by socmatters

The growing rate of home foreclosures has devastated individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities across the United States.   The Washington Post reported that a group of “foreclosees” recently engaged in collective action in response to this crisis.  The small group marched into the Baltimore office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in an effort to get some kind of public and official response from “The Man”.  These are the real people behind the impersonal news stories peppering papers across the nation.  While this may have been only a symbolic confrontation on some levels, it is characteristic of the kind of direct action used by social movements throughout history.    The individuals in this article may be seen as actively engaging in the social process of defining the foreclosure crisis as a public issue.  Scholars of social movements may argue over whether strain/breakdown or opportunity offer the more appropriate construct for explaining what led to this collective action.   Either way, it is clearer now that foreclosures are a kind of external factor that can stimulate protest activity. 

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 Steven M. Buechler on Theories of Collective Action