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  1. #1
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Our perception of activists and their motivations?

    I am interested in how others perceive the word activist and any role by which how activists may affect your life? I am also curious about the perception of activists in your local social sphere, or in your local media?

    Activists are often portrayed in particular archetypical ways in the media, depending on the intended audience and the message the author wishes to give.

    In a positive sense, activists might be portrayed as idealists, outspoken individuals, those willing to stand up and make self sacrifices for worthwhile causes and speak for those who do not have a voice.

    In a negative sense, activists can be perceived as threatening because they are challenging our way of life, or the status quo at the very least. They can be portrayed as minority group who wish to impose their viewpoints onto the rest of society. Demanding that others change their behaviour, fund particular social projects, or even fundamentally re-think your ideals and way of life. Some of these fears can be real as history shows that revolutionary change is not always beneficial

    Activists can also be perceived as ineffective because they are going against some sort of inevitable grain or trend, or that they lack organisation or the ability to perform useful/necessary actions.
    Yet in the past, certain groups have achieved remarkable success, but we must look at potential failures as well as successes.


    Whether we perceive particular activists as positive or negative also depends on what we perceive to be their motivations.

    Does the background of an activist influence your perceptions?

    But not all activism is concerned with large scale change, or the big name issues. Community activism and consumer advocacy come to mind.

    Does anyone here consider themselves to be an activist?

    I am interested in hearing about your source of motivation, the reasons for which you choice to advocate for a particular cause.
    There are plenty of causes for which we may feel a need for change, but what motivates us to take action?
    A key factor for the lack of action is the fact that activism requires us to volunteer a significant proportion of time with little concrete rewards. Despite any risks.

    There is an interesting guide on becoming an activist, which explains some of the methods and motivations here:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Become-an-Activist

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    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    To redirect discussion about type and activism, I've started a thread here:
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ad.php?t=50864

  3. #3
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Catbert you crazy activist INTP - i think these days activism is more about "everyday people" takng small steps rather than a hard core cadre of a few individuals doing "all the work"
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think of the word activism in the same as the word enthusiast.

    Realistically people trying to get me to adopt ideas are the same as those attempting to get me to adopt a sport, pass time or something like that. Often they have an interest I dont share and a zeal about it.

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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I see activism as a negative expression, usually it's just a group of people railing against something. I'm very interested in the concept and process of change, and activism in itself doesn't necessarily effect change. Expressing a dislike of something can just as well make it less likely for things to change in your direction. Real change takes a hacker; somebody who knows the system and knows what to push and pull to get the right results.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I see activism as a negative expression, usually it's just a group of people railing against something. I'm very interested in the concept and process of change, and activism in itself doesn't necessarily effect change. Expressing a dislike of something can just as well make it less likely for things to change in your direction. Real change takes a hacker; somebody who knows the system and knows what to push and pull to get the right results.
    I've got a similar interest in change too and I'm also not sure that activism effects change, sometimes the aim of activism is to defend something against change, Bagehot talked about a reflective conservatism which aimed at preventing the wrong sort of change while accepting that change itself is inevitable, in some sense I agree with that but the word "conservatism" actually irks me.

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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've got a similar interest in change too and I'm also not sure that activism effects change, sometimes the aim of activism is to defend something against change, Bagehot talked about a reflective conservatism which aimed at preventing the wrong sort of change while accepting that change itself is inevitable, in some sense I agree with that but the word "conservatism" actually irks me.
    Ah, I didn't consider defensive activism. Yeah, that's a different ball game.

  8. #8
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Well, I view activism very positively because (1) it demonstrates the ability and willingness of individuals to collect and organize, which speaks positively about human inclinations to freedom and the willingness to stand up to power, and (2) because it has been historically shown to be efficacious.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

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    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I see activism as a negative expression, usually it's just a group of people railing against something. I'm very interested in the concept and process of change, and activism in itself doesn't necessarily effect change. Expressing a dislike of something can just as well make it less likely for things to change in your direction. Real change takes a hacker; somebody who knows the system and knows what to push and pull to get the right results.
    When writing the OP, I came across definitions such as "proactive activism" and "reactive activism". The latter being oriented towards conservation in some way (not to be confused with being conservative in the American political sense).
    Proactive activism can be considered to be constructive, but I guess we need to demarcate between those who want revolutionary change and those who wish to improve something in an incremental manner (progressive change).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Well, I view activism very positively because (1) it demonstrates the ability and willingness of individuals to collect and organize, which speaks positively about human inclinations to freedom and the willingness to stand up to power, and (2) because it has been historically shown to be efficacious.
    What about activism which involves the exercise of power rather than resistance to it? What about activisim which involves responsiblity or duty being exercised rather than freedom? Or is that the essential difference between activists and the authorities be they soldiers, police, social workers, teachers, doctors or other professionals?

    Also is the definition we're dealing with there a narrow political one or a broad cultural one? Like I said I know people who by my definition could be considered activists for particular lifestyles and products and this is in a definition which is only remotely political, perhaps, such as those who promote one sort of phone and broadband service rather than another.

    In some sense I once thought that activists and agitation were great ideas, when I was younger, although even then I was often surprised at the people who I found were either activists or agitators, some of whom really impressed me as using politics as a flag of convenience for their own issues, either being unable to bear any authority what so ever or being closet authoritarians themselves. Now, as I say, I consider them to be people who are enthusiastic to a fault nearly.

    It also corresponds to one of the things which I think is wrong with politics, particularly ideological politics or identity politics, it is a category apart from simply living, it is behaviour which in some way is different from or exceptional to the norm and daily life.

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