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Dawgtag 850498599 March 26, 2014 SB #2

Stories are everywhere, anyone can tell a story everybody usually does. Telling a story can either spread falsehood or express what unacknowledged truths is. As an author Polletta informs us on how people do not take stories serious and how social researchers overlook them. The book titles It was Like a Fever is derived from the rise of the Civil Rights movement sit ins. Polletta stresses the importance of stories and their vital role in regards to the micro mobilization of activists. She expresses that narratives come with risks as well as benefits (Polletta). Those who want to effect social change try to capitalize on familiar conventions of storytelling. Polletta states they want to frame their message in ways that will rally support. Framing is denoted as schemata of interpretation that enables individuals to locate perceive identify and label occurrences within their life space and the world at large (Reed).the author focuses on bringing out social change, by studying movements that are diverse. In this paper I will explain the author purpose and sociological perspective in regards to narratives. An interesting and very compelling book, each segments points to a different set of broad forms and circumstances, and arguably each virtues additional consideration to the details of the narrative and theoretical analysis. The second chapter continues the ideas begun in the introduction, asking Why People Protest. The third, fourth, and fifth chapters contemplate narrative strategies and ask how diverse stories mean for different tellers in different contexts. The sixth chapter examines more normally at how stories about movements create meaning and impact for the speaker and its audience. The seventh chapter presents her conclusion titled, Folk

Wisdom and Scholarly Tales. While the diversity of story types and genres is sidetracking at times and confusing at others, Polletta does successfully present her point that different goals of social activists can be met through different narrative strategies.

Francesca Polletta is a professor at the University of California, she mainly researches culture, politics and social movements. Her award winning novels are Freedom is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movement and It was Like a Fever. In the novel it was Like a Fever she investigates the political advantages and risks of telling stories especially for disadvantage groups. Popular resolutions of storytelling have aided to replicate the status quo, she argues, less by limiting what disadvantaged groups can imagine than by limiting the occasions on which they can tell authoritative stories. It was like A Fever presents a sociological interpretation of the role of stories and narrative in a variety of situational perspectives concerning protest and politics. The author focuses on culture, culture is used by people practically and creatively to pursue their interest. The term culture defines what counts as practical and what counts as an interest. Polletta expresses that culture is all powerful. Culture is very vital in regards to narratives, it shapes interests and identities. Stories are received differently depending on who is telling the story, when they are telling it and for what reason. This allows Polletta to develop a sociology of storytelling in social movements. She believes that social scholars have not fully explored they ways in which movement for social change. With extensive strokes, Polletta presents a persuasive analysis of why storytelling sometimes does and other times does not work to influence and control social or political changes. Chapter 2 introduces narrative interpretations as interpreted by students participating in sit-ins and organizing the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Many

interesting parallels are drawn between student actions and student narratives as found particularly in student newspapers of the time. In this chapter it expresses how the sit ins begin, which was in February of 1960. This is where the phrase It was Like A Fever was coined. Polletta considers the different frames used in telling the stories and their insistence on certain conventions, including what was portrayed as spontaneity by the speakers and the organization. Polletta tries to focus on why people feel as if things just happen or they dont happen for a reason. She emphasizes on how stories are strategic devices, we cannot deny that stories persuade people. We tell stories to persuade and make sense of the unfamiliar (Polletta). The term means several things, spontaneity denotes the sheer power of more protest. Sitting in was motivated by an imperative to act how that brooked no compromise (Polletta). SNCC stated that there is no way to rationalize gradualism. It will die again and again when every individual will rise to their responsibilities. It died February 1 , 1960 in Woolsworths of Greenboro. Also in the chapter she is trying to put pieces to a puzzle together. One of the most important things she is trying to discover is the difference between the stories social movement scholars tend to tell about the students in the sit in movement for civil rights. How they were well planned, well organized, and well executed. In doing analytical research she figured out what the students meant by the term spontaneous. She came to the conclusion that they meant urgent, moral, local, and something radically different then what was taking place at that time.

Chapter 3 Strategy of Metonymy continues this written inquiry of SNCC stories largely collected in print form. In this chapter she talks about metonymy and how it is similar to metaphors and the context it is used to help convey messages. She introduces Roman Jakobson who talks about how metaphors and metonymy differ. The relationship between the terms is

similarity and the term metonymy is contiguity .she goes in depth about how metonymies produce cause and effects relations. Her reasons for explaining the two terms in depth was to inform us that in movement discourse as well as novels, metonymic relations can be created through repetition. She states the more the metonymic relation is referred to the more conventional it becomes. While chapter 4 considers stories collected from an online discussion about the future of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. Chapter 5, Casting Oneself as a Victim Sometimes Hurts the Cause, uses stories of women, especially from court cases for gender equality and cases investigating domestic violence. Particularly notable in this chapter, but noticeable in others as well, is the absence of many of these voices that are being studied.

Overall I believe that Polletta has well presented a persuasive piece as to how narratives can be important and unimportant. The book is full of insight, if the author wanted us to pay closer attention to the way stories are told within different movements then she definitely conveyed that. The impressive ways as in which she uses narrative to study narratives is quite a creative strategy. With every novels comes strengths and weaknesses, in saying that I believe more could have been emphasized. Pollettas text would benefit from more specific and longer narratives from those whom she researched. By not choosing to use as many direct quotes from her fieldwork and research, and instead simply retelling many stories herself, the author loses the perspective and distinction that other storytellers of the movement may have tried to bring to their personal narratives and stories.

REFERENCES Polletta, Francesca. It Was like a Fever: Storytelling in Protest and Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006. Print.