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Abstract

The article is interested in a conceptual clarification of social action. A tripartite model of social action is presented which attempts to focus on the complex relationship between utopianism and action (the dreaming and the doing). The article then poses the question: What social action options are available to the critical consciousness? Two are considered, one active and one passive. Activism and passivism are seen on a continuum, rather than as a polarity. Passivism is seen as a latent form of activism. The role of activist is seen as either maintaining activism or realising its passive form. Sociological perspectives are brought to bear on the model via the works of Mannheim, Bauman and Levitas. The model's amorality is brought to the reader's attention in the post-script, with a conclusion that the real issue is whether the model reflects practice reality not that it could justify injustice.

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