Social Movements Essay 4

Submitted By shefitk
Words: 834
Pages: 4

Shefit Koboci
Dr. Silverman
Comparative Social Movements
June 8, 2015
Rules for Organizers To understand a definitive rule that guides organizers of science or health-based social movements it is especially important to understand the varying theories that are brought forth to give a clear understanding of those social movements. Advocates of resource mobilization would choose to emphasize the importance of societal support through examining the resources that are available during certain social movements. Other scholars argue that just focusing on the resources at play during a social movement does not do enough in giving a full and clear explanation as a guiding rule for social movement organizers. Advocates of politics of knowledge as explained by Alondra Nelson would argue that the real rule for organizers of health and science based social movements would say that it is essential to understand how a particular social movement is challenging current science and thereby making scientific data political. There is no clear rule between scholars and there are many other variations of these two rules and other numerous rules that attempt to explain a rule for organizers. However I believe that the politics of knowledge as explained by Alondra Nelson does the best as a rule for organizers of social movements. This is explained through various readings and observed throughout history. Scientific knowledge is usually thought of as something that is very definitive meaning that results of certain scientific data are usually not up for much debate. The evidence is clearly shown and it clearly leads to a definitive answer. With regard to social movements that are science based or health based it is especially important to challenge the scientific thinking or there will not be any change done. The whole goal of the social movement is for change to take place and without challenging the current views then there will not be any change taking place an the social movement will fail. This is especially apparent in the book, “Tom’s River” written by Dan Fagin in which describes the story of how chemical companies were dumping in Toms River, New Jersey. Dan Fagin explains that for years and years the chemical companies that were responsible for the industrial pollution that was going on in Toms River was not their fault and that the dumping had nothing to do with the negative effects that was happening to the people of the town. This entire book definitely shows the importance of what Alondra Nelson describes as the Politics of knowledge. It was especially important for people like Michael Berry in Toms River to not just blindly accept what the chemical companies were telling him as fact. Instead Barry decided conduct a comprehensive analysis of cancer in Toms River. The central importance of a social movement is to challenge the status quo meaning the importance of a science social movement is to challenge the science status quo. Moreover Alondra Nelson’s “Politics of Knowledge” goes hand and hand with what Brown et al describe as Embodied Health movement. Brown et al say that “Embodied health movements (EHMs) address disease, disability or illness experience by challenging science on etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.” (Brown et al. 52) That is to say a movement that is aimed at tackling directly expert