By Dana R. Fisher

Activism, Inc. introduces the USA to an more and more normal political actor: the canvasser. She’s the twenty-something with the clipboard, preventing you in the street or knocking in your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.Granted remarkable entry to the “People’s Project,” an unknown but influential association using left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the genuine tale of outsourcing politics in the United States. just like the significant enterprises that outsourced their customer support to businesses overseas, the grassroots campaigns of nationwide innovative movements—including Greenpeace, the Sierra membership, store the kids, and the Human Rights Campaign—have been outsourced at assorted instances to this unmarried association. throughout the 2004 presidential crusade, the Democratic occasion an analogous outsourcing version for his or her canvassing.Fisher examines the heritage and reason in the back of political outsourcing at the Left, weaving jointly frank interviews with canvassers, high-ranking political officers around the political spectrum, and People’s undertaking administration. She compares all of this to the grassroots efforts at the correct, which stay firmly grounded in groups and native politics.This ebook deals a chilling evaluation of the implications of political outsourcing. Connecting local community at the streets all through the US to the nationwide organisations and political campaigns that make up revolutionary politics, it exhibits what occurs to the passionate younger activists outsourced to the consumers of Activism, Inc.

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Extra resources for Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America

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Canvassers were not encouraged to express their own personal politics in individually motivated ways. Instead, they were given very clear signals from the organization about how to engage and when. A handful of the summer 2003 canvassers found their personal politics to be more leftleaning than those of the organization. Although they had joined the People’s Project to earn a living while furthering causes they believed in, after working at the canvass office many became bothered by its focus on money and fundraising.

M. Street canvassers assemble for announcements earlier because they aim to recruit members during traditional business hours. indd 21 5/11/06 11:29:05 AM 22 Institutionalizing Activism Announcements serve multiple purposes for the campaign offices: they introduce observers and trainees to the office and its members, they review the campaign’s targets, they summarize the office’s progress toward those goals, they recognize the most successful canvassers from the previous day, and they split up the canvassers into crews for the day’s work.

Or you’re not conveying as much of your sincerity as you should. When you first get at it, you might be stumbling through the thing, but people really understand, you know, the sincerity of what you’re doing comes out. If you’re just kind of running through something, you sound like . . a used car commercial ‘cuz you’re going really, really fast . . I’m still as sincere, probably more sincere . . now, because I know more about the organization and what it’s doing. But, at the same time, it’s like I’m not conveying that as well.

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