Top Leaderboard, Site wide
August 22, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates








Truthdig Bazaar
Freedom: A Novel

Freedom: A Novel

By Jonathan Franzen
$14.00

The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy

By Dante Alighieri
$21.57

more items

 
Ear to the Ground

If You Still Want to Be an Activist After Reading This, Prepare to Be Hated

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jan 15, 2014

kittyroara (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Social psychologists are saying activists alienate people through their passion, and this has a negative impact on the rapidity of social change. But does that mean everyone needs to give up and give in? Not really, but perhaps it’s time we reassess how to present these passions to others so that people feel engaged rather than excluded. Regardless, activism is still essential to a democracy, so whether feminists, environmentalists, etc. are detested or loved, the fight must go on.

European Journal of Social Psychology via British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog:

When you picture a feminist or an environmental campaigner, what kind of a person do you think of? If you’re like the US and Canadian participants in this new paper, then you’ll have in mind an eccentric, militant, unhygienic person. Nadia Bashir and her colleagues say this commonly held stereotype of an activist is partly responsible for the sluggishness of social change. Large sections of the public agree with activists’ messages, but are put off by not wanting to affiliate themselves with the kind of person they think makes an activist.

Bashir’s team conducted five proper studies in all, and three pilot investigations. The pilot work involved Canadian students, and US participants recruited online, and was used to establish the characteristics—militant, eccentric etc—that people tend to associate with a typical feminist or environmentalist. ..

Past research on people’s advocacy for social change has tended to focus on their beliefs about the issue at hand, or on the personality characteristics of people who tend to favour social change or oppose it. This study is novel in that it focuses instead on people’s perceptions of those who campaign for social change. The findings have obvious real-life implications for activists. “… Seemingly zealous dedication to a social cause may backfire and elicit unfavourable reactions from others,” the researchers said. “… [T]he very individuals who are most actively engaged in promoting social change may inadvertently alienate members of the public and reduce pro-change motivation.”

Read more


—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

 

 

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.