ArticleCritique: OfPots and Pans and Radical Handmaids: Social Movements and CivilSociety byOrsin (2014)
Thearticle by Orsin(2014) entitled “Of Pots and Pans and Radical Handmaids: SocialMovements and Civil Society” examines the changing outlook of thesocial movements, focusing on the context of Canada. The author isinterested in ascertaining whether this new wave of changes warrantsnew theories and tools to study them. In his view, many movements aretypically concerned about challenging policies perceived to beunpopular. While many of these movements succeed in reversingpolicies through articulations, their actions seldom stop there —they look for other areas to engage and push reforms. To some extent,the goals of movements might be hinged on cultural stand towards thecapitalist systems, with Occupy Movement as one of these examples.While the author finds it intriguing why certain movements only occurduring certain historical times, he is convinced that they willalways interact with the state and the conventional institutions suchas the courts to articulate their voices and transform them topolitical issues. However, in terms of how the groups and movementsshape the political landscapes itself, he notes that there are someforms of changing beliefs and values concerning collective actionexpressions of dissent.
Forthe purpose of critique, several questions are considered and listedas follows
What are the implications of the arguments in the reading?
What are the practical consequences for policy analysis or policy-making from the reading?
Are there important weaknesses or contradictions in the reading?
What assumptions are being made in the reading?
Are the assumptions warranted?
What evidence does the author present?
Does it support the general argument?
Is the argument persuasive?
If so, why? If not, why not?
What are the areas that need to be clarified?
Certainly,the author’s arguments are insightful and imply that the staturesocial movements are transformative, rather than static, and needs tobe conceived as such. The consequence of the insights to thepolicymakers is that conventional approaches to social movementissues will certainly not be all that will be needed to streamlinethe political landscape — there has to be a new thinking to keepabreast with the evolving state of social movements. The author issystematic in defending his position and does not create an area ofself-controversies or gaps to thrive. The author assumes that,largely, social movements are a response to ways of capitalism.Indeed, such an assumption is warranted because of the wave ofmovements such as the Occupy Wall Street, which have sharplycriticized overexploitation and growing interference of thegovernment by the powerful capitalist figures, corporations andindividuals. For every assertion that is made, the author makes surehe covers them with reference citations and observable examples. Theevidence presented is consistent and verifiable, and supports theassertions in the general document. Moreover, the author integratestheory and research study knowledge to solidify his evidence.Therefore, the document is persuasive. However, the author may needto do much in clarifying whether the political landscape that isbeing experienced in Canada so far as the social movement and theirconcern could be generalized to other contexts such as the MiddleEast, United States and the other parts of the world. Certainly, suchinformation would play a crucial role in fostering an understandingof the evolving place of political movements in the entire globe, asa whole.
Orsin,M. (2014). “Of Pots and Pans and Radical Handmaids: SocialMovements and Civil Society”, In J. Bicketon, & A.Gagnon.CanadianPolitic.University of Toronto Press