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Synonyms

Campaigns and activists; Civil disobedience; Protest; Strike action

Definition

Activism is intentional action by an individual to bring about social or political change. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of a controversial argument. Saul Alinsky stated, “The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action” (Alinsky, 1971). It is interesting to note Alinsky’s use of “man” to mean “people.” This shows how language changes over time and place. When he was working, feminism had barely been born.

Social activism is working with other people to bring about a change in society. The word “social” applies both to “society” and to the idea that the activism fosters opportunities for participation. It reflects a personal choice to engage in society. If the participation is forced or coerced, it is not social activism....

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Correspondence to Marc Brenman .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Brenman, M., Sanchez, T.W. (2014). Social Activism. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2729

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2729

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-007-0752-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-007-0753-5

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