Social Protest and Social Movements

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Rhetoric
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the rationale of instrumental, symbolic behavior; the use/manipulation of symbols to adjust ideas to people and people to ideas.
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Expressive Behavior
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neither intends to nor succeeds in producing social change.
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Consummatory Behavior
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is the final step in satisfying a need.
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Symbolic Behavior
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has a referential function in which it stands for something else.
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Arbitrary Symbolic Behavior
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behavior for which no natural connection exists between the behavior and the referent used to represent it.
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Naturally Symbolic Behavior
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behavior in which the observer need go through no arbitrary set of rules to establish the relationship between the sign and its referent.
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Agitation
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persistent, long-term advocacy of social change; exists when people outside the normal decision-making establishment advocate significant social change and encounter a degree of resistance within the establishment such as to require more than the normal discursive means of persuasion.
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Control
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the response of the decision-making establishment to agitation.
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Legislation
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the power of deciding policy.
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Enforcement
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the power of administering negative and positive sanctions to those who violate or observe the policies.
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Social Change
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an alteration, written or unwritten, in the way society regulates itself; may be substantive or procedural.
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Vertical Deviance
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occurs when the agitators accept the value system of the establishment but dispute the distribution of benefits or power within that value system.
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Lateral Deviance
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occurs when the agitators dispute the value system itself and seek to change it or replace it with a competing value system.
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\”No Fly List\”
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purportedly exists to control individuals who \”present a specific known or suspected threat to aviation;\” individuals on the list must go through a secondary security screening every time they fly.
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COINTELPRO
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an FBI program used to monitor the lives of specific Americans; it’s a contraction of \”counterintelligence program\” that \”entails active disruption of the targets’ activities, organizations, and lives.\”
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Social Movement
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any explicit or implicit (verbal or nonverbal) persuasion by non-institutionalized groups seeking public gain by attempting to change some part of \”the system.\”
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Structure
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a set of procedures by which decisions are made and a set of positions in which decision-making power rests.
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Goal Orientation
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every organization has a set of expressed or implied purposes like self-perpetuation, maintenance of a value system, gathering information, disseminating information, enlarging the base of support and power, policy making, policy implementation, and enforcement of policy.
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Ideology
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a set of statements that define the unique characteristics of the organization and express the unique set of beliefs to which the members subscribe; an \”elaboration of rationalizations and stereotypes into a consistent pattern\” that details and explains the group’s goals.
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Social Power
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an individual has power over another when he or she can influence the others behavior; changes in the distribution of power are the main goals of most agitating groups.
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Reward Power
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one individual/group has this power over another when the first can give benefits like money, status, or acceptance to the second; can be of two types: (1) giving positively perceived things and events, and (2) withdrawing negatively perceived things and events.
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Coercive Power
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exists when one individual/group is able to influence another’s behavior by the threat of punishment.
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Legitimate Power
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exists when one individual/group is perceived by another as having an assigned position of wielding influence.
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Referent Power
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one individual/group has this power over another when the individual influenced is attracted to and identifies with that individual/group.
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Negative Referent Power
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exists if the individual/group repels the person who could potentially be influenced, he or she is likely to oppose any action the repelling agency favors.
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Expert Power
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exists when one individual/group thinks that another has superior knowledge or skill in a particular area in which influence is to be exerted.
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Rumor
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occurs when information is passed from one individual to another without official verification/denial or when information is passed from one individual to another in the absence of any trustworthy official source.
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Leveling
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many details get lost as the initial story gets told and retold.
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Sharpening
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the details not eliminated through leveling are exaggerated.
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Assimilation
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individuals unintentionally distort the rumor in the direction of what he/she would most like to believe.
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Contrast (Rumors)
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individuals unintentionally distort the rumor in the direction of what he/she would least like to believe.
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Strategies
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general choices available to dissenters and to the establishment.
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Tactics
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more specific choices governed by those strategies.
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Petition
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when agitators first present their proposal for social change to the establishment; involves the use of tactics like selection of appeals, target audiences, types and sources of evidence, the appropriate tone of the message, and the style of language that will make an appeal most effective.
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Promulgation
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a strategy where agitators publicly proclaim their goals and it includes tactics designed to win public support and attempts to recruit the members necessary to mount a successful movement.
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Seek Legitimizers
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to secure favorable treatment from at least some media, agitators should seek people within the establishment who endorse some parts of the agitators’ ideology.
