The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win…

Paperback | June 15, 2015

byDeva R. Woodly

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The way that movements communicate with the general public matters for their chances of lasting success. Deva Woodly argues that the potential for movement-led political change is significantly rooted in mainstream democratic discourse and specifically in the political acceptance of new issuesby news media, the general public, and elected officials. This is true to some extent for any group wishing to alter status quo distributions of rights and/or resources, but is especially important for grassroots challengers who do not already have a place of legitimated influence in the polity. Byexamining the talk of two contemporary movements, the living wage and marriage equality, during the critical decade after their emergence between 1994-2004, Woodly shows that while the living wage movement experienced over 120 policy victories and the marriage equality movement suffered many policydefeats, the overall impact that marriage equality had on changing American politics was much greater than that of the living wage because of its deliberate effort to change mainstream political discourse, and thus, the public understanding of the politics surrounding the issue.

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The way that movements communicate with the general public matters for their chances of lasting success. Deva Woodly argues that the potential for movement-led political change is significantly rooted in mainstream democratic discourse and specifically in the political acceptance of new issuesby news media, the general public, and elec...

Deva R. Woodly is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The New School.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 1.1 inPublished:June 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190203994

ISBN - 13:9780190203993

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Discursive Power of Movements1. Mainstream Discourse, Public Meaning, and the Political Character of Persuasion2. A Tale of Two Movements- Living Wage3. A Tale of Two Movements- Marriage Equality4. The Discursive Architecture of Resonance5. Political Acceptance and the Process of Political Change6. From Marginal to MainstreamConclusion: After Acceptance - the Tea Party, Occupy and Prospects for political transformationAppendix AAppendix BBibliography