Activism Success: A Concept Explication
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Activism is all around us, but its mechanics are little understood and explanations are often idiosyncratic, focusing on particular activism efforts rather than empirically exploring broad patterns. In an effort to create the theoretic underpinnings for broad-cased comparative analysis of activism efforts, this thesis explicates the meaning and measurement of activism success. Activism success is defined along two dimensions: goal achievement and realization of benefit. This study operationalizes the first dimension in an exploratory content analysis, yet significant methodological challenges remain. The new abundance of activism artifacts available online, including citizen-generated and self-published news reports, hold the promise of making distant activism efforts accessible to researchers. Yet problems related to sampling, unitization, and outcome evaluation need to be resolved before large-N comparative studies of activism can be undertaken.
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