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Stage Newsworthy Events
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in covering those events that are unusual or involve conflict, the media will furnish some rationale for the story, and the rationale may at least partially explain the agitators’ ideology.
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Solidification
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occurs mainly within the agitating group and is primarily used to unite followers, to create a sense of community that may be vital to the success of the movement; it includes the rhetorical processes by which an agitating group produces or reinforces the cohesiveness of its members, thereby increasing responsiveness to group beliefs, values, and ideologies.
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The Agitating Play
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this illustrates a conflict between agitators and members of the establishment; it arouses people, motivates them to action, and organizes them into an efficient unit. Effective theater points out problems in society and then offers solutions.
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Agitation Songs
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music is a method that agitators use to affirm commitments and intentions publicly; singing is useful because it tends \”to give courage and vigor to carry on.\”
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Slogans
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some pointed term, phrase, or expression, fittingly worded, which suggests action, loyalty, or which causes people to decide on and to fight for the realization of some principle or decisive issue; they create definite impressions and elicit emotional reactions. If effective, they promote the acceptance of an organization, identify enemies, and express ideologies.
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Symbols
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agitators often create expressive and esoteric _______; sometimes they have a complicated mythology, and sometimes they become accepted simply because they are either appropriately powerful, ambiguous, or well-designed.
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Peace Sign
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this symbol was created by a British designer, Gerald Holtom, in 1958 as \”a visual plea for nuclear disarmament;\” it has a certain richness of ambiguity and has been a popular representation of contemporary dissent for more than 50 years.
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Agitation Terminology
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a group often deliberately chooses a word with negative connotations and promotes its use as a positive attribute; vocabulary becomes a verbal symbol of support, and only members will recognize the new meaning.
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Consciousness-Raising (C-R) Groups
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vehicles for discovering shared problems and for seeking ways to improve self-images; effective means of recruiting new members to a movement or organization.
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Polarization
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assumes that any individual who has not committed to the agitation supports the establishment; this stage is defined by painting issues as black and white (for and against). It encompasses tactics designed to force an individual to make a conscious choice between agitation and control.
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Invention of Derogatory Jargon
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this specialized vocabulary attacks the establishment while at the same time building internal cohesiveness; words are chosen for the powerful images or sentiments they evoke.
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Nonviolent Resistance
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this strategy employs two principal tactics: (1) use of physical presence of the agitators to produce \”creative tension,\” and (2) the physical and/or economic absence of the agitators to create tension leading to negotiation and adjustment. These agitators violate laws or customs they consider to be unjust and destructive of human dignity.
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Creative Disorder
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a strategy that involves tactics like sit-ins, school boycotts, economic boycotts, rent strikes, fasts, blocking entrances to buildings, chaining oneself to a tree, lying down in front of bulldozers, forming pickett lines, etc.
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Civil Disobedience
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occurs when an agitator deliberately breaks a law considered to be unjust and destructive.
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Persistence
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the agitator’s presence is a nuisance, preventing the establishment from making money or doing business as usual; agitators must have enough supporters to continue their actions until social change occurs.
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Escalation/Confrontation
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strategies based on the belief that when the establishment becomes sufficiently apprehensive, it will over-prepare for agitation; that over-preparation will result in such confusion among establishment groups that security forces will turn on themselves and non-agitators.
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Contrast (Agitators)
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to lead the establishment to expect the participation of large numbers of agitators, whether this expectation has any objective reality or not.
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Threatened Disruption
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uses rumors and the underground press to increase establishment tension with alleged information about the attitudes and objectives of the agitators.
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Nonnegotiable Demands
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the use of such demands allows the establishment no room to maneuver; it is forced to move against the activists, therefore escalating the battle between the two groups.
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Token Violence
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involves actual, but minor, attacks on representatives of the establishment by a few of the agitators; if the establishment overreacts, it may lose credibility.
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Ghandi and Guerrilla
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this strategy confronts the establishment with a large group of agitators committed to the strategy of nonviolent resistance and another group committed to the physical destruction of the establishment; assumes that the activities of each group will contribute to the achievement of common goals.
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Banishment
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encompasses actions like excommunication, expulsion, academic suspension, compelling someone to leave an area under the laws of illegal assembly, confining someone to jail, or encouraging/forcing someone to leave the physical boundaries of a city, state, or country; probably the most effective tactic because it not only removes the leaders but also serves as a deterrent. When an establishment does this in violation of its own regulations, it erodes its legitimate power.
