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Don’t Debase My Desires: Examining the Links Between Adaptive Preference Formation and the Cultivation of Public Emotion

In our society and social theory, there is a fine line between a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ decision. While society uses moral justifications to determine a right or wrong choice, social theory relies on adaptive preference formation, the ‘unconscious altering of our preferences in light of the options we have available’.[1] Adaptive preference formation argues that individuals make decisions based on the options made available to them, thus if they have limited options, they may be less capable of making an informed or ‘correct’ decision. This debate often takes place within the realm of education, where adaptive preference adherents argue that an individual without a formal education simply does not have the option of education available to them. Moreover, those who lack the desire to be formally educated are categorised as having low aspirations, a low sense of achievement, or a limited set of options that do not highlight the benefits of education.[2] This perspective assumes that education is the ‘correct’ choice, and if that choice is not made, it is because education is not available, or the individual has an inherent deficiency. In both scenarios, there is a moral argument being made—one that champions education as ‘right’ while simultaneously looking down upon the individual who is either wanting, but incapable of accessing education, or apathetic and incapable of acknowledging the benefits of education.

 

When the focus is placed so heavily on an individual’s capacity to make the ‘correct’ choice, we lose sight of the true problems. Government entities and international organisations, for example, often intervene in communities to change the desires of individuals (ie, enticing them to desire formal education) without addressing the root causes of systemic injustice (ie, formal education is exclusive). When these interventions are held to change individuals’ desires while the root of the problem is never addressed, true deprivation becomes apparent. Increasing a population’s desire for education, for example, does not automatically make education more affordable or equitable. Instead, it creates a plethora of people who desire education but cannot be absorbed within a fragmented and exclusive education system.[3]

 

The focus should, therefore, be shifted from an imposed idea of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ via adaptive preference formation to the endogenous desires of a population through the cultivation of public emotion. The cultivation of public emotion is a movement in which a person or persons of influence shift the public consciousness by tapping into people’s endogenous desires and enabling them to identify their own needs. It mobilises a community around their own beliefs and can be used to combat the impositions by adaptive preference adherents. But how can we be sure that the cultivation of public emotions does not simply change the consciousness of the people without changing the situation that oppresses them?[4]

 

In this paper, I examine how the cultivation of public emotions can challenge the impositions of adaptive preference adherents who claim to know what is best for a community. I argue that adaptive preference is best challenged when the cultivation of public emotions is used to express a community’s endogenous desires, thus being conscious and supportive of the community’s needs. As such, a sense of agency is bestowed on a community which enables them to identify their own desires, advocate for themselves, and acknowledge the power structures that impede access to those desires. Moreover, I argue that by addressing the inadequacies of a power structure, rather than the ‘deficiencies’ of the people it governs, the cultivation of public emotions can mitigate the root cause of adaptive preference formation. I begin this paper by examining adaptive preference formation, the assumptions embedded in the ‘correct’ choice and the impact it can have on target populations. I then assess the cultivation of public emotions as a necessary tool for change and how this change should stem from the desires of a community, not via foreign interventions. Finally, I assess the Civil Rights struggle for voting rights and subsequent voting campaigns in the United States today to analyse how endogenous and agentic desires have a greater capacity to overcome adaptive preference.  

 

The ‘suboptimal’ choice

 

In its most rudimentary state, adaptive preference formation (APF) is the preference a person adopts based on their current circumstance. A student, for example, may prefer to study abroad if they receive funding, whereas if funding is not provided, the same student may prefer to forego studying abroad. Through circumstantial preferences, people make choices on how best to live their lives and determine what values they want to shape their identity. It can be assumed that, to some extent, all people are subjected to APF because all people acquire preferences and make choices within a specific context. Within economic, social, and moral theory, however, APF is used to analyse the so-called deprived choices of marginalised communities. In this section, I examine the use of APF as a judgement and value-based critique of the ‘suboptimal’ choices made by marginalised groups. I argue that by establishing what is right and wrong for a community to desire, we fail to acknowledge a community’s true needs and values.

