A Reflection of Cultural Power

An observation about the New Social Movements (NSM) in the events at the Sproul Plaza can be critique whether it is a reaction of individual belief or a form of collective culture. Aho summarizes his theory on Christian patriots to the quest of expressing grievances on the politics of righteousness while McAdams pointed out that NSM do not possess a collective identity. Though McAdam concluded that culture and social movements is a multifaceted topic, he observed that the NSM groups are categorized on the quest of identity and “social movements emerges in response to expand political opportunities (McAdam, 1994).

While McAdams discusses that there are four factors why culture change intercedes for social movements namely: Movement goals, the degree of success achieved, connection between distinct social groups, and the establishment of culture he discourses that social movements belongs to a cultural root brought about by organizers or the framers that legitimize or motivates protest activities. These concepts of framing are often stimulated by imposed grievances, the recipient’s vulnerability, and efforts and mobilization of master frames awareness or opposition to events or social conditions of the incumbent situation.

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Aho on the other hand, summarizes that the case of Christian Patriots and its struggle for political righteousness is incoherent or displaced which means that its belief do not belong to a common cultural root as in the question of whether if it is belief or fear that conditions its members? The events taking place at the Sproul Plaza in more than forty years institutionalized the free speech movement became the tool that holds the coalition of the war in Iraq in 2003.

Recruitment is done by student groups by setting up tables a practice known as tabling. The song Sad but true by the Transplants and one of the vocalists named Tim Armstrong a native of Berkeley gave reference to it. The Sproul Plaza was a popular culture that cause movements and effects power through a collective action. The Importance of Culture Ann Swidler gave importance on the sociology of culture that social movement suggests namely the theories behind it, methodology and approaches on how it is carried on.

She began by reviewing the values and convictions or inward beliefs of members which consists of meaningful actions as defined as what people need and how to attain it. To Swidler these are not ideas but “material and principles” or what specifically is valued by the person (Swidler, 1995). Culture defines ones identity, provides reasons for a specific actions, and answers the why’s and how of sets of belief that a group or nation withhold. Knowing and determining ones culture leads to self knowledge and true identity.

Symbols do not constitute ideas but a representation of it and actions are ritual of experiences or in other words a way of life or the course of daily living which comprises norms and customs which includes tradition. These practices are seen publicly and emulate power. In other words, “it is in social movements that you will seek identities and ideologies because culture have greater effect when it is rooted deeply into a collective consciousness (Swidler, 1995).

Further, codes or ethics shown without efforts is a powerful method that creates change. For example the characteristics that differentiates sets of people, persons, or groups pertaining to each uniqueness and heritage. However, these proposed changes may also alter values or concepts especially when it is acted out by new role models for example when femininity is coded to a female gender and masculinity for the male but nowadays both are being challenge to meet new standards like a house husband and a working mom proposes the equality of sexes.

A personal reflection on cultural power Cultural power is a guiding force that safeguards identity and beliefs. It is like a spirit that guides and protects common values be it on the material and spiritual plane. Looking towards the so many facets of religion, one can differentiate what is a human and a supernatural religion. Those imbued with supernatural ends creates compulsory belief for the true end of man.

Human religion changes its belief through the ages but the culture of supernatural religion stands the test of time and guides men towards the economy of grace. This entity is guided with power which is beyond human reason. Cultural power is different from activism or a fad based on popular culture and beliefs. Normally, those short sighted ideologies do not live long. Cultural power has something to do with freedom that leads to man’s infinite search of truth and justice.