Mobilization: Decision Theory

Mobilization: Decision Theory

Idongesit Williams (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3479-3.ch098

Abstract

Mobilization is an aspect in every sphere of human endeavor. It is the underlying force enabling the actions evident around us, be it in organizations, our individual lives, society and in governance. There are lots of social theories that provide insights into the dynamics of most actions. These could be actions triggered by individuals or groups. However, social theories that actually explain the main reasons as to why mobilization occurs are either rare or very contextual. In some of these cases, mobilization is treated as a process. But if we think about it, Mobilization is a result of a decision. The decision could either be a conscious or an unconscious decision. There ought to be rational factors that explains why these decisions are made towards mobilization. This is because the choice not to mobilize would also have been triggered by a set of factors. This chapter utilities social movement theories, actor network theory, the logic of collective behavior, and the community-based mobilization networks to attempt to identify the factors that will trigger the decision to mobilize.
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Background 1 - A Review Theories With Clues To Mobilization

There are different theories that identify mobilization as a conceptual process that results in an action. Most of these social theories that explain and analyze social movements (Peterson, 1989). However, social theories that investigate the concept of mobilization are rare. As a result, questions as to why and how mobilization occurs are often left unanswered. Answers to these questions can be induced from social theories. This is because these theories explain and analyze collective behavior. These theories also provide explanations for “why social movements emerge” (Peterson, 1989). There are other theories one can rely on. However, in this section, the supporting theories of from which the answers will be deduced are the Actor Network Theory (ANT), and the Logic of collective behavior. The community mobilization approach was considered but later, dropped. This was because ANT and the social movement theories seemed to hold the key to explaining community mobilization. The ANT provides clues as to why and how mobilization could occur and the Logic of collective behavior because it presents a clue on people or groups allow themselves to be mobilized (Olson, 1971).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobilization-Decision Theory: This is a theory that explains why mobilization occurs and why people decide to allow themselves to be mobilized.

Mobilization: The process of assembling and engagement of resources in order to perform an action.

Collective Action: A collaborative or cooperative action performed by a group of people, governed by self-interest, aimed at achieving a common vision.

Mobilization-Decision: This can imply either the decision to mobilize or the decision to allow oneself to become mobilized to perform an action.

Community Mobilization: The process where a group of humans participates in a collective decision-making aimed at influencing situations that affects the group.

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