Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SMOs within the vegan advocacy movement

Wikipedia's article on social movements and organizations specifically mentions the vegan movement and PETA. Did you write it? The spelling suggests that it was written with European spelling habits.

Social movements are any broad social alliances of people who are connected through their shared interest in blocking or affecting social change. Social movements do not have to be formally organized. Multiple alliances may work separately for common causes and still be considered a social movement.

A distinction is drawn between social movements and social movement organizations (SMOs). A social movement organization is a formally organized component of a social movement. But an SMO may only make up a part of a particular social movement. For instance, PETA(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) advocates for vegan lifestyles along with its other aims. But PETA is not the only group to advocate for vegan diets and lifestyles; there are numerous other groups actively engaged toward this end (see vegan).[1] Thus, the social movement may be a push toward veganism (an effort with numerous motivations)[1] and PETA is an SMO working within the broader social movement.

Modern social movements became possible through the wider dissemination of literature and increased mobility of labor due to the industrialization of societies. Organised social structures like modern day armies, political societies, and popular movements required freedom of expression, education and relative economic independence.

Giddens[2] has identified four areas in which social movements operate in modern societies:

  1. democratic movements that work for political rights
  2. labor movements that work for control of the workplace
  3. ecological movements that are concerned with the environment
  4. peace movements that work toward, well, peace

It is also interesting to note that social movements can spawn counter movements. For instance, the women's movement of the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a number of counter movements that attempted to block the goals of the women's movement, many of which were reform movements within conservative religions.[3]

However, citing SMOs suggests that SMOs speak FOR vegans, which is something I specifically repudiate. Most vegetarians, as most vegans, are un-organized - not organized into support for SMOs - a statement that I think can be supported by Partridge and Amato's (outdated, to be sure, since it's 1990) preliminary research on vegetarians (and vegans before there WAS an identifiable vegan movement; we then ONLY had the American Vegan Society in Malanga, NJ).
Further, Keith Akers wrote (years ago, I think in the late 1980s in an outreach flyer from the Vegetarian Society of Colorado) that the vegan (even the vegetarian movement, at its best) is unlike all protest movements, including the animal rights movement. All protest movements talk about what others are doing wrong; the vegan movement is about what we can do right, justly, well, decently, ahead of the curve, and better. In my humble opinion (IMHO - a writing style characteristic of the AR online movement, as I've watched it over more than a decade), that distinction ought to be seriously considered in writing as well as in analysis.

A social movement organization (often capitalized in literature as Social Movement Organization or abbreviated as SMO) is a formally organized component of a social movement (SM). A SMO may only make up a part of a particular social movement; in other words, a specific social movement is usually composed of many social movement organizations - formal organizations that share movement's goals and attempt to implement them.[1] Social movement organizations play coordinating roles in social movements, but do not actually employ or direct most of the participants.

For instance, the civil rights movement was a social movement composed of specific social movement organizations (likeSNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) or CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)).[1] PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) advocates for vegan lifestyles along with its other aims. But PETA is not the only group to advocate for vegan diets and lifestyles; there are numerous other groups actively engaged toward this end.[2] Thus, the social movement is the general push toward veganism (an effort with numerous motivations) and PETA is only a single SMO working within the broader social movement.[2] The peace movement is composed of many groups that want peace - groups that classify as SMOs such as Peace Action (SANE/FREEZE), Fellowship of Reconciliation and others.[3] Ku Klux Klan is yet another SMO - part of the white supremacist movement.[4] al-Qaeda, acting as a coordinating body for a large number of loosely-connected anti-American organizations and individuals is another example of a social movement organization.

An organizational equivalent of a particular social movement - a collection of all SMOs focused on a given field - is known as a Social Movement Industry (SMI).[1] Social Movement Industries are similar to social movements in scope but are seen as having more structure.[5] Social movement industries can be combined into one one Social Movement Sector in the society.[6]

The term SMO entered the literature through the work of Zald and Ash (1966).[7]

1 comment:

林士芸林士芸 said...

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