Some themes to notice/consider in the morris book



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SOME THEMES TO NOTICE/CONSIDER IN THE MORRIS BOOK


1. The organization model. Not an army directed from the top. (Although at level of churches, perhaps almost an army directed by the minister.) Decentralized. Local movement centers planning their own actions. Influence, not orders. Also: pre-existing organizations vs. new ones. Importance of pre-existing in these debates is that protest builds upon existing structures, in contrast to "collective behavior" theory which stressed its discontinuity from existing structures.
2. Indigenous perspective. Oppressed people fighting their own battles. Role of the relatively privileged & relatively independent of white control (e.g. ministers, beauticians, morticians).
3. Resource mobilization: how they coordinated action, used networks, got the money and influence they needed.
4. Religion as organizational framework and as source of ideology/consciousness. As sites for learning leadership. Like EP Thompson "unsteepled places of worship" in England. Evans and Boyte "Free Spaces." More generally, the urban environment paradoxically created space with residential segregation.
5. Interplay of spontaneity and planning. Morris stresses planning and organization, and he is right. But notice that spontaneity is there in the story, too. Tallahassee boycott really was spontaneous in its origins: started by students. Two days later, adults stepped in to create organization modeled after MIA. The real story is the interplay. Organization, leadership, planning put people in a position to respond quickly to unexpected events. "Spontaneous" protests in new places modeled after and influenced by protests in other places.
6. Charismatic leadership. Charisma as something you learn. Oratorical skills; practice. (Recall Jesse Jackson? Same tradition.) Links with, service to the masses.
7. Political/economic context. Urbanization and industrialization. But more. International community; disgrace of segregation. Political impact of urban blacks, especially in the north; votes. Party realignment. Vulnerability of white businesses to economic disruption.
8. consciousness raising. teaching of nonviolence, but also teaching of bravery, freedom. inspiration through sermons, music. shift, reinterpretation of cultural content of important institutions.
9. Repression. NAACP repressed after 1954. Banned. People fired from their jobs. Threats of loss of employment against adults. Creates importance of students, free professionals in the movement.
10. Organizational in-fighting. Always present.
11. Funding. Where the money comes from always matters. Oberschall & others said it came from northern white liberals. Morris shows it came from northern blacks.
12. Are movements by the oppressed different from movements by the relatively privileged? How? "Internalized oppression." Limited resources. Overt repression by dominants.
13. Methods. Detailed qualitative case study focused on how things got done


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