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Show me what Democracy looks like: Socialization tactics in a nonprofit activism organization
Socialization tactics in a nonprofit activism organization
Ahumada, Juan I
Lindemann, KurtGeist-Martin, PatriciaJoassart, Pascale
In recent years, the United States has seen an unprecedented increase in the number and frequency of protests and acts of civil disobedience taking place in communities across the nation about such diverse topics as the environment, the banking industry, and police abuse. Along with the significant increase in protests, the number of activist organizations has steadily risen in the past decade. Organizations such as Occupy Wall Street, Wolf-PAC, and 350.org make up just a small portion of the hundreds of volunteer, activist organizations active today. Given that these mostly volunteer organizations continue to grow in number and influence, it is important to understand how they operate and how they manage to successfully remain active throughout the years. Further, because of the nature of activism and civil disobedience, it is also necessary to understand how trust plays a role within these organizations. Volunteer and nonprofit organizations have typically been a neglected context of study within the organizational communication literature; it is a context that can bring about unique challenges within the socialization of new members due to the financial and structural limitations volunteer organizations must endure. Using an ethnographic approach, this study attempts to understand how organizational socialization tactics are used within the organization SD350, an all-volunteer activism nonprofit organization. Additionally, this study also considers the role that trust plays in the socialization process, and how trust is communicated when members of these organizations engage in activism. Results indicate that socialization tactics are used to reinforce member identity within the organization, trust is communicated through the notion of "accountability," and social tactics inform the communication of trust via mentor-mentee relationships.
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2015
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