 

Within economic theory, APF is seen as a driver of irrational decisions. Theorists argue that unbeknownst to them, marginalised people do not experience free choice; instead, they adapt ‘to the limited options set by their circumstances’.[5] The individual is thus blind to the institutions that limit their choice and is incapable of claiming agency when making decisions. Similar sentiments are expressed by Amartya Sen, who asserts that,

 

Deprived people tend to come to terms with their deprivation because of the sheer necessity of survival, and they may, as a result, lack the courage to demand any radical change, and may even adjust their desires and expectations to what they unambitiously see as feasible.[6]

 

Likewise, Martha Nussbaum argues that because of their environment, marginalised groups adopt ‘deformed’ preferences and begin to subject themselves to welfarism, thus embracing their disadvantaged position and making it ‘impossible to conduct a radical critique of unjust systems’.[7] Within both Sen and Nussbaum’s critique of APF, the focus (and blame) is placed on the ‘deprived’ individual who passively and ignorantly succumbs to their disadvantaged state. Moreover, these scholars argue that marginalised people make the ‘wrong’ decisions which hinder their capacity to demand true freedom.

 

One of the freedoms that Sen, Nussbaum, and numerous policymakers acknowledge as being underutilised by marginalised communities is participation in formal education. During the early 2000s in the UK, for example, countless initiatives were implemented to increase participation in education among people from ‘non-traditional backgrounds’. Initiatives were premised on the belief that the UK must become ‘economically competitive in the knowledge economy’ by increasing its human (and academic) capital.[8] After securing nearly 100% of middle-class recruits, the UK government set out to enrol school-aged children from Afro-Caribbean, Muslim, and working-class communities only to find that these groups were not interested in further education.[9] This lack of desire for education was categorised as these communities having ‘low aspirations’ and ‘low achievement standards’ as a result of APF. ‘The requirement,’ as David Bridges argues, ‘[was] then to intervene in the interest of changing these…aspirations and…to challenge choices…that [would] not take them on the pathway through higher education’.[10] A moral and social hierarchy was thus established which presumed that education advocates were rational actors who knew what was best for the marginalised communities. These beliefs and interventions continue today as academics and policymakers undermine decisions that lead people away from higher education. Mainstream discourses maintain that preferences that defy the status quo are ‘restricted by ignorance and/or a failure of rationality’ which then impedes people from living in a ‘truly human way’.[11][12]

 

But if not as a human, in what way have people in marginalised communities been living, and who is given the authority to discern how a human should live correctly? Critiques of Sen, Nussbaum, and Bridges highlight the fundamental arrogance of APF within economic, social, and moral theory—a belief that an elite social group can determine for all others the ‘correct’ way to live and the ‘correct’ things to desire. This belief has many consequences, but the two of significance for this paper are the impact of institutions on APF and the question of agency amongst marginalised groups. As argued by Elaine Unterhalter, ‘the rhetoric of aspiration ultimately serves as a diversion from the reality of increasing social exclusion and inequality’.[13] This is evidenced within the UK education system, where education is lauded as a necessity for local communities and economic growth, yet education budgets have been cut by more than £3.2 billion since 2010.[14] Though the UK government continues to raise aspirations for education, they simultaneously make education more inaccessible and blame the working class for their low aspirations and low standards of living.[15] By refusing to acknowledge the role that institutions play in making education inaccessible, policymakers force marginalised populations into worse-off positions when trying to raise unrealistic aspirations for education. Moreover, because the desire for education is imposed—as opposed to being endogenously identified as a need of the community—there is minimal to no effort made by officials to match the increase in desire with an equal number of educational opportunities. Instead, there is an influx of desire that cannot be absorbed by the fractured education system as resources are allocated to changing people’s desires and not the institutions that leave them deprived.

 

Instead of championing the capacity for all people to make diverse and informed decisions, policymakers question people’s agency and rationality, which then invites ‘coercive forms of intervention’.[16][17] To combat forms of coercion, it is imperative to acknowledge that marginalised groups have agency and adhere to rational thinking when choosing what they should and should not value. Marginalised communities, HE Baber argues, are not passive receivers of APF, but are rational actors who assess the risk of choosing to follow the status quo.[18] If a government heavily promotes education, for example, but access to education remains precarious, an individual has every right to not desire education, nor should they be forced to desire it. Marginalised communities do not need a rise in consciousness or a boost in self-esteem—they need factual information from which they can make an informed decision about what they ought to value.[19] By acknowledging the agency and rationality embedded in the decisions of marginalised groups, we can become aware of multi-dimensional aspirations and the ways that people determine their own needs.[20]

