Main Arguments in the Readings
The article “Political Openness and Transnational Activism: Comparative Insights from Labor Activism” by Teri L. Caraway is focused on the exploration of transnational activism. The author argues that multiple types of activism in various countries are affected differently by their political openness (Caraway 278). Compared to the general approach of Caraway, McCammon et al. have a narrower focus and investigate the activism of suffragists (1866-1919) and explore the opportunity structure that helped the activists to succeed in their movements and win voting rights.
We will write a custom Coursework on Political Openness and Transnational Activism: Comparative Insights from Labor Activism specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The authors argue that the opportunity structure should not be viewed in the political context alone (McCammon et al. 49). In turn, Sidney Tarrow’s argument is concentrated on the impact the opportunities produce on the people’s desire to rebel or absence thereof. In particular, the author points out that the influence of the options is more potent than that of the existing economic and political factors (Tarrow 71).
Examples in the Readings
All of the studies attempt to investigate how the domestic circumstances in the countries may drive social activism. For example, Caraway identifies three significant factors that contribute to the emergence and development of activism; they are democracy supporting human rights, NGOs enabling activist movements, and the ability to transmit information across the country and outside of it, as well the ability for the people to move around and outside the country (280). However, McCammon et al. argue with this perspective and point out that the political circumstances and factors are not the only sides to the phenomenon of social activism.
In other words, the authors emphasize that the political factors could definitely contribute to the political success of a movement, but there are also factors that exist beyond this sphere. For example, the authors suggest exploring society-centered perspectives on activism such as class, racial, and feminist theories of the state (McCammon et al. 51). Viewing activism from the point of view of the balance of threats and opportunities, Tarrow uses the example of labor strike waves that occurred in the 1930s in France and the USA but never happened in Germany and Great Britain. The author explains that it is possible that the states that offered more opportunities managed to prevent the upheavals (Tarrow 73).
Relationships of the Reading to Our Understanding of Social Movements
The three readings approach the issue of the emergence of activism from different perspectives examining the accompanying political and social circumstances and identifying versatile factors that participate in the formation of the movements. The authors do not deny one another’s points of view but provide a broader and more holistic understanding of the nature of activism and its diverse contributing factors.
Caraway, Teri L. “Political Openness and Transnational Activism: Comparative Insights from Labor Activism.” Politics & Society 34.2 (2006): 277-304. Print.
McCammon, Holly J., Karen E. Campbell, Ellen M. Granberg, and Christine Mowery. “How Movements Win: Gendered Opportunity Structures and U.S. Women’s Suffrage Movements, 1866 to 1919.” American Sociological Review 66.1 (2001): 49-70. Print.
Tarrow, Sidney. Power in Movement. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Print.