Expert answer:Social Movement Organization Design Project


Solved by verified expert:Design your own Social Movement Organization (I already attached paper instructions in the files). Organizational Info: 1 page cover page with your name, course name, date, and title of paper10 pages of text, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1 inch page margins1 references page,You are required to do a minimum of 5 in-text citations from readings we read in class. (I will give to you my course readings).


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Design your own Social Movement Organization
Organizational Info:
1 page cover page with your name, course name, date, and title of paper
10 pages of text, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1 inch page margins
1 references page,
You are required to do a minimum of 5 in-text citations from readings we read in class. (I will give
to you my course readings).
Structure and Content
In this paper,
–You use your imagination to design your own social movement organization (SMO). You will be
applying concepts from social movement theory to your case.
–You will also draw upon background knowledge about the broader social movement (SM) your
organization is a part of.
Introduction (max 1 page)

Describe the broader SM ecology that your organization is part of – brief history, key players,
demands, etc.
Describe how your organization relates to that ecology –maybe you have criticisms of the
movement’s strategy and want to create a new org with a new strategy; etc.
5 Main Sections (min 8 pages)

Choose 5 aspects from the additional document on titled “Social Movement Aspects for
Assignments” (I will attached in files).
For each aspect, describe your organization’s approach
Compare your organization’s approach to how the existing SM/SMO deals with that aspect
Conclusion (max 1 page)

Describe how you see your organization contributing to the overall movement and what influence
you’d like it to have
Describe how you think the movement and/or your organization will develop in the coming decade
People, Power and Change
PAL 177 (HDS 2914)
Organizing Notes
Reflection Questions
Marshall Ganz
Lecturer in Public Policy
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
Fall 2006 (10/2)
Table of Contents
Week 1
What is Organizing ……………………………………………………………. 3
Week 2
Learning to Organize …………………………………………………………. 7
Week 3
Mapping the Social World: Actors, Values, and Interests …………….. 14
Week 4
Actors, Resources, and Power …………………………………………….. 22
Week 5
Leadership ……………………………………………………………………. 34
Week 6
Relationships …………………………………………………………………. 53
Week 7
Mobilizing Interpretation I: Motivation, Story, and Celebration ……… 70
Week 8
Interpretation II: Strategy, Deliberation and Meetings ……………… 103
Week 9
Action ……………………………………………………………………….. 123
Week 10
Campaigns ………………………………………………………………….. 145
Week 11
Organization: Communities in Action…………………………………… 156
Week 12
Becoming a Good Organizer……………………………………………… 177
What Is Organizing
(September, 2006)
Organizers identify, recruit and develop leadership; build community
around leadership; and build power out of community. Organizers bring people together, challenging them to act on behalf of their shared values and interests. They develop the relationships, motivate the participation, strategize
the pathways, and take the action that enable people to gain new appreciation of their values, the resources to which they have access, their interests,
and a new capacity to use their resources on behalf of their interests. Organizers work through “dialogues” in relationships, motivation, strategy and action carried out as campaigns.
Organizers interweave relationships, motivation, strategy and action so
that each contributes to the other.

One result is new networks of relationship wide and deep enough to
provide a foundation for a new community in action.

Another result is a new story about who this community is, where it
has been, where it is going — and how it will get there.

A third result is a strategy envisioning how a community can turn the
resources it has into the power it needs to get what it wants.