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Strategies of Control
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when an establishment is confronted with challenges to its structure, policy, ideology, or power, it may adopt one of four rhetorical strategies: (1) Avoidance, (2) Suppression, (3) Adjustment, (4) Capitulation.
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Avoidance
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tactics include counterpersuasion, evasion, postponement, secrecy with a rationale, and denial of means.
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Counterpersuasion
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members of the establishment begin a discussion with the leaders of the dissent movement in an attempt to convince the agitators that they are wrong or that their proposals will not work; this is the most common and often the most successful tactic available to an establishment.
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Evasion
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a large bureaucracy can effectively avoid dealing with agitators by forcing them to negotiate the labyrinth of receptionists, secretaries, low-level administrators, and other functionaries who make up the hierarchy of any organization; however, they run the risk that the dissidents will appeal to a higher, more powerful establishment.
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Postponement
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by holding off on any binding decision and by taking the demands of an agitative group \”under advisement,\” an establishment can frequently avoid unwanted change; this may make agitators impatient and frustrated and they may take unwise or illegal actions: if they break a law, they can be jailed; if they break an institutions’ rule, they can be eliminated from the organization.
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Secrecy with a Rationale
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governments may refuse to respond because the response would violate \”executive privilege\” or because the information may compromise national security; businesses or universities may fail to respond because the information may violate confidentiality or student rights.
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Denial of Means
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an establishment can deny the tools the dissenting groups require to effectively promulgate their ideas and demands (paper, ink, cameras, meeting halls, parks, etc.); an establishment may allow access to space for protest but limit their movement within that space. It may seem to be a low-order tactic, but it can be used to counter activists’ actions at most stages of dissent.
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Suppression
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this requires a thorough understanding of opponents and their ideology as well as a strong commitment to actively confront and defeat the agitators and their movement; most tactics attempt to weaken or remove the movement’s leaders which, if successful, can significantly weaken the entire movement.
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Harassment
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serves to weaken and dilute the group’s solidarity because (1) leaders have less time and energy to devote to their cause and their followers because they must defend themselves rather than working in the movement, and (2) group members have an example of what may happen to them if they continue; it encompasses a broad range of actions from the use of moral force to relying on physical force.
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Denial of the Agitators’ Demands
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a gamble for institution leaders, so it is crucial that the establishment have the power to enforce the decision or their actions may actually weaken them and strengthen the activist cause; puts establishments at risk of losing credibility because a higher authority within the establishment may challenge the legitimacy of actions by establishment leaders.
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Purgation
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the most extreme (and illegal) tactic which involves killing the leaders and members of an agitative movement; highly risky because individuals may be more powerful dead than alive (martyrs).
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Adjustment
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institutions adapt, modify, or alter their structures, goals, and personnel; while decision makers can be perceived as just, merciful, liberal, progressive, and open-minded, they must NEVER be perceived as weak.
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Changing the Name of the Regulatory Agency
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if an agency comes under attack, they can do this and then argue that the agency has been reformed and the agitator’s problems have been solved; while this rarely satisfies any agitative ideology, it does serve to refocus and clarify the purpose of the institution to those within the establishment.
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Sacrificing Personnel
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when agitation centers on a flag person, it’s sometimes easier to just get rid of that person to ease agitators’ demands; the channels of communication within an institution suffer from the temporary vacancy, time must be allocated to find a replacement, and the legitimate power of an establishment becomes vulnerable if the tactic is not successful. If the person does not accept the role, the tactic will backfire.
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Accepting Some Means of Agitation
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the establishment may reflect an image of openness to dissent, and if those involved in the creative disorder are ignored or treated kindly, agitation may be effectively thwarted; it can also provoke agitators to engage in increasingly more serious infractions of law or custom in order to gain the attention needed.
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Incorporate Some of the Personnel
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doing this provides a means of adjustment for both the establishment and the agitative movement; although activists may see some visible effects as a result of their efforts, agitators who become members of the establishment face tremendous pressures to reject their past actions and to change their beliefs.
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Incorporate Parts of the Dissident Ideology
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ranges from tokenism to a substantial merger; the decision makers must maintain their necessary image of strength and the establishment’s membership must not perceive the change as altering in a significant way the values and goals of their institution.
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Capitulation
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to be totally successful, a dissent movement’s ideas, goals, policies, beliefs, and personnel must replace those of the institution challenged; establishments do not surrender their power voluntarily, this is always an establishment’s last resort. Only used if total destruction by a superior force is imminent.

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