TOWARDS BETTER SOCIETY, OR WHY PEOPLE BECOME ACTIVISTS
Keywords:good society, social activity political activity, collective action, relative deprivation, rational choice, resource mobilization, political opportunities, new social (public) movements, political reframing
AbstractThe author analyses the role of social and political activity of citizens in a “good society” (i.e. suitable for living). It is supposed that this activity drives the transition to a higher-order ideal. However, it implies selective criticism over certain social institutions and processes, rather than the total criticism of the present. The basic theoretical and methodological approaches to studying social and political activity are described in the article. Six most commonly used theories are considered: theory of collective action (J. Dollard, L. Killian, G. Le Bon. N.E. Miller, N.K. Mikhaylovsky, F. Allport, N. Smelser, R. Turner, etc.), relative deprivation theory (T. Gurr, J. Davis, R. Merton, W. Runciman, etc.), rational choice theory (M. Lichbach, M. Olson, K.-D. Opp, D. Chong, etc.), resource mobilization theory (M. N. Zald, D. McAdam, J. McCarthy, S. Tarrow, Ch. TiIly, etc.), political opportunities theory (P. Eisinger, D. Meyer, etc.), the theory of new social movements (S. Buechler, S.D. Kendall, N. Pichardo, A. Scott, etc.) and political reframing (B. Gladarev, A. Demidov, K, Clément, O. Miryasova). The models are presented in the order of their apparition; each of them is currently being developed and represents an attempt to face modern challenges. The author highlights that social and political activity in a “good society” correlates with personal well-being and helps master democratic rules of conduct, and these tendencies are typical both for Western and Russian societies.