Professor edits new book on social movements

A faculty member in Temple’s Department of Strategic Communication has co-edited a new book that can be used as a “how-to” guide for planning a successful social movement.

Jason Del GandioAssistant Professor Jason Del Gandio, along with Anthony J. Nocella II, a senior fellow at the Hamline School of Law, have produced “Educating for Action: Strategies to Ignite Social Justice.” The book, written for classroom instruction as well as real-world guidance, is a collection of work from activists with experience in inspiring others to promote social change. It was published in June by New Society Publishers.

Del Gandio, an active social movement participant for the past 14 years and most recently with Occupy Philadelphia in 2011, has been teaching classes on rhetoric and public advocacy at Temple since 2006.

“Bringing together a collection of authors allows for a greater diversity of voices, insights, experiences and perspectives,” Del Gandio said. “Activism is a collaborative effort, and the book reflects that. Despite the diversity of voices, the book does have an overarching narrative theme: that idealism is not enough; you have to learn how to mold your idealism into concrete practice.”

Del Gandio said he and his co-editor have tried to show that social change isn’t easy.

“The book approaches ‘peace and justice’ as a political force involving challenge and confrontation,” he said. “Young activists need to understand that peace and justice don’t happen on their own; that changing the world is hard work.”

The book offers a history of social movements and details everything that activists need to address when fighting for social change, from communication and conflict negotiation to social media and personal consumer choices.

“Overall, the book is intended to instruct and to inspire,” he said.

This is Del Gandio’s second book on activism. In 2008, he wrote “Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for Twenty-First Century Activists,” also published by New Society.