As the very phrase "power structure" suggests, it is not easy to change power arrangements, even in a country where people have won freedom of speech and the right to vote. To start with, it is necessary to understand the intricacies of a power structure and how it was constructed in order to change it -- that's where the power structure research discussed in other parts of this site comes in. The following articles include analysis of the successes and failures of social change movements in the U.S. as well as advice for progressive activists on how to move forward.
This document suggests possible steps that might make it possible for liberals and leftists to work together on economic programs and thereby have more success. However, the most immediate goal would be to reach out to more centrists and moderate conservatives in order to halt the ongoing move to the right.
It's necessary to know what works and doesn't work, and what role activists can play. So the centerpiece of this section describes what can be learned from the social sciences about creating greater equality.
This is an essay based on research in psychology and social psychology that brings together ideas and findings that may shed some light on the differences between leftists and rightists.
Activists spend an enormous amount of time worrying about, dissecting, and criticizing the media as a major source of their problems, but this document suggestions that the media are not that influential and can, in fact, be used constructively by activists on many occasions.
Massey claims that many centrist Americans will vote for candidates who stand up for their liberal principles, but I don't think they'll be willing to bet on a divided and contentious set of liberals and leftists who cannot develop new strategies to work together in the face of their ongoing failures in bringing about greater equality and access to markets. Liberals cannot do it alone, and leftists have to refocus their energies.
Social change may require change-oriented elites on the inside as well as activists on the outside. Social psychologist Richard L. Zweigenhaft -- with whom I have co-authored several books -- explains this point in a wonderful talk he gave at an elite private school in 2006. He then follows up with a paper originally published in Radical Teacher in 2009.
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