Collective Action and Student Protests
December 12th, 2010

The associated site for Social and Personality Psychology Compass Social Psychology Eye analysed Collective Action from a social psychology perspective and relates it to the Student Protests in London this week.

Whenever large masses of people take to the streets to express a common goal, it provides an opportunity for social scientists to examine the specific psychological processes which must take place for people to engage in collective action. Much research has been done looking at the reasons people decide to engage in collective action and the factors that lead action to be normative or non-normative, but there is still so much more to learn. Why do some people take part in action and other don’t? What makes those people get involved and what factors predict the type of action they use?

In a very thorough review of collective action research thus far, in an article in Social Issues, Stephen Wright discusses a number of factors that predict collective action including social identity and other well-known psychological theories. He also discusses some new directions psychologists interested in action may want to consider when developing research and theories on the topic.

Read more: Giguere, B. & Lalonde, R. N., (2010). Why Do Students Strike? Direct and Indirect Determinants of Collective Action Participation

Read more: Wright, Stephen. (2009). The Next Generation of Collective Action Research. Social Issues.

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