Recruiting High-risk Activists: Exploring the Roles of Structural and Cultural Factors
Article first published online: 25 OCT 2013
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 7, Issue 10, pages 880–887, October 2013
How to Cite
Bruni, N. M. (2013), Recruiting High-risk Activists: Exploring the Roles of Structural and Cultural Factors. Sociology Compass, 7: 880–887. doi: 10.1111/soc4.12070
- Issue published online: 25 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 25 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 14 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 6 SEP 2011
What motivates activists to leave the security of their country and the comforts of home to risk their lives on someone else's behalf? This paper summarizes the current literature on how individuals get involved in transnational social movements, including those that require them to put their lives on the line. I begin by outlining structural explanations for participation and specifically discuss how prior contacts and biographical availability draw new recruits into activism. Then, I discuss cultural explanations, which emphasize meaning-making and collective identities in the recruitment process. Finally, I outline scholarly attempts to bridge structural and cultural explanations as well as offer recommendations for future research.