An a final result is action as the community mobilizes and deploys its
resources on behalf of its interests – as collaboration, claims making, or
Organizers develop new relationships out of old ones – sometimes by
linking one person to another and sometimes by linking whole networks of
people together. Relationships grow out of exchanges of interests and resources, the commitment to sustain them, and the creation of a shared
Organizers engage people in discerning why they should act to change
their world – their values – and how they can act to change it – their strategy.
Organizers motivate action by deepening people’s understanding of
who they are, what they want, and why they want it: their values. Mobilizing
feelings of urgency, hope, anger, self-worth, and solidarity that facilitate action, they challenge feelings of inertia, fear, apathy, self-doubt, and isolation
that inhibit action. Organizers engage people in articulating this call to action
as a shared story of the challenges they must face, the choices they must
make, and the hope that can inspires to courage the make these choices now
– a story of self, a story of us, and a story of now.
Organizers engage people in deliberating about they can turn what
they have (resources), into what they need (power) to get what they want
(their interests): strategy. Power is the influence our resources can have on
the interests of others who hold resources that can influence our interests.
Organizing often requires using our resources to mobilize power interdependently with others whose interests we share to challenge the power exercised
over us by others whose interest conflict with our own.
Organizers challenge people to take the responsibility to act. For an individual, empowerment begins with accepting responsibility. For an organization, empowerment begins with commitment, the responsibility its members
take for it. Responsibility begins with choosing to act. Organizers challenge
people to commit, to act, and to act effectively.
Organizers work through campaigns. Campaigns are highly energized,
intensely focused, concentrated streams of activity with specific goals and
deadlines. People are recruited, programs launched, battles fought and organizations built through campaigns. Campaigns polarize by bringing out
those ordinarily submerged conflicts contrary to the interests of the constituency. One dilemma is how to depolarize in order to negotiate resolution of
these conflicts. Another dilemma is how to balance campaigns with the ongoing work of organizational growth and development.
Organizers build community by developing leadership. They develop
leaders by enhancing their skills, values and commitments. They build strong
communities through which people gain new understanding of their interests
as well as the power to act on them — communities which are bounded yet
inclusive, communal yet diverse, solidaristic yet tolerant. They develop a relationship between a constituency and its leaders based on mutual responsibility and accountability.
©Marshall Ganz, Kennedy School, 2006
Introduction: Chart #1
Introduction: Chart #2
Introduction: Chart #3
Learning to Organize
(Week Two)
In his discussion of the difference between the “raft and the shore”,
Thich Nhat Hanh helps us distinguish among a framework with which to
structure learning, how we learn, and what we learn.1 Although we may no
longer need our raft once we have used it to cross a raging river, we do need
a good raft to get across.
For learning organizing, we need a raft because opening ourselves to
learning any new practice requires dealing with uncertainty, ambiguity and
novelty.2 And when we face uncertainty, we often feel conflicting emotions.
On the one hand, we may be fearful – things will go wrong, we will fail, others will see. We then retract, metaphorically at least, to protect ourselves
from danger. On the other hand, we may be curious – the unexpected can
be exciting, bring new opportunities and new growth. So faced with the
challenge of learning to act in new ways, we may retreat into the security
what we know, or, at least, what will reduce our anxiety; or we may risk
leaning into the uncertain. We may learn best when we can do both: secure
ourselves in enough certainty that we have the courage to risk exploration.
Learning to balance security and risk is not only key to our own learning, but
to the learning of those with whom we work, for whom security may be more
elusive and the risks greater.
Our learning framework can serve as a “raft” – a way to focus on critical tools, attend to key questions, observe the interaction of different ele1
Thich Nhat Hanh, (1993), Thundering Silence: Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to
Catch a Snake, “The Raft is Not the Shore” (pp. 30-33), (Berkeley, Paralax Press).
Jordan Petersson, (1999), Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. (New York,
ments, and share a common language so we can learn from each other’s experience. No one masters a craft in a classroom (except perhaps the crafts
of teaching and studying). That is a life’s work. But you can learn how to
learn craft – the craft of organizing – and that is our goal.
Organizing is a practice – a way of doing things, with the “hands”.
Learning practice is different from learning “theory” because it can only be
learned from the experience of acting. Acting, in turn, requires the courage
to take risks – risks of failure, making mistakes, losing face, rejection, etc.3
No one can learn to ride a bicycle – to keep their balance – without falling.
Because organizing is relational – done in interaction with others – the more
you can learn to mindfully distinguish among your actions, the actions of
others, and how they interact, the easier it will become for you to learn from
the data of your own experience. At the same time, the more deeply committed you are to your project, the more you will learn because you will be
motivated to risk new kinds of experience from which you can learn.
Organizing is also theory – a way of thinking about things, with the
“head”. But we do not learn theory so we can “apply” it. Theory is not how
things “really are”. Our ability to theorize allows us to simplify reality for specific purposes, such as predicting likely outcomes. Theories serve us as hypotheses, subject, however, to testing.4 We all have our own theories -generalized lessons we learn from our experience that give us an idea of
what to expect.5 But using theory “mindfully” requires stepping back from
3 M.S. Kierkegaard, “When the Knower Has to Apply Knowledge” from “Thoughts on Crucial Situations in Human Life”, in Parables of Kierkegaard, T.C. Oden, Editor. (P)
Robert B. Westbrook (1991), John Dewey and American Democracy, ( Ithaca, NY, Cornell UP.)

