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Caring for Our OwnWhy There is No Political Demand for New American Social Welfare Rights$
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Sandra R. Levitsky

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199993123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993123.001.0001

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Communicating Grievances—Obstacles to Activism

Communicating Grievances—Obstacles to Activism

Chapter:
(p.143) Chapter 6 Communicating Grievances—Obstacles to Activism
Source:
Caring for Our Own
Author(s):

Sandra R. Levitsky

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993123.003.0006

This chapter examines the conditions that shape how and under what conditions grievants choose to make their voices heard in the public arena as part of an organized reform effort. It first considers traditional social movement models. These have long assumed that individuals are embedded in a web of social ties in which the relationships that facilitate the formulation of collective grievances are connected to the social relationships that recruit individuals into organized political activity. But this chapter argues that long-term trends in the field of political organizations—in particular, the decoupling of social welfare organizations from organized politics and the shift in political mobilization technologies toward “targeted activation” by advocacy organizations —have attenuated the nexus between grievance construction and political mobilization in matters of social welfare. As a consequence, many individuals who experience unmet long-term care needs today lack the necessary ties to express their grievances as political demands.

Keywords:   mobilization, social movement, grievance construction, long-term care, advocacy, social ties, organizations

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