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Becoming a Neighborhood Saver: Engaging the Community in Los Angeles
Unformatted Document Text:  17 strategic to the goals of both of these groups. The organizations defined themselves as fundamentally tied to reaching out to this politically strategic population. Yet this focus upon the local population led to tensions, as organizers felt that activists were a political liability to their goals of reaching out to “the community,” a conflict that led to deep divisions within Winston St. This example shows how the actions and meanings of participants within social movements influence their shape, scope and direction. Although these groups were certainly influenced by external political structures, including the principles and practices of the Zapatista movement, the structure of radical democratic organizing and an overall a lack of opportunities and interest from the general public, the internal workings of these groups also shaped these groups. Participants defined themselves as categories of activists, organizers and community members, leading to allegiances, discussions, debates, frustrations and even schisms within the groups. Their understandings of these categories shaped the direction, goals and strategies of these groups, as members of both groups constantly attempted to tailor their goals, activities, demographic makeup – even their physical appearance! – to please “the community.” References: Calhoun, Craig (1983) “The Radicalism of Tradition: Community Strength or Venerable Disguise and Borrowed Language?” American Journal of Sociology 88: 886-916 Crossley, Nick (2005) “How Social Movements Move: From First to Second Wave Developments in the UK Field of Psychiatric Contention.” Social Movement Studies 4: 21-48 Glaser, Barney G. and Strauss, Anselm L. (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago, IL: Aldine Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1972) Commitment and Community. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press McAdam, Doug (1988) “Micromobilization Contexts and Recruitment to Activism.” International Social Movement Research 1: 125-154

Authors: Glass, Pepper.
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strategic   to   the   goals   of   both   of   these   groups.     The   organizations   defined   themselves   as 
fundamentally tied to reaching out to this politically strategic population.  Yet this focus upon 
the local population led to tensions, as organizers felt that activists were a political liability to 
their goals of reaching out to “the community,” a conflict that led to deep divisions within 
Winston St.
This   example   shows   how   the   actions   and   meanings   of   participants   within   social 
movements influence their shape, scope and direction.  Although these groups were certainly 
influenced   by   external   political   structures,   including   the   principles   and   practices   of   the 
Zapatista movement, the structure of radical democratic organizing and an overall a lack of 
opportunities and interest from the general public, the internal workings of these groups also 
shaped these groups.   Participants defined themselves as categories of activists, organizers 
and community members, leading to allegiances, discussions, debates, frustrations and even 
schisms within the groups.   Their understandings of these categories shaped the direction, 
goals and strategies of these groups, as members of both groups constantly attempted to 
tailor  their goals, activities,  demographic makeup – even their physical appearance! – to 
please “the community.” 
Calhoun, Craig (1983) “The Radicalism of Tradition: Community Strength or Venerable 
Disguise and Borrowed Language?” American Journal of Sociology 88: 886-916
Crossley, Nick (2005) “How Social Movements Move: From First to Second Wave 
Developments in the UK Field of Psychiatric Contention.” Social Movement Studies 4
Glaser, Barney G. and Strauss, Anselm L. (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory: 
Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago, IL: Aldine
Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1972) Commitment and Community. Cambridge, MA: Harvard 
University Press
McAdam, Doug (1988) “Micromobilization Contexts and Recruitment to Activism.” 
International Social Movement Research 1: 125-154

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