Poly Sci

1496 Words6 Pages
There are two theoretical perspectives that can explain why people would risk injury, imprisonment, and even death in order to take part in a radical social movement. The first theoretical perspective deals with the prism of power that is supported by Machiavelli. The next theoretical perspective is the prism of culture talked about by Ross. While each prism has their points, the most convincing of the two prisms is the prism of culture. This is because the prism of culture shows the ways individuals ban together due to common identities when faced with opposition in a social movement. Culture marks what people experience as a distinctive way of life characterized in the subjective we-feelings of cultural group members (and outsiders) and expressed through specific behaviors and (customs and rituals) both sacred and profane and that mark the daily, yearly, and life cycle rhythms of its members (Ross, Culture in Comparative Politics, 137). People of the same culture have similar identities and beliefs that make them feel connected to one another. This is a major reason why people will join a radical social movement if their culture is being threatened. Ross states that “even when different individuals understand each other and share a common identity, this does not signify that widely held meanings are necessarily acceptable to all, that all who define their shared identity behave in the same way, or that all hold it equally intensely” (Ross 138). Ross goes on to explain that “there are often intense intracultural differences and conflict over these matters so that meaning and identity, control over symbols and rituals, and the ability to impose one interpretation rather than another on a situation are frequently bitterly contes... ... middle of paper ... ...ers of these cultures know exactly what to say in order to convince people to take part in a social uprising. The majority of the people in the culture have similarities whether its language, style, or customs, the leaders know exactly which points to talk about in order to gain support for the uprising. People believe that if the radical social movement is for a greater cause, such as their culture, they are willing to do anything for the cause. The prism of power is faulty because it is a fair assumption to make that the people of the social movement will quit, or not join the uprising, if the potential power obtained from participating does not match the dangers involved. However, Ross suggests in regards with culture, that with further opposition to the social movement, the collective identity will be reinforced and participation will be encouraged even more.
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