Democracy in Action

Community Organizing and Urban Change

Kristina Smock

Columbia University Press

Democracy in Action

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Pub Date: January 2004

ISBN: 9780231126731

296 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: January 2004

ISBN: 9780231126724

296 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£87.95

Democracy in Action

Community Organizing and Urban Change

Kristina Smock

Columbia University Press

In cities across the United States, grassroots organizations are working to revitalize popular participation in disenfranchised communities by bringing ordinary people into public life. By engaging local residents in collective action to achieve common goals, community organizing expands the democratic process and enables people to create strong communities that serve their needs.

This book examines the techniques these organizations use to achieve their goals. Through the stories of ten organizations working in economically and racially diverse urban neighborhoods (in Chicago and Portland, Oregon) the author explores the strengths and limitations of the five dominant models of community organizing in use today: power-based, community-building, civic, women-centered, and transformative. Based on original empirical research, the book combines in-depth analysis with invaluable lessons for practitioners.
The work's sharp-edged logic is bracing and it's culminating argument quite suggestive. By bringing together the too-often separated worlds of social movement theorists and community organizers. William Sites, Social Serive Review
Students, residents and community organizers will benefit from the most detailed comparison of contrasting organizing models ever written. Mike Eichler, MSW, Journal of Community Practice
This book stimulates readers to think about these complex issues... It is strongly recommended. Journal of Sociology and Social Wlefare
Part I: Introduction
Popular Democracy and Urban Change
Models of Community Organizing: An Overview
Part II: Organizing the Community
Building Individual Capacity: Developing Local Leaders
Building Community Capacity: Networks and Social Capital
Building a Community Governance Structure
Part III: Creating Urban Change
Diagnosing and Framing the Community's Problems
Taking Action: Strategies and Outcomes
Widening the Scope: Organizing for Broader Social Change
Part IV: Conclusion: Lessons Learned

About the Author

Kristina Smock is a consultant to non-profit organizations working in the fields of community organizing, community development, and public policy.