An Ethnography of Gun Violence Prevention Activists

“We are Thinking People”
by Teal Rothschild
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Publisher: Lexington Books

Publication Date: October 25, 2018

ISBN: 9781498555050

Binding: Kobo eBook

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This work builds on established literature that is centered on how the activists see themselves, their groups, and the national movement promoting gun violence prevention. This study focuses on two contemporary social organizations that are working on the state level, who view themselves as ‘gun violence prevention’ advocates. Both of these groups are similar in their state focus of advocacy of gun violence prevention in a northeastern state in the United States. However, the two groups have two distinct memberships, missions, and hierarchies to carry out the activism. Although each organization shares similar visions of long term goals of a reduction of gun violence, each prioritizes the path to get there differently. Additionally, there are some explicit and implicit tensions between the movements that the activists both verbalize and ‘act out’ at rallies and public events. The focus on the conflict between activists within the larger movement of gun violence prevention activists is important, but do not necessarily thwart all progress for the cause. Rather, tension between the groups creates a reassessment of individual group goals and strategies that may be the most essential to advance the cause.