By Dana R. Fisher
Activism, Inc. introduces the US to an more and more well-known political actor: the canvasser. She’s the twenty-something with the clipboard, preventing you in the street or knocking in your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.Granted unparalleled entry to the “People’s Project,” an unknown but influential association riding left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the real tale of outsourcing politics in the USA. just like the significant firms that outsourced their customer support to businesses in another country, the grassroots campaigns of nationwide innovative movements—including Greenpeace, the Sierra membership, store the kids, and the Human Rights Campaign—have been outsourced at various occasions to this unmarried association. throughout the 2004 presidential crusade, the Democratic get together the same outsourcing version for his or her canvassing.Fisher examines the heritage and motive in the back of political outsourcing at the Left, weaving jointly frank interviews with canvassers, high-ranking political officers around the political spectrum, and People’s venture administration. She compares all of this to the grassroots efforts at the correct, which stay firmly grounded in groups and native politics.This publication bargains a chilling evaluate of the results of political outsourcing. Connecting local community at the streets all through the United States to the nationwide organisations and political campaigns that make up revolutionary politics, it indicates what occurs to the passionate younger activists outsourced to the consumers of Activism, Inc.
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Additional info for Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America
Canvassers from the offices I visited in the summer of 2003 praised the efficiency of the Script, declaring their confidence in it. ” Although they were asked to recite the Script verbatim when they were canvassing, some canvassers did recollect deviating from it to make it more conversational and natural-sounding. Paul, a 20-year-old college student who had been working in the Portland office for three weeks, for example, explained why some canvassers went off Script: After a while, [the Script], which is what we say at the beginning to just kind of hook people and get as much information as possible out there for them, it becomes very automatic and I think you lose .
An enormous amount of hours . . it’s not really clock-in, clock-out, because if there’s any kind of training during the weekend or if there’s any kind of campaign action, basically you’re on call unless you can come up with a really good excuse. So, there really wasn’t much respect for personal life . . We did everything on budget . . [and] there is an expectation of, for instance, if people fly in from out of town for some reason, you’re sort of expected to shuttle them back and forth to the airport, and put them up in your personal home.
Indd 29 5/11/06 11:29:06 AM 30 Institutionalizing Activism described the process: The People’s Project has “whittled it down to a set of pretty good basics . . ” Brandon, who canvassed in the summer of 2002, told me what happened to him: I got thrown into a lot of things pretty much really quickly. My very next day they asked me to come in early and they had me get ready to field manage. It was pretty ridiculous. Maybe it was my second day at work . . Then, I started canvassing awfully, so it was sort of depressing .
Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America by Dana R. Fisher