Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Kylie Skorupa

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Political Science

Advisor(s)

Dr. Kristin Wylie

Dr. John Hulsey

Dr. Jennifer Byrne

Abstract

Social movements are the basis for social change, started when a group challenges political authority and ending when its goals have finally been met. Social movement theory names many factors commonly found in social movements such as movement structure, leadership, framing, symbolic representation, resources, transnational activism, political opportunity, and media coverage, as well as many indicators of success including advocacy, public awareness, and policy change. It is vital to understand the indicators of success and their interplay within the movement to evaluate how a movement achieved success. This thesis seeks to examine these eight factors within the social movement MONDHA, or the Movimiento por los Derechos Humanos, la Paz, y la Justicia Global, located in the Dominican Republic. This social movement started to protest the implementation of Resolution 12, which has revoked the citizenship of a large group of Dominicans of Haitian descent. The factors were assessed through a semi-structured interview process with members of the movement in a weeklong fieldwork trip. Results indicate that while the organization has not achieved policy change, it was quite successful in meeting its interim goals, such as public awareness. The research also points to the varying influence of each factor on success. Some factors at once promoted interim goals and hindered policy change. More research must be done in order to study how these factors play out in different populations in order to make better assessments of future social movements.

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