Motives: To Riot or not to riot

The reason a person might join a group does not always match up with the reason that the group started up. The motives change from person to person and depending on who does the planning, the group could either be productive or stagnant. They could be violent or peaceful. If a person’s motive in joining the Occupy Wall Street protest is to seek revenge for all of the misfortunes that have happened to him/her, then there is a higher possibility that the planning could become violent, chaotic and emotional. If the protester has the motives of seeking legislation and finds that the group is influential and a means to do so, then if he/she plans it, it is more likely the protest will be a peaceful, organized and logical-oriented. The way it is planned depends on the person who plans it and motives influence the goals and agenda of the group.



4 responses to “Motives: To Riot or not to riot

  1. coffeeshoprhino

    Do you have any evidence to support the claims you have made here?

  2. Do you believe that initial motives are still relevant once the person has joined the group, and the “greater cause” of the movement? In my opinion, if a person joins a group then they have to agree with the group’s motives and goals to a certain extent, or at least enough to join in the first place. I do agree that how a protest is planned has to do with the leaders, and although group mentality can be very influential, it is still up to the individual to act or not. Also I believe that people of similar minds would be more likely to act accordingly, so if someone were already violent, that would only be intensified in the group. However I do not agree with your dichotomy of people’s motives and how that reflects in their planning. Someone who is prone to aggressive behavior may be there asking for legislation, or some other more passive solution, but still take part in or create a riot. It would all just depend on the violence. As describe by Johan Galtung, typically there are three types of violence: structural, direct, and group. The riots of OWS would be considered group violence, which is typically defined as a subgroup of structural violence whereas a group of individuals sharing collective beliefs and ideas, carry out violence onto an opposing group for an any number of reasons. For this to happen there also needs to have been parameters set up by the group, dictating and “in-group” and “out-group,” so the 99% verses the 1%. In these cases of violence, the individual may morph into the group far enough to loose track of their previous identity and only consider their life and ties within the group. This is the explanation for when someone who was not previously violent, becomes violent when acting within the group, under the influence of the group and the leaders. The violence can also be relevant and extend from actual violence onto another human being, or just rioting.

  3. In your opinion, will one individuals motives really matter in the grander scheme of a movement? If a few people join a group for clearly emotional and personal reasons, won’t they be further motivated to act and support the movement because of their emotional investment? I think that supporters of the OWS movement all agree on a similiar casue but have branched out into their specific causes. Do you think that would make the movement more r less effective? There is a certain power in numbers, and even though people may be there for different reasons, their goals could still be accomplished. Violent people joining a cause could bring about violence, but only with other people with violent tendancies. I think in any movement, there are those violent people who join for the wrong reasons, but in the long run it doesn’t turn an already peaceful movement into a riot.

  4. Pingback: Riots And Royals « Flickr Comments by FrizzText

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