Cultural Dilemmas of Progressive Politics
Styles of Engagement among Grassroots Activists
Through case studies of grassroots movements—particularly the economic justice work carried on by congregation-based community organizing and the pursuit of human rights by local members of Amnesty International—Hart shows how these groups develop distinctive ways of talking about politics and create characteristic stories, ceremonies, and practices. According to Hart, the way people engage in politics matters just as much as the content of their ideas: when activists make the moral basis for their activism clear, engage issues with passion, and articulate a unified social vision, they challenge the recent ascendancy of conservative discourse.
On the basis of these case studies, Hart addresses currently debated topics such as individualism in America and whether strains of political thought strongly informed by religion and moral values are compatible with tolerance and liberty.