Southern Textile Movement Analysis

Decent Essays
The Southern textile movement in 1934 and the recruitment of youth Egyptians might initially seem completely unrelated. While, the two movements vary significantly in what they are trying to accomplish, they still have have some overlap with tactics of mobilization. The 1934 workers strike was one of largest known workers strike in America’s history and the ongoing recruitment of Egyptian youth is an ongoing response to the aggravation about the current economy. The definition of a social movement has been challenged in the comparison of these two seemingly dissimilar “movements”. The idea of opportunity structures is that people are supposed to follow certain rules to be successful, but not everyone can have that success so people have…show more content…
During the 1934 strikes, in addition to using the radio, two other significant tactical innovations were flying squadrons and dancing pickets. According to Roscigno and Danaher (2004), “the squadrons themselves were groups of mill hands who would travel in cars or trucks through the countryside to a mill that was still running” (p. 114). The consciousness and identity of many southern mill workers took on a regional and intercommunity character. While the workers were on strike on the picket lines, many began to sign songs of solidarity called the “dancing picket”. “Music and dancing bolstered strikers’ sense of community and helped them deal with the tedium and fear they felt while on the picket lines” (Roscigno & Danaher, 2004, p. 110). The flying squadrons were definitely met with resistance from the mill owners, which led to the arrest or even death of many. The strikes began to die down a workers headed back across the picket line and a few weeks later the strike ended after Roosevelt proposed the Winant…show more content…
The music performed during the strikes demonstrated the awful and unfair conditions workers dealt with on a daily basis like long hours, injuries, and rare breaks. There was a distinct feeling that the “company” owns and controls the lives of the worker’s too much. Radio allowed for the grievances to be created through the use of oppositional framing. Additionally, the Islamist groups targeted Egyptian youth because they were vulnerable and resentful of the current employment opportunities. According to Wickham (2002), “the Islamist da‘wa tapped into these grievances and portrayed Islam as the means to fundamentally transform the conditions in which they were rooted” (p. 160). The efforts of both movements were to try to use the resentment of the authoritarian structures or unfair conditions to mobilize people. While the recruitment of Egyptian youth into groups like the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have been more successful than the strikes, they both provide great insight into how mobilization occurs. It is clear that there is change in some parts of social movement development, but also certain elements remain critical like the creation of grievances and solidarity. Studying the different topics has led to a greater appreciation of the diversity of social
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