First Exam Introduction to Labor and Community Organizing
The exam should be typed. Each question should be between 1 and 1and a half type written pages. Answer each question separately and make sure you write down the number of the question you have chosen. I will accept it sooner if you finish it.
Choose three of the issues raised below. Explain the meaning of the concepts you are choosing, for example, what is the definition of “direct action” or a “grassroots community organizing”? Do not use internet sources, your answers must come from the readings, class lectures and discussion, and videos we have seen in class. It is very important to give examples to support what you are saying. The examples may come from the book, lectures, films we have seen. In addition you may write about personal experiences that are relevant.
- Gabriel Thompson argues that community organizing is necessary to fill “the democracy gap.” What does he mean by this phrase? What evidence does he present to support his argument that there is a “democracy gap?” Why does he believe that low income residents must get organized in order to be heard? Explain.
Choose between questions one and two. You must answer one of these questions.
2.Based on the reading and the videos analyze the reasons that individuals join or create community organizations? What do those who join get out of putting in the time and energy that it takes to go to meetings and take on responsibilities. Give at least one example that illustrates your main point(s).
You must answer question 3
3. Direct Action is a risky proposition. It may result in arrests, fines, firings, and bad publicity for the organization doing it. Yet both Frances Fox Piven and Thompson both argue that based on experience, there are times when direct action is necessary if the groups’ objectives are to be met. Explain what each of these authors’ mean by “direct action.” You must use the readings of Piven and Thompson, in addition you may also add your analysis of the videos we saw. Why is the tactic of direct action often effective when other tactics do not work? Give specific examples.
- Throughout the preface and the first two chapters in the Gabriel Thompson’s book, he reveals to us by his words and actions how he sees the role of a community organizer. What are the values and beliefs that guide his relationship with the group of tenants with whom he is working? What skills does he have as an organizer? Give examples.
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