In what ways, if any, are riots rational acts of collective behavior? In what ways, if any, are riots productive? Counterproductive? With all of the social inequality and social injustice that...

In what ways, if any, are riots rational acts of collective behavior? In what ways, if any, are riots productive? Counterproductive?

With all of the social inequality and social injustice that exist in the United States, why do you think there aren’t more riots? If there were more riots, do you think these would lead to serious efforts to improve social conditions for minorities in the U.S.? Or would these, instead, create a backlash against the rioters that would only make things worse for minorities in the U.S.? Be sure to refer to examples in your answer.

Asked on by matt09

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

We do not have to look back all that long to see cases of minority riots in the US and what impact they had.  Back in the 1960s, there were many racially based riots in the US.

These riots had some "positive" effects for blacks in that they did call attention to the problems faced by that community.  However, they also caused a serious backlash against blacks.  In my opinion, they played a major role in bringing conservative Republicans to power (not that it happened right away).

I suppose you could argue that riots are rational for people who have no other way of being heard by those with power.  However, they tend to be counterproductive in that they destroy the rioters' own neighborhoods and end up hurting them more than they help.

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