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Have the Truly Disadvantaged Become Truly Demobilized: Examining the Effects of Neighborhood Poverty on Neighborhood Collective Action in Chicago, 1970-1990.
Unformatted Document Text:  3 The collective action and social movements literature has also been deficient in studying the link between neighborhood poverty and local collective action. A systematic analysis examining how neighborhoods differ in ability to organize and mobilize based on rates and dimensions of poverty has not been undertaken. I argue that there are three reasons for this. The first reason is that the literature has been more concerned with the issues of who mobilizes and why. Most empirical studies n the literature have focused, on the issue of movement emergence, and the timing therein. A systematic study examining the broader idea of the material circumstances that lead to protest and other forms of mobilization and the analysis of the capacity for a neighborhood, city, or other geographical unit to organize has been overlooked. Second, the issue of place and/or space is an issue that has been more or less ignored in the collective action/social movements literature. Though William Sewell Jr. has a piece regarding how space and place can be used in the analyses of social movements and collective action (Aminzade et al. 2001), Tilly’s 2002 piece in Mobilization, as well as a special issue of the journal Mobilization (2003), it is an issue that also has been overlooked by sociologists. Interestingly, geographers have been much more cognizant of this issue. Sociological analyses have looked at ideas such as diffusion of events (such as riots), this issue of how place and/or space makes a difference has both been under theorized and under analyzed. Thus, examining how neighborhoods differ based on spatial location in a city, has never been fully analyzed. The third reason is that the social movement literature as a whole has given primacy to the analysis of “national movements.” The bulk of empirical and theoretical studies have focused on those large-scale movements that emerged during the 1960’s and

Authors: Weffer-Elizondo, Simon.
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The collective action and social movements literature has also been deficient in
studying the link between neighborhood poverty and local collective action. A
systematic analysis examining how neighborhoods differ in ability to organize and
mobilize based on rates and dimensions of poverty has not been undertaken. I argue that
there are three reasons for this. The first reason is that the literature has been more
concerned with the issues of who mobilizes and why. Most empirical studies n the
literature have focused, on the issue of movement emergence, and the timing therein. A
systematic study examining the broader idea of the material circumstances that lead to
protest and other forms of mobilization and the analysis of the capacity for a
neighborhood, city, or other geographical unit to organize has been overlooked.
Second, the issue of place and/or space is an issue that has been more or less
ignored in the collective action/social movements literature. Though William Sewell Jr.
has a piece regarding how space and place can be used in the analyses of social
movements and collective action (Aminzade et al. 2001), Tilly’s 2002 piece in
Mobilization, as well as a special issue of the journal Mobilization (2003), it is an issue
that also has been overlooked by sociologists. Interestingly, geographers have been much
more cognizant of this issue. Sociological analyses have looked at ideas such as
diffusion of events (such as riots), this issue of how place and/or space makes a
difference has both been under theorized and under analyzed. Thus, examining how
neighborhoods differ based on spatial location in a city, has never been fully analyzed.
The third reason is that the social movement literature as a whole has given
primacy to the analysis of “national movements.” The bulk of empirical and theoretical
studies have focused on those large-scale movements that emerged during the 1960’s and


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