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My photos

Sunday, July 30, 2006 by Jeff

There's a new link there to the right. And there's new stuff to see.

Leaving Seattle

by Jeff

You've been waiting with baited breath, I know. Well I'm home. Actually, I think both readers of this blog already know this. If it's news to you, by all means leave a comment so I can feel good that you care. We're trying to build a loving community here, so feel free to express yourself. This is a safe space.

No, I didn't accomplish enough in Seattle, but I did come away with 22 interviews and a better idea of the scope of this undertaking. There are way more activist organizations out there than I'd expected (call me naive, but where do you expect me to begin?). It remains to be seen how I'm going to learn about all of them. Most likely I'll have to select a random sample and do some phone interviews, internet searches, and I'll consider making a return trip up there. Consequently, graduation will have to wait until 2008.

Some broad patterns are already apparent. Environmentalism and peace activism have dominated Seattle activism since 1999, at least in terms of organizational density. The religious community has an oblique presence in the field, playing more of a supporting role than an activist one. Organizations here use surprisingly few confrontational tactics. Instead they choose one of two general models and stick to them, lobbying and targeting decisionmakers ("interest group politics") or protesting and emphasizing public outreach and education ("grassroots activism"). Why in the world would anyone choose one model over the other?

But, methodological questions at the moment far exceed theoretical ones.

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What's not to enjoy?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 by Jeff

I graduated from college in Bellingham, Washington, and my sister lives there now. My friends who didn't move to Seattle still live there, and this weekend I visited two of them. Do you enjoy, as I do, introducing new girlfriends to old friends? It's a way to connect my present to my past, my best friend to my history. They don't always establish a profound union, but like a hint to a riddle, they are a little closer to understanding me. What's not to enjoy about that?

We strolled this waterfront trail 3 miles out of downtown and bussed back.
When hanging out with 7 year-old boys, video games are bound to appear eventually. This is me with old friend Jason - musician, carpenter, tattoo artist, father - and Bela the Playstation II afficionado.
Turns out this is an easy way to get a beaming smile out of Ben. What's not to enjoy?

As of today...

Thursday, July 06, 2006 by Jeff

Nine interviews down, five in the works. Two-and-a-half weeks to go. Poco a poco.

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Hiking the N. Cascades

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 by Jeff

I love it here.

Hey Mom, I got the grant!

Monday, July 03, 2006 by Jeff

If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know the occassional discouragement I've felt with my dissertation research. Well today good news came. In an odd twist of fate, just as the flags and fireworks start appearing across the countryside, and my cynicism and disgust toward our government peak, that selfsame government announced today that it will send $7,500 for my research! Hot dog! You'll remember that in January the National Science Foundation rejected my request for a grant. So, I regrouped, revised, and remailed that request. Eight months later I'm revelling in sweet victory.

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Jeff A. Larson
Sociologist, Arizona.


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