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Oppositional Consciousness

The Subjective Roots of Social Protest

How can human beings be induced to sacrifice their lives—even one minute of their lives-for the sake of their group? This question, central to understanding the dynamics of social movements, is at the heart of this collection of original essays. The book is the first to conceptualize and illustrate the complex patterns of negotiation, struggle, borrowing, and crafting that characterize what the editors term "oppositional consciousness"—an empowering mental state that prepares members of an oppressed group to undermine, reform, or overthrow a dominant system.

Each essay employs a recent historical case to demonstrate how oppositional consciousness actually worked in the experience of a subordinate group. Based on participant observation and interviews, chapters focus on the successful social movements of groups such as African Americans, people with disabilities, sexually harassed women, Chicano workers, and AIDS activists. Ultimately, Oppositional Consciousness sheds new light on the intricate mechanisms that drive the important social movements of our time.

Contributors: Naomi Braine, Sharon Groch, Fredrick C. Harris, Jane Mansbridge, Anna-Maria Marshall, Aldon Morris, Marc Simon Rodriguez, Brett C. Stockdill, Lori G. Waite

316 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2001

Political Science: Political Behavior and Public Opinion

Sociology: Social Change, Social Movements, Political Sociology

Table of Contents

-The Making of Oppositional Consciousness
Jane Mansbridge

-Social Movements and Oppositional Consciousness
Aldon Morris and Naomi Braine

-Religious Resources in an Oppositional Civic Culture
Fredrick C. Harris

-Free Spaces: Creating Oppositional Consciousness in the Disability Rights Movement
Sharon Groch

-A Spectrum in Oppositional Consciousness: Sexual Harrassment Plaintiffs and Their Lawyers
Anna-Maria Marshall

-Cristaleño Consciousness: Mexican-American Activism between Crystal City, Texas and Wisconsin, 1963-80
Marc Simon Rodriguez

-Divided Consciousness: The Impact of Black Elite Consciousness on the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement
Lori G. Waite

-Forging a Multimensional Oppositional Consciousness: Lessons from Community-Based AIDS Activism
Brett C. Stockdill

-Complicating Oppositional Consciousness
Jane Mansbridge

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