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Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency 1930-1970

Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency 1930-1970

The book by McAdam advances to evaluate the modern movement models within the concept of sociology in the USA. The urge informs the movement of redefining the status quo of marginal groups such as farm employees, women, students, and black people. They aimed to initiate structural economic and political societal changes (Berberoglu, 2018). The current framework within the society was not favorable to them, a factor that sparked the movement. Between the periods of 1931-1954 there emerged social forces modifications, for instance, World War I which curtailed European immigration a factor that resulted to luring of blacks from the North to provide labor in war firms (McAdam, 2010). The number of farm workers increased drastically from 200,000 (1900-1909) to 500,000 (1909-1919) (McAdam, 2010). The Southern states passed laws against such recruitments, a factor that resulted to differences between the Northern and Southern States.

McAdam (2010) adopted psychological theories which attribute to social involvement in civil rights actions with the desire to meet political objectives and managing psychological tensions triggered by the current stressful environment. He addresses the importance of autonomous in the black community in the sense that black people should be allowed to form their churches, have their colleges and protest establishments to help them meet their daily demands.

McAdam (2010) has effectively applied classical theories and the resources mobilization model to achieve his goal. He uses the pluralist model to question the American political structures. The model affirms that political power in the US is shared but does not pay attention to specific groups within the system. From this model, the author discusses the impacts of power distribution which to some point is blind and fails to concentrate the same power to specific groups. The effects generated by the later theory gives birth to the “mass society model” that tries to address the problems of the intermediate groupings in the community.

The resource mobilization model is applied as an alternative thought to the classical model. Unlike the classical model, resource mobilization theory links with the elite model. The theory argues that individuals within a social setting have differing levels of influence. The elites perceive the political structure as a rational mechanism that involves political systems rather than irrational behavior (McAdam, 2010).  Further, the model postulates that the majority of people have control as they can form indigenous groups which can be used to destabilize the already established systems.

On the other hand, the political process theory is used as an alternative model for resource mobilization. Conversely, the author responds to the queries effectively; he reasonably interprets the models. He uses the models to highlight how the civil rights establishments have been applied to restore political uprightness in American society.

In conclusion, the book is super; the author leaves the reader informed about the pleas of the marginalized groups within the society. He uses case studies to point out how the political systems are structured to favor the elites and the few people in society. In his motion, he uses sociological based models to bring out the disparities and offers solutions to the issues at hand (McAdam, 2010). Again, he clearly shows the reader some of the theoretical frameworks from which his empirical analysis are based.


McAdam, D. (2010). Political process and the development of black insurgency, 1930-1970. University of Chicago Press.

Berberoglu, B. (2018). The Palgrave handbook of social movements, revolution, and social transformation. Basingstoke, England: Springer.

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