Activism / Advocacy / Protest

Activism /ˈæktəˌvɪzəm/ noun

· 1 taking action to affect social change. It is generally known as a policy or action of vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. · 2 The theory or belief that truth is arrived at through action or active striving. This can be led by individuals but is often done collectively through social movements. Denotes three different levels of resistance; (a)demanding solution to contemporary problems through the taking of oppositional stances to mainstream policies [view protest] (b) Manifested through the creation of alternatives to the dominant system through the construction of new ways of social behavior. (c) Concerned with fundamental change of society and its major institutions.

Advocacyˈædvəkəsi/ noun

· 1 method of resistance seeking to influence a particular cause or policy and resource allocation decisions within institutions and political systems. Generally known as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others. Particularly involved in power relations. Method of resistance sponsored by the typical removal of the subject from a self-affecting cause and mostly concerned with people’s participation and a vision for a just society.  An advocacy group is a pressure group with a set of organizational and political goals trying to influence the government but does not holding power in the government. Some bodies have arisen through globalization, securing nature of influence gaining status as non governmental organizations (NGOs). Within democratic systems typically greater financial resources groups will generally be better able to influence decision making process of government.

Protest /ˈproʊˌtɛst/ noun

· 1 method of resistance through public demonstration, type of campaigning activism; it is an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to disempowering a system. Typically short-term demand-driven demonstration for a change in policy, practice or operations.




Michel Foucault, “What is Critique?” in The Politics of Truth, ed. Sylvere Lotringer (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007)

Notes from Nowhere, “Direct Action Tactics,” from We are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism (Orange County: Orange County Revolutionary Anarchist Collective, 2003)

Bobo, K., Kendall, J., Max, S.(1991) Organizing for Social Change: a manual for activists in the 1990s. Minneapolis, MN. Midwest Academy.

Obar, Jonathan, et al (2012). “Advocacy 2.0: An Analysis of How Advocacy Groups in the United States Perceive and Use Social Media as Tools for Facilitating Civic Engagement and Collective Action.” Journal of Information Policy.