How Protest Works

Marion Fayolle

“Do protests and social movements matter? Do they really bring about change?” asks CURS Faculty Fellow Kenneth “Andy” Andrews, professor and chair of sociology at UNC-Chapel Hill, in the October 21, 2017 New York Times Sunday Review.

“Answering this question is tricky. It’s not obvious, for example, how much the recent shift to the right in American politics reflects the efforts of the Tea Party movement and how much it reflects deeper developments such as increasing racial hostility and negative reactions to globalization. Sometimes a movement matters far less than the social, economic and political forces that give rise to the movement itself.

When social scientists do uncover evidence of a movement’s influence, we have tended to focus on three main pathways by which movements gain power: cultural, disruptive and organizational. On its own, each pathway turns out to be limited in its effect. But movements that have managed to combine all three, such as the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s, have had lasting impact.”

Read the full article on the New York Times website here.

Lessons From Ferguson About Rights, Race and Place

September 8, 2014Lessons from Ferguson panel

A panel discussion at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library brought together experts from a variety of academic disciplines to explore the recent violence in Ferguson, Missouri.

“Lessons From Ferguson About Rights, Race and Place” was co-sponsored by The Center for Urban & Regional Studies and the Institute of African American Research.  The panelists offered brief remarks on the key underlying factors that led to the events in Ferguson and suggested actions to decrease the likelihood of similar incidents happening in other places, including North Carolina. Continue reading

Upcoming Brown Bag: Immigrant Advocacy in the U.S. South: Sub-federal policy formation and the impact of pro- and anti-immigrant groups

Nina Martin, Assistant Professor, Geography

late 1800s cartoon In this talk, Dr. Martin will present proposed and on-going research exploring the growth, nature, and trajectory of activism around the issue of immigration in the U.S. South, which has seen unprecedented rates of immigration and an upswing of anti-immigrant sentiment. The research seeks to establish a framework for studying the agency, intention, and tactics of civil society organizations and policy makers as they craft legislation effecting those who are largely disenfranchised. Using a mixed methods approach of survey research and open-ended interviews, the research will document the range of responses by immigrant groups on all sides of the debate to the perceived threats and opportunities created by a political environment espousing the “self deportation” of undocumented immigrants. Continue reading