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"Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything" (Colin Kaepernick) : a case study analysis on modern civil resistance movements in the United States

Oldiges, Julia (2020) "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything" (Colin Kaepernick) : a case study analysis on modern civil resistance movements in the United States.

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Abstract:Populism has recently been gaining influence in Western societies, founded on deep-rooted struggles between dominant majorities and inferior minority groups. Minorities have consequently engaged in civil resistance movements to change existing social structures. In Europe, the influx of refugees in 2015 spawned the rise of right-wing minorities; in the USA, acts of police violence encouraged African-American protests against racial discrimination through forms of norm contestation. The latter will be analysed in this case study, based on the theoretical assumptions of the Structure-Agency-Debate and on Giddens’ Structuration Theory, where structures and agency are mutually dependent. Here, the US-American law enforcement system is the superior structure, while agency is displayed by civil resistance movements led by Colin Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter. By examining the extent that the two movements meet the conditions of spread, consistency, and level of contestation, it is concluded that success depends on the movement’s internal organization as well as the public reception and reaction. It is found that both movements lack internal organization in terms of consistency and accountability and are strongly objected by the predominantly white majority due to perceived inappropriateness or violence. In Europe, however, the former populist minority in the UK has largely overcome these constraints and has taken office, while the right-wing minority in Germany still struggles for social acceptance and power as the majority’s backlash remains strong. However, with recurring efforts of minorities to oppose dominant majorities, more conflicts will arise in which the desired social change may ultimately occur.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81561
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