Case Study: Breakdown Theory V. Resource Mobilization Theory in the case of the Baltimore Riots

LORNA BEGG. Reaction Paper #2

Breakdown theorists and Resource mobilization theorists seek to reveal the societal causes and individual decisions that erupt into non-routine collective action, but their explanations differ drastically. In order to distinguish the differences in these theories, I have chosen to examine the Baltimore riots of 2014 from both a breakdown theorist’s perspective and a resource mobilization theorist’s perspective. According the Useem, the Baltimore riots would be seen as indistinguishably “non-routine.” However, it is to the reader’s discretion to decide what exactly caused the riot’s to erupt, let it be the #Blacklivesmatter movement’s sentiment spread through social media in terms of resource mobilization, or was is the built up anger from repression in terms of a social breakdown theory?

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