 

Within APF theories, the inadequacy of an institution to provide necessary services and the agency of marginalised communities to determine what should or should not be valued is often left out of discussions. This shifts the blame from the institution itself onto the ‘deprived’ communities who require interventions to change their desires. These changes can do more to harm a community when an increase in desire does not equate to increased opportunities or greater accessibility to services. An imposed desire thus does not benefit a community because it is not reflective of a community’s true needs and dismisses the needs and values that a community has already identified. When institutions are held more accountable, however, and marginalised groups are acknowledged as rational actors, there is a greater capacity to challenge APF. In the next section, I analyse how the cultivation of public emotions around the endogenous desires of a community can help to overcome APF.  

 

The importance of emotion

 

APF theorists are keen to acknowledge the depravity and passivity of marginalised communities, which they claim can be rectified by imposing foreign desires and interventions. Though I argue against the imposition of desires, inciting interventions, and identifying marginalised groups as passive, it is imperative to acknowledge that material deprivation can and does exist within these communities. Material deprivation, or the inability to afford basic, negatively affects the social, psychological, physical, and financial components of a person’s life, thus it is necessary to combat deprivation that is linked to APF.[21][22] The question, however, is who should determine and lead this change? In this section, I assess how marginalised groups cultivate public emotions to combat APF and material deprivation, thus becoming agents of social change.

 

Emotions, James Jasper argues, ‘accompany all social action,’ thus they play a significant role in society.[23] These emotions, however, can be hard to control and are often critiqued for their precarious and irrational nature. Moreover, it can be difficult to cultivate unified, public emotions that propel societies towards a specific goal. Gerlie Caspe-Ogatis asserts that human beings can be ‘greedy, anxious and selfish,’ which can hinder privileged classes from caring about the material deprivation faced by marginalised groups.[24] Caspe-Ogatis, therefore, questions how privileged groups can be made to care about the plight of marginalised communities to solve their APF and material deprivation. Though Caspe-Ogatis aims to mobilise emotions productively, I argue that more attention should be given to the emotions and care that already exist within marginalised communities. As such, we should spend less time forging emotions amongst privileged classes and more time mobilising the fears, desires, and motivations present within marginalised groups. By focusing on marginalised groups’ emotions, we become privy to what these groups identify as unjust within their society, such as unequal educational opportunities, discriminatory work practices, or over-policing within their communities. This helps to acknowledge what needs are not being met and what desires are being formulated. Moreover, this begins a process of marginalised communities determining for themselves the best path towards social change.

 

As marginalised groups begin to identify their collective grievances, they become more cognizant of the role that institutions play in inciting material deprivation. This enables marginalised groups to shift the blame from themselves and, instead, work to rectify the structural inequalities that have affected their community. If a community is over-policed, for example, they may determine that police officers are not productive in their society and thus ban the institution of formal policing within their community.[25] Though this ban may not align with the status quo, it reflects the specific needs of the marginalised community involved, thus making it an appropriate solution that increases the community’s freedom. This freedom is contingent upon identifying the endogenous emotions of a community and acknowledging that these emotions inform the experiences and beliefs of marginalised groups.[26] Once these emotions are acknowledged, community leaders can begin to cultivate public emotions that reflect the context-specific grievances of a community, the structural barriers that impose these grievances, and the actions necessary to provoke social change. The cultivation of public emotions around endogenous desires is thus necessary to begin solving APF.

 

Martha Nussbaum acknowledges that the cultivation of public emotions should be undertaken by actors who understand a population’s cultural context.[27] During the Civil Rights movement, for example, Martin Luther King Jr. adopted many of Gandhi’s strategies, yet King did not copy and paste Gandhian norms onto a US context. Instead, King merged Gandhi’s practices with American perspectives to enable anti-racism, Christianity, love, and anti-discrimination to be embedded within Gandhian forms of peaceful protest.[28] The cultivation of public emotions thus necessitates a cultural awareness that is best derived from endogenous actors, grievances, and desires.

