communication Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.
MARIE G. SANDYformer Deputy Director of Wider Opportunities for Women in Washington DC, USA, where among other efforts, she worked with organizing groups around the nation in fights over welfare reform.

Bibliographic information


"Schutz and Sandy provide an engaging overview of community organizing in the Saul Alinsky tradition from an organizer's perspective.Clear and comprehensive, their book shows us how organizers develop skilled leaders, build powerful organizations, and help revitalize American democracy." - David Walls, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Sonoma State University

"A commendable text that challenges students to look beyond the 'how to' of organizing to the far more difficult task of 'how to think' about organizing. Without such intellectual work, it is difficult to understand community organizing as anything more than a series of techniques equally usable by The Tea Party, President Obama, Tupperware, or anyone else who wants to effectively gain 'market share.'" - Mike Miller, veteran community organizer and author of A Community Organizer's Tale: People and Power in San Francisco

"In accessible language and with compelling examples, Schutz and Sandyexplain the why of organizing - why we recruit new leaders, why we build power, and why we pick fights. As new media technology expands the tools for organizing, clarity about the why is more critical than ever. A must-read for anyone interested in building an inclusive, compassionate, and equitable society." - Rinku Sen, President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and publisher of