Throughout history, collective action has been used by people trying to achieve (or sometimes prevent) social change. Examples of collective action are food riots in 17th century France, civil rights protests such as the women’s movement and the Mississippi Freedom project, the students’ movement, anti-road protests, nuclear waste resistance, and more recently collective actions such as the Arab Spring, anti-austerity protests in Greece, and, riots in London and Husby to name a few. A common feature of all these events (as most collective actions), are human rights.
Collective action can be conducted by a single person acting as a member of a group, for example signing a petition, or by a collective acting together in for example a rally. Research has mainly focused on predictors to engage in collective action, and the crowd event in itself. This is of course very interesting, but even more interesting, to me, is how participation in collective action affects the participants (both short term and long term). In sum, my research shows that participation in collective action is good for us.