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Principles of Social Change$
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Leonard A. Jason

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841851.001.0001

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Challenging the Status Quo

Challenging the Status Quo

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 Challenging the Status Quo
Source:
Principles of Social Change
Author(s):

Leonard A. Jason

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841851.003.0002

In Chapter 2, I address the entrenched powers in a community or organization that erect obstacles to enduring change and their relationship to the second, and in many ways, most critical strategy for social change: identifying the power base—who holds the power and who the critical stakeholders may be. In this chapter, we will show that this power is not surmountable and can be confronted. However, it takes time, patience, and perseverance. I chronicle a 20-year effort to convince the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change their perceptions of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an ailment I experienced personally, and learned first-hand how harmful misperceptions and bureaucratic inaction can be. Certainly, we expect our efforts to be met with resistance in some form of another. For this reason, any agent for change attempting to reform a system must be armed with a keen knowledge of that system, as well as an awareness of all of the principle players and environments involved.

Keywords:   Centers for Disease Control, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Power, Community Coalitions, Agents of Change, Chronic Illness

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