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No ShortcutsOrganizing for Power in the New Gilded Age$
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Jane F. McAlevey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624712.001.0001

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The Power to Win is in the Community, Not the Boardroom

The Power to Win is in the Community, Not the Boardroom

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 The Power to Win is in the Community, Not the Boardroom
Source:
No Shortcuts
Author(s):

Jane F. McAlevey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624712.003.0002

This chapter dissects the relationship between power and strategy, and compares two distinct approaches to social change—the dominating mobilizing approach and the underused organizing approach. It proposes a blended approach called whole-worker organizing that tightly integrates workplace and nonworkplace issues, action, and learning into a holistic strategy. The successes of whole-worker organizing show that where unions understand all workers—union members and unorganized—to be class actors in their communities, and when the workers systematically bring their own pre-existing community networks into their workplace fights, workers can still win, and their wins produce a transformational change in consciousness. Sandwiched between the why and how of deep community engagement is a focused discussion about the difference between organizing and mobilizing, the evolution of the mobilizing model, and why each approach produces different levels of power.

Keywords:   mobilizing approach, organizing approach, whole worker organizing, community networks, community engagement

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