Replication and Purification in Identity-Based Social Movements

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Replication and Purification in Identity-Based Social Movements

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Title: Replication and Purification in Identity-Based Social Movements
Author: Wendell, Alexandra Christine
Citation: Alexandra Wendell, Replication and Purification in Identity-Based Social Movements (April 29, 2013).
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Abstract: Identity-based social movements — such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Movement, and, more recently, the LGBT Rights Movement — have proved a remarkably powerful catalyst of legal and social change. However, commentators have often observed two troubling trends within these movements. First, their agendas are often largely limited to advancing the interests of their most privileged participants. Second, they frequently exclude a wide swath of sympathetic individuals from participating, even though these individuals could potentially help to further the movement’s goals. This paper explores these phenomena, which it refers to respectively as replication and purification, in a way that is not specific to any one identity-based social movement, although it draws examples from many of them. It concludes that social inequality distorts the incentives of identity movement participants in ways that limit the movement’s ability to change the laws and policies that disadvantage its members.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10985169
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