PRESSURE GROUPS AND OSMs
seek to influence government. organisations separate government that attempt to influence public policy.
Direct action e.g. demos
Indirect action e.g. use of media, advertise in press
A combination of 1 and 2.
TYPES (MORGAN'S TYPOLOGY 1991)
Interest/Sectional/Protective - trade unions
Causal or Promotional - promote a set of ideas e.g. greenpeace
Episodic/AdHoc/Fire Brigade - just for one purpose, short-lived
Idea or ThinkTank - e.g. Adam Smith Institute
Political Cause - seek to change the organisation of the political system
Latent - never fully developedpapers.
INSIDER - have insider status and are often invited to collaborate on goverrnement policy
OUTSIDER - do not have direct access in this same way.
- feature most in pluralist model
- pluralists see competitors of pressure groups n policy makers as evidence - 'polyarchal democracy' - they are part of the many sources of power equation.
- they monitor the state to prevent it acting injustly or illegally.
NEO-PLURALISTS - 'deformed polyarchy' - some pressure groups have more influence than others because they are better positioned to bargain with policymakers.
MARXISTS - powerful have the strongest voices.
NEW RIGHT - existance of pressure groups destabilise demcracy - there are too many of them vying for political influence.
Loose social groupings seein capitalist societies since 1960s. Groups mre conceted with values, lifestyles and self actualisation.
Focus of such groups on identity politics = active participation, personal development, emotional openess and collective responsibility. Can involve continuous large scale organised collective action. Often focused against the state.
DIANI 1992 - KEY FEATURES:
- an informal netweork of interactons between activist groups, individuals and organisations.
- a sense of collective identity.
- a sense of opposition to or conflict with mainstream politics with regard to the need for social chage.
There tends to be a focus on environmentalism, animal rights, capitalism, human rights, gay rights, e.g. Occupy.
TYPES (HALLSWORTH 1994)
OFFENSIVE - try to gain rights for socially marginal / explore institutional discrimination.
DEFENSIVE - protect the environment against 'risk technology' e.g coal, gas, nuclear power and gas fracking.
Anti-hierachy / low-levels of bureaucracy / demographic participation / local networks.
young 16-30 and 60+, public school and state educated.
Use of new media. Communicate as far as possible outside institutins of the state and its surveilence capability.
DIRECT ACTION BREAKING LAW
Uses direct action e.g. UK Uncut occupying Starbucks. This is situationalism, but it is challenging the offending tax avoiding organisations - it may be seen as tresspass - therefore breakng the law.
NSMs are the direct result of the alienation caused by the capitalist mode of production and consumption. NSMs are a form of counterculture that encourages people to focus on unselfish needs.
In an age of post-capitalist when material needs of population generally met, people turn to seek non-material goals.
In an age of greater importance of production and consumption of knowledge, cultural awareness of the young drives NSMs.
NSMs are cultural rather than political. They appeal to the young as they offer the opportunity to challenge dominant ideologies and change society both spiritually and culturally.
- argues that NSMs provide society with knowledge some people use to make choices about their personal identity.
CROOK ET AL 1992
- in a postmodern society, sociocultural divisions are more important than socioeconomic divisions.
- so, the trad. them and us conflict between employers and w/c has declined. politics is now concerned with more universal issues.
- this has led to the emergence of new political organisations - NSMs that appeal to moral principles as well as lifestyles.
- getting involved in NSMs is both a political statement and a lifestyle choice.
- however not all sociologist agree we're in a postmodern age.
- meta-narratives e.g. religion, still important for explaining acts e.g. terrorism.
Criticised for overstating the decline of social class.
Marxists argue the poor don't enjoy the same access as other sections of society.
GLOBAL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
- there is evidence that NSMs are becoming increasingly globalised.
- global capitalism is responsible for the alienation fuelling an emerging global anticorporate movement.
- 5 aggressive branding and marketing strategies in which superficial mass culture that has led to this alienation:
Sponsorship of cultural events;
Sport branding and sponsorship;
The branding of youth culture;
The branding of identity politics.
- young people are disillusioned with capitalism. this is a result of increasing realisation of what counts as youth identity is now a product of corporate branding.
- people are starting to realise that excessive branding has led to corporate censorship, as well as restriction of real choice.
- governments are now seen as ineffective in the face of global corporate power.
SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF NSMs
- suggests that NSMs have had a significant effect on British politics for several reasons:
- they've mounted a significant challenge to the power of the state.
- introduced innovative methods of protest and put new issues on the political agenda.
- increase political participation in Europe and USA among young people.
- many issue championed by NSMs have been taken up by government and political parties
- improved sociological understanding of the multifaced nature of power - particularly highlighting the ways in which a supposedly neutral state can actually contribute to real inequalities.
Faulks concluded NSMs have mainly served to highlight the problems of the state rather than significantly diminish its power.
THE END OF CLASS POLITICS?
- huge surge in interest for NSMs in last 30 years, but this doesn't mean the end of class politics.
- an examination of the distribution of power, studies of voting behaviour and activities of pressure groups indicate that class and economics still underpin much of the political debate in Britain
- important not to exaggerate the degree of support for NSMs.
- most people are aware of them but not actively involved.
- conventional political parties and pressure groups can still learn a great deal from them, especially their ability to attract the educated, articulate and motivated young.