Why do Patients Protest? Collective Action Processes in People with Chronic Illnesses: A Psychosocial Perspective

Why do Patients Protest? Collective Action Processes in People with Chronic Illnesses: A Psychosocial Perspective

Davide Mazzoni (University of Bologna, Italy) and Augusta Isabella Alberici (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9992-2.ch007
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Despite the relevance of the topic, an exhaustive psychosocial reflection on the processes that may facilitate patients' protest is still missing. The chapter provides a theoretical and empirical overview of psychosocial pathways for patients' collective action. Five core factors are reviewed: perceived injustice, group efficacy, group identification, moral convictions and social embeddedness. Each of them provides a different explanation of collective action processes and is examined for its potential impact among patients. The chapter closes suggesting some core elements for a theoretical explanation of patients' collective action and its relationship with patient engagement. Practical and theoretical implications of patients' collective action are discussed to identify new directions for future research and interventions.
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Quel che ci accomuna è, soprattutto, la scelta di prendere in mano il nostro destino, di essere noi i protagonisti di questo movimento civile ed umano, senza deleghe in bianco a chicchessia.

[What we share is, most of all, the choice to be protagonists of our fate, to be ourselves the protagonists of this civil and human movement without proxies to anyone.]

Alberto Damilano, From the homepage of the Italian networkof people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (website: http://www.comitato16novembre.org/).


Background: Patients As Activists

In the psychosocial domain, collective action is often defined as a specific form of participation where individuals undertake actions as group members, with the aim to improve the group’s conditions (e.g. Wright, Taylor, & Moghaddam, 1990; see also Van Zomeren & Iyer, 2009). According to Wright et al. (1990), collective action is proposed in contrast to individual action, that is specifically directed at improving one’s personal conditions rather than group.

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