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Patterns of ProtestTrajectories of Participation in Social Movements$
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Catherine Corrigall-Brown

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804774109

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804774109.001.0001

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Trajectories of Participation

Trajectories of Participation

(p.39) 3 Trajectories of Participation
Patterns of Protest
Stanford University Press

Many people join social movements or engage in contentious politics at some point in their lives, but not all of them are transformed by the experience become committed, lifelong activists. Some disengage after just one period or participate in a more episodic way (a behavior known as individual abeyance or transfer). This chapter explores how individuals participate in contentious politics over time and the different trajectories that political participation can take over the life course. An understanding of these trajectories can shed light on the rise and fall of campaigns and movements over time. This chapter looks at four trajectories of activism—persistence, transfer, abeyance, and disengagement—and how they differ in the duration and continuity of engagement over time. Using the Jennings and Stoker panel data, it follows individuals over the course of their lives, from 1965 until 1997. It also analyzes the organizational and relational context of political activity and their significance across a variety of organizations and for individuals who are active in protest but not in organized groups.

Keywords:   social movements, political activity, activism, political participation, contentious politics, transfer, abeyance, and disengagement

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