The Social Movements Reader

Group A

1. What is the role of daily life in affecting one’s likelihood of joining a social movement, even a movement one is sympathetic to?

2. Why must social movement organizers take care how they “frame” their arguments and choose their symbols in trying to recruit members?

3. How do individual traits and structural conditions interact in recruitment to social movements?

4. What do scholars mean by the “free-rider problem”? What would be an example of free riding? How might movements address this problem?

Group B

1. What were some of the ways that Osama bin Laden was “modern”? Did these help him to be more effective in recruiting followers? In attaining his goals?

2. What are the pathways along which women were recruited to the revolutionary FMLN in El Salvador? What light do these differences shed on the main factors that explain recruitment?

3. Who was more likely to join and participate in the Freedom Summer Project and why?


2 full pages


Textbook: Goodwin, Jeff, Jasper, J. M. (2015). The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts, 3rd Edition, Malden, MA, Wiley Blackwell.

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