Howard Gardner, (1992), The Unschooled Mind, (New York, Basic Books.)
our experience, writing about it, reflecting critically upon it, and drawing lessons from it. And learning from experience requires entering into it with what
Gandhi described as a “spirit of experimentation” – with the discipline to
place it in perspective, compare it with that of others, and reflect on it analytically.6
Learning by reflective practice may challenge your theories of how the
social world works.7 These assumptions may serve you perfectly well in private life, but not so well in public life. Cognitive psychologists explain that we
develop “schemata” with which we organize our understanding of the world.8
Schemata enable and constrain. They enable us to make sense of things,
generalize, make choices, draw conclusions, and act. But, as stereotypes,
they can inhibit clarity of perception, cause us to see what we expect to see,
and make it difficult for us to learn. Psychologist Ellen Langer proposes ways
to learn to be more “mindful” of our assumptions so they constrain us less,
allowing us to develop more useful theory: generating new categories, considering multiple views, etc.9
Being mindful of our assumptions can help us hear the elements of
truth in the arguments of those with whom we disagree, even while we engage in vigorous argument. Fearing argument, debate and conflict only inhibits learning. Rabbi Hillel describes argument for “the sake of heaven”- the
Mohandas Gandhi, (1957), An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth,
(Boston, Beacon Press.)
Donald Schon, (1984), The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action,
Chapter 2, “From Technical Rationality to Reflection-in-Action” (pp.49-69), (New York, Basic
Susan Fiske and Shelly E. Taylor, (1991), Social Cognition, Chapter 6, “Social Schemata”, (pp.139-42, 171-81), (New York, McGraw-Hill.)
Ellen J. Langer, (1989), Mindfulness (Cambridge: Perseus Books); (1998) The Power of
Mindful Learning, (Cambridge, Perseus Books).
goal of which is to unearth those elements of truth each of us holds, but
none of us holds entirely.10 He proposes grounding argument in clarity as to
one’s values, entering into an argument humbly, recognizing one can be
wrong, and learning how to articulate one’s opponent’s argument to his or
her satisfaction.
Learning organizing is not only a matter of hands and head, but also of
the heart. My approach is rooted in the democratic tradition of engaging
people to act on common interests, including holding their own leadership
accountable. Although some tactics may be similar, civic organizing is not
about how to organize an army, a corporation, or a social service agency.
The values that motivate democratic practice grow out of our moral – religious, cultural, political – traditions. The understanding of organizing upon
which I build emerged from the religious, civic, and popular traditions of the
West. As democracy has become a goal of peoples around the world, this
tradition has been enlarged, challenged and enriched. Perhaps the most
creative 20th Century innovator of democratic organizing was Gandhi. His
combination of Eastern and Western traditions created a legacy further developed in the African freedom movement, the American Civil Rights movement, the work of Solidarity in Poland, and elsewhere.
Our framework consists of just three practices:
(1) identifying, recruiting, and developing leaders;
(2) building community around those leaders; and
(3) building power from that community.
Various, (1985), Siddur Sim Shalom, Rabbi Jules Harlow, Ed. “Pirke Avot/ Sayings of
Our Ancestors”, (pp. 648-649) (New York, The Rabbinical Assembly).
Our framework is built of just three components:
(1) Actors who do the work: you, your leaders, your constituents, your
opposition, your supporters, etc.;
(2) Processes we use to do the work: building relationships, telling stories, devising strategy, and taking action;
(3) Structures we use to create the space within which we can do the
work: campaigns (time) and organizations (space).
Much organizing is done as campaigns – a way of mobilizing time, resources, and energy to achieve an outcome – time as an “arrow” rather than
a “cycle”.11 Thinking of time as a “cycle” helps us to maintain our routines,
our normal procedures, our annual budget, etc. Thinking of time as an “arrow” on the other hand focuses us on making change, on achieving specific
