Re-examination of the social action process of the C.Y.C. experience
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AbstractThe concept of social action has had several severely contrasting meanings. This thesis has been addressed to the term's utilization in its more restricted sense as a form of social practice in which social change goals are paramount. An earlier consensual model, now more properly described by terms derived from other social processes, is presently being replaced by a practice model in which elements of obstruction to change and of conflict are fundamental components. This model has evolved pragmatically and unsystematically. Commitment to goal has not been matched by attention to process. Also insufficient attention both in practice and in analysis has been given to important action system components and intersystem consequences. These deficiencies threaten program continuation and program outcomes. Further work is needed to advance the adequacy and utility of the social action model. This thesis is a contribution to this end. It identifies the phenomena previously referred to and examines their significance in the events affecting the practice of the model in an important organizational attempt to apply it; that is the op erations of the Company of Young Canadians. iii Among the hypotheses are the following: A social action program (by definition containing conflict characteristics) will evoke a counter acti on from the target institutions; neglect of supportive processes produce poi nts of vulnerability which draw the counter action; failure to develop internal cohesion reduces the capability for effective defense or response; failure to attempt to achieve coalitions with potential ly supportive systems deny a possible strength and contribute to a program's isolation; failure to develop a strategic analysis with respect to goals and means obscures the political contingencies within which a program operates; internal splintering with respect to goals is amplified by the counter action and results in the reduced ability to continue the action focus; the outcome is the termination of the fundamental components of the model. These h ypotheses seem to be confirme d in the experience of t h e C.Y.C . The positive inclusion in the model of t hese elements identified in the h ypotheses constitutes a set of contributions to the s trengthening of a social ac t ion practice model.
Bibliography: p. 147-154.