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In the Interest of OthersOrganizations and Social Activism$
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John S. Ahlquist and Margaret Levi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158563

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158563.001.0001

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Provoking Preferences

Provoking Preferences

(p.155) Chapter 6 Provoking Preferences
In the Interest of Others

John S. Ahlquist

Margaret Levi

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that, while some people have specific and deeply held political commitments, most appear to hold only vague or ill-formed beliefs. People revise and act on them only when challenged to do so in particular contexts, and most have not had such an opportunity prior to joining the union. Presenting members with a specific demand to act jointly and coherently forces them to crystallize their preferences and generates information about their own political and industrial efficacy. The chapter presents interview and oral history evidence to document self-reported changes in political beliefs among the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Waterside Workers' Federation rank and file as a result of their union experiences.

Keywords:   political commitments, ill-formed beliefs, union, industrial efficacy, political beliefs, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Waterside Workers' Federation

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