outcomes, on focusing our efforts. A campaign is time as an “arrow”. It is an
intense stream of activity that begins with a foundational period, builds to a
kick-off, builds to periodic peaks, and culminates in a final peak, followed by
a resolution. This creates momentum strategically by gathering more and
more resources – the way the snow that a snowball gathers allows it to
gather more snow. Campaigns can also create momentum motivationally, as
early successes can create the credibility to make later successes more
achievable. You may want to think of this course as a 14-week campaign.
To facilitate our discussions I use charts because social processes can
often be more easily visualized than verbalized. The four basic patterns I use
depict relationship, purpose, feedback, and focus. Relational charts depict
interactions, balances, and exchanges among parties fundamental to orga-
Stephen Jay Gould, (1987), Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle: myth and metaphor in the discovery of geological time, (Cambridge, Harvard University Press).
nizing. Purpose charts depict movement or development toward a goal, a
peak, and an outcome. Loops – or more accurately spirals – depict ways action leads to outcomes that influence subsequent action. And focus charts
show the effect of concentrating diffuse energy and resources on specific targets.
Engaging in a new experience, critical analysis of that experience, and
reflecting on the values within which that experience is rooted can be very
challenging. This is why much our work is interaction with others – constituency, classmates, colleagues, and instructors. This is not an “extra” but at
the core of the learning process. Learning how to challenge, support, and
motivate those with whom we work – and to accept challenge, support, and
motivation from them – can be one of the most useful lessons you can take
from this experience.
© Marshall Ganz, Kennedy School, 2006
Helpful Hint #1
Questions about Pedagogy
1. What do you want to get out of your project?
2. What expectations do you bring to your project?
3. What do you think will make for a good project?
4. As a participant, what can you do to make your project good?
5. As an observer, how can you see what there is to see and learn from it?
Mapping the Social World:
Actors, Values, and Interests
(Week 3)
You can begin “mapping” the social world of your organizing project by
asking four questions:
1. who are the actors,
2. what are their interests,
3. what resources do they need to act on those interests, and
4. how much power do they have to mobilize and deploy these resources.
This week we focus on actors and interests – next week, on resources and
Actors attend to their circumstances, act purposefully on those circumstances, and try to mobilize the resources they need to achieve their purposes. Actors are not “social forces” but persons – or groups of persons – who
remember, imagine, choose, and reflect on their choices. While “social
forces” influence the decisions we make, it is we who make – and are responsible for – decisions that shape “social forces”. Moreover, to the extent that
we are not isolated individuals, floating somewhere above the social world,
we make our decisions interdependently with others, whose decisions also
affect our own. How can we understand the “drug problem”, for example,
without taking into consideration the myriad dealers, smugglers, and producers who mobilize to frustrate every attempt to solve it. Organizers are
particularly interested in the roles shown in Actors: Chart #1.
Actors: Chart #1
• Constituents – Constituents are the people at the center of our
work, people whom we mobilize, whom we serve and to whom we are accountable. It makes a difference whether we think of the people with whom
we work as our constituents, our clients, or our customers. Constituent –
which derives from the Latin for “stand together”, are people who understand their common interests, contribute resources to acting on those interests, and who govern themselves. Clients – which comes from the Latin for
“one who leans on another” – are people whose individual interest is in obtaining services that we provide, are rarely called upon to contribute individual resources to a common effort, and who do not govern them …
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