Grassroots

Grassroots

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A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

) is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures. Grassroots movements are often at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give their time to support the local party, which can lead to helping the national party. For instance, a grassroots movement can lead to significant voter registration
Voter registration
Voter registration is the requirement in some democracies for citizens and residents to check in with some central registry specifically for the purpose of being allowed to vote in elections. An effort to get people to register is known as a voter registration drive.-Centralized/compulsory vs...

 for a political party, which in turn helps the state and national parties.

Organizational techniques


Grassroots movement procedures to organize and lobby include:

  • Hosting house meetings or parties
  • Having larger meetings—AGM
    Annual general meeting
    An annual general meeting is a meeting that official bodies, and associations involving the public , are often required by law to hold...

    s
  • Putting up posters
  • Talking with pedestrians on the street or walking door-to-door (often involving informational clipboards)
  • Gathering signatures for petition
    Petition
    A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer....

    s
  • Mobilizing letter-writing, phone-calling, and emailing campaigns
  • Setting up information tables

  • Raising money from many small donors for political advertising or campaigns
  • Organizing large demonstrations
  • Asking individuals to submit opinions to media outlets and government officials
  • Holding get out the vote
    Get out the vote
    "Get out the vote" are terms used to describe two categories of political activity, both aimed at increasing the number of votes cast in one or more elections.- Non-partisan contexts :...

     activities, which include the practices of reminding people to vote and transporting them to polling places.
  • Using online social network
    Social network
    A social network is a social structure made up of individuals called "nodes", which are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.Social...

    s to organize virtual communities


Origins


The earliest origins of the use of "grass roots" as a political metaphor are obscure. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, an early use of the phrase "grassroots and boots" was thought to have been coined by Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Albert Jeremiah Beveridge
Albert J. Beveridge
Albert Jeremiah Beveridge was an American historian and United States Senator from Indiana.-Early years:Albert J. Beveridge was born October 6, 1862 in Highland County, Ohio and his parents moved to Indiana soon after his birth, and his boyhood was one of hard work...

 of Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, who said of the Progressive Party
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

 in 1912, "This party has come from the grass roots. It has grown from the soil of people's hard necessities." In a 1907 newspaper article about Ed Perry, vice-chairman of the Oklahoma state committee, the phrase was used as follows: "In regard to his political views Mr. Perry has issued the following terse platform: 'I am for a square deal, grass root representation, for keeping close to the people, against ring rule and for fair treatment.'" A 1903 news article on a campaign for possible Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 running mate Eli Torrance quotes a Kansas political organizer as saying: "Roosevelt and Torrance clubs will be organized in every locality. We will begin at the grass roots."

Astroturfing



Faking a grassroots movement is known as astroturfing
Astroturfing
Astroturfing is a form of advocacy in support of a political, organizational, or corporate agenda, designed to give the appearance of a "grassroots" movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some...

. Astroturfing, as the name suggests, is named after AstroTurf
AstroTurf
AstroTurf is a brand of artificial turf. Although the term is a registered trademark, it is sometimes used as a generic description of any kind of artificial turf. The original AstroTurf product was a short pile synthetic turf while the current products incorporate modern features such as...

, a brand of artificial grass. Astroturfing means pretending to be a grassroots movement, when in reality the agenda and strategy is controlled by a hidden, non-grassroots organization. In this manner, a faux show is presented, consisting of individuals pretending to be voicing their own opinions.

See also



  • Astroturfing
    Astroturfing
    Astroturfing is a form of advocacy in support of a political, organizational, or corporate agenda, designed to give the appearance of a "grassroots" movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some...

  • Community film
    Community film
    Community Film is a variety of practices and approaches which emerged in the 1970s that claim to interrogate and challenge the dominant use of "film" and "cinema" in association with a global, big budget "industry". DeeDee Halleck noted in her 2002 book "It's one thing to critique the mass media...

  • Community organizing
    Community organizing
    Community organizing is a process where people who live in proximity to each other come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest. A core goal of community organizing is to generate durable power for an organization representing the community, allowing it to influence...

  • Grassroots democracy
    Grassroots democracy
    Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic level of organization: principle of subsidiarity....

  • Narrowcasting
    Narrowcasting
    Narrowcasting has traditionally been understood as the dissemination of information to a narrow audience, not to the general public. Narrowcasting involves aiming media messages at specific segments of the public defined by values, preferences, or demographic attributes. Also called niche...

  • Public relations
    Public relations
    Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....





Further reading


External links