Principles of Social Action

Principles of Social Action

Considering Gandhian principle of mobilisation as a typical example of the direct mobilisation model of social action Britto (1984) brings out the following principles of social action:

 The Principle of Credibility Building :

It is the task of creating public image of leadership, the organisation and the participants of the movement as champions of justice, rectitude and truth. It helps in securing due recognition from the opponent, the reference public and the peripheral participants of the movement. Basically Social Action initiates some programs at any particular area and people of that locality are the participants of this programe. So, This programe should be credible and clear about its goal, objectives, process, facilities etc. to them .
Credibility can be built through one or many of the following ways:
1)    Gestures of goodwill towards / Managing the opponent : It’s the most important to implement any social action to manage oppositions, nor they’ll create many problems against it, by round-table discussion, understanding facilities for them, meeting, conference etc.
2)    Setting/Creating Examples : This is also another important way to make the programe credible by creating examples such as programe on “Education for all in Rural area” and examples as To get good job education is compulsory or To get free from exploitation education is necessary.
3)    Selection of typical, urgently felt problems for struggles / Instant facilities in emergency : The leaders gain credibility if they stress on the felt-needs of the people.By doing this the programe will be more reliable to the people. This programe will be more credible if it’s taken on the favour of locality and the major problems of the locality. As for the programe on “Education for all in Rural area” supply free educational materials or build some educational institutions.
4)   Success : Successful efforts help in setting up credibility of the leader and the philosophy he/ she is preaching. If this programe runs into successful way then gov’t initiate/take an extend effort and also NGOs help to make it success.

Principle of Legitimisation:

Legitimisation is the process of convincing the target group and the general public that the movement-objectives are morally right. The ideal would be making a case for the movement as a moral imperative. Leaders of the movement might use theological, philosophical, legal-technical, public opinion paths to establish the tenability of the movement’s objectives. Legitimisation is a continuous process. Before launching the programme, the leaders justify their action. Subsequently, as the conflict exhilarates to higher stages and as the leader adds new dimension to their programme, further justification is added and fresh arguments are put forth. Such justification is not done by leaders alone. In the course of their participation, followers too, contribute to the legitimisation process. Following are the three approaches to legitimisation:
1)    Theological and religious approach to legitimisation: This programe should be religiously and thologically purified and must avoid any contradictory issue.
2)    Moral approach to legitimisation: This programe should be free from irregularity, corruption, nepotism, deviant issues but there’ll be on the basis of justice , proper allocation, integrity, morality, honesty, equality etc.
3)    Legal-technical approach to legitimization: It’s important to follow the national policies, existing laws and understanding social rules and regulations to legitimize the programe.

Principle of Dramatisation:

Dramatisation is the principle of mass mobilisation by which the leaders of a movement galvanize the population into action by emotional appeals to heroism, sensational newsmanagement, novel procedures, pungent slogans and such other techniques. Almost every leader mobilising the masses, uses this principle of dramatisation. Some of the mechanisms of dramatisation could be:
1)    Use of Poems & Songs: Programe related songs and poems also dramatize people such in 1971 there’re a lot of poetry and songs related to liberation war that inspired to the freedom fighters to fight for the country.
2)    Powerful speeches: This is also a crucial way of motivating & understanding the masses and creating drama-effect.
3)    Role of women: Making prominent/ inspired/influenced women lead marchers was a technique which gave a dramatic effect to the movement.
4)    Boycott: This is a violent approach. Boycott is also an effective way of influencing public opinion both when the effort is successful and when it is crushed. Possession, People chain, Picketing and ‘hartals’– voluntary closure of shops and other organisations, use to dramatise the issue. But everything should be in honest procedure (integrity, justice, morality) by Heroism or Leadership.
5)    Slogans: Jokkha Valo hoy, Say no to Drugs, HIV/AIDS– knowledge is prevention, etc. are some of the slogans used to give dramatic effect to various social movements.

Principle of Multiple Strategies:

There are two basic approaches to development: conflictual and nonconflictual. Taking the main thrust of a programe, one can classify it as political, economic or social. The basket principle indicates the adoption of  a multiple strategy, using combined approaches and also a combination of different types of programmes. Zeltman and Duncan have identified four development strategies from their experience of community development. These have been framed for use in social action. They are:
1)    Educational strategy: In this strategy, the prospective participants are educated at the individual, group and mass level. This is one of the basic requirements of social action. People or target groups are given necessary information about the issue. By creating awareness people are motivated and persuaded to participate in the movement. Education by demonstration is an important aspect of this principle. Demonstration has deep impact on the knowledge retention of the target population.
2) Persuasive strategy: Persuasive strategy is the adoption of a set of actions/procedures to bring about changes by reasoning, urging and inducing others to accept a particular viewpoint. It means the managing people in terms of seeking opportunities for dialogue with his opponents, rally, oratory and gentle presentation of arguments, using meeting , conference, banners, posters, placards, leaflets, electric media, dailies and visit door to door etc.   
4)    Facilitative strategy: This refers to a set of procedures and activities to facilitate the participation of all sections of society in the mass movement.
5)    Power strategy: It involves the use of coercion to obtain the desired objectives. The forms of coercion may vary such motivation, campaign, persuasion, and rebellion activities.(ex- gov’t initiative free and compulsory primary education and to implement it , in initiative stage coercion should apply)

Principle of Dual Approach:

Any activist has to build counter-systems or revive some unused system, which is thought to be beneficial to the mobilised public on a self-help basis without involving the opponent. This is a natural requirement consequent upon the attempt to destroy the system established/maintained by the opponents. Then use 2nd approach Self-help approach (help people individually not in group)

Principle of Manifold Programmes:

It means developing a variety of programmes with the ultimate objective of mass mobilization. These can be broadly categorized into three parts:
1)    Social (Health, Education, illiteracy, awareness, nutrition, counsel, vexin, community based health services – surjer hasi, sobuj chata etc.)
2)    Economic (employment, VT, micro-financing, human resources development, marketing, self-entrepreneurship, level of standard, investment etc.)
3)    Political (participation, election, voting, public opinion,rally , meeting, democracy, gov’t, campaigning etc.)

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