Porta and Piazza - Chapter 04
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the Repertoires of the Protest
is defined in the sociology of social movements as a "resource of the
powerless ...[protest forms] depend for success not upon direct
utilization of power, but upon activating other groups to enter the
political arena" (Lipsky 1965: 1). Protest uses the mass media as
indirect channels of participation and allows alliances with more
influential actors. In order to obtain a voice, social movements
"employ methods of persuasion and coercion which are, more often than
not, novel, unorthodox, dramatic and of questionable legitimacy"
(Wilson 1973: 227). The same non-conventionality of protest allows
those without power to be heard through the channels of the mass media.
Large public demonstrations, disruptive direct actions or even
symbolically innovative initiatives are those most capable of
attracting the attention of public opinion.