Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Racial Tension and Explicit Mentions: Acknowledgement as a Metric for Successful Activism
Authors: Perry, Christian
Advisors: Dancygier, Rafaela
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: This thesis explores the influence of activist groups on political rhetoric. I present a comparative study of pre-Internet movements SOS Racisme and the Black Panther Party, and Internet-borne movements ACLEFEU, and Black Lives Matter, respectively. By comparing groups before and after the advent of the Internet, I’m able to better understand the role of alternative media in garnering political influence. Departing from other scholarly work on the efficacy of activism, I use the number of explicit political acknowledgements each group garners over time as my metric of success. In my first comparison is between the US-based groups, the Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter (BLM), my findings suggest that BLM garnered more explicit mentions during Presidential campaigns, debates, speeches, and press conferences. Although I found large numbers of BLM acknowledgements in Congress, I was unable to compare this finding that of the Black Panther Party due to the inaccessibility of Congressional records during the 1960s and 1970s. During my comparison of the French groups, the findings were somewhat similar. When controlling for relevant acknowledgements, ACLEFEU had twice as many as SOS in a comparable timespan. However, there were little to no acknowledgements of ACLEFEU nor SOS Racisme on the presidential level. To conclude, I situate the number of acknowledgements in the context of policymaking. This is evidenced by BLM’s recent involvement in the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and ACLEFEU’s collaboration on a French City Planning and Urban Cohesion Law of 2013. I conclude that policymakers should be aware of the capability of internet-borne activism groups like BLM and ACLEFEU, as they have shown that they can enter into both political discourse and participate in policymaking.
Extent: 89 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

Files in This Item:
File SizeFormat 
Perry_Christian.pdf635.16 kBAdobe PDF    Request a copy

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.