 

When APF theories overestimate the importance of elites or foreign ideologies to enact social change, they become ‘problematic because [the]…interpretation either neglects or misconceives the principally bottom-up dynamics of social movements’.[29] For people’s lives to be changed for the better, they need to be acknowledged for determining their own needs and desires, as opposed to being expected to passively receive imposed desires and interventions. The capacity for marginalised groups to rectify structural injustices should never be undermined nor should the presence of emotions within social action be misconstrued as irrational.[30][31] The endogenous cultivation of public emotions is a powerful tool through which rational and agentic actors can identify a grievance, assert a desire, and demand change from the prevailing social structure. Moreover, the APF that is experienced by marginalised groups can be better addressed when blame is not being placed on the communities themselves, but on the institutions that restrains a community. In the next section, I examine how the endogenous cultivation of public emotions during voting rights struggles not only helped to solve APF during the Civil Rights era, but propelled voting campaigns today to provide more access and opportunities to marginalised groups.

 

From grievance to change

 

The Civil Rights movement encompassed a range of goals to ensure that Black citizens were no longer treated as lesser than their white counterparts. By enacting campaigns to dismantle racial segregation, demand decent housing, and end police brutality, civil rights organisers cultivated public emotions that acknowledged the collective grievances of marginalised communities. The cultivation of public emotions not only changed the consciousness of Black people but also the national and global consciousness which helped to formalise laws and policies that favoured the movement’s agenda.[32] In this section, I examine how the struggle for voter registration during the Civil Rights movement cultivated public emotions that continue to help solve APF for marginalised groups today.

 

Taeku Lee’s study of the US Black Insurgency between the 1940s to the 1960s highlights how the endogenous cultivation of public emotions helped solve APF.[33] After decades of experiencing voter suppression, Black Alabama residents identified the right to vote as a key component in overcoming their status as second-class citizens. This desire to vote, however, was met with extreme violence from state and federal governments, in addition to the violence carried out by many white civilians who opposed the Civil Rights movement. The violence eventually culminated in the Bloody Sunday march on 7 March 1965, where over 600 Black residents gathered to walk from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights. Marchers, however, were unable to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma before state troopers began to massacre protestors.[34] Footage of the brutal attacks sent shockwaves throughout the country, but nothing spoke louder than the desire for Black people to gain voting rights.

 

The massacre incited public outrage and by 15 March 1965, President Johnson proposed a voting rights legislation that countered any legal barriers to voting such as literacy tests and poll taxes. For many scholars during the 1960s, the success of the Civil Rights movement and the accumulation of voting rights was attributed to the elites and politicians who helped pass the voting legislation.[35] As Lee argues, however, the change in federal policy and public opinion was largely due to the Black population that mobilised, against all odds, to demand the right to vote. The Black Insurgency was more than a mere disturbance within US social life; it was the product of endogenous grievances (ie, being treated as second-class citizens), and the subsequent desires borne out of those grievances (ie, accessing the right to vote) that enabled the cultivation of public emotions for social change (ie, legislation that combated voter suppression). In cultivating these emotions via endogenous desires, Alabama’s Black population was able to expand their participation in the political sphere, thus overcoming their limited choices and APF. Moreover, their voting power enforced more accountability among policymakers who could alleviate the material deprivation faced by marginalised groups. This exemplifies how the endogenous cultivation of public emotions is essential to solving APF within marginalised communities. But what makes community organising more effective in solving APF than outside forces, and how are these endogenous practices reflected in today’s voting campaigns?

 

Though it has been over 55 years since the Voting Rights Act was passed, racialised voter suppression has persisted, making it increasingly difficult to mobilise Black voters to the polls. Through repressive legislations, such as Georgia’s SB202 bill, policymakers have imposed stricter requirements on absentee ballots, limited the use of drop boxes in ethnically diverse areas, established earlier closing times for polls in Black and Brown communities, and have criminalised individuals who give food and water to those standing in notoriously long polling lines.[36] In 2021, US policymakers introduced over 360 restrictive voting bills mimicking many of the suppression practices enforced in the Jim Crow era.[37][38] These efforts have not only limited Black and Brown people’s capacity to vote but have invigorated community organisers who refuse to have voter suppression prevail. Organisations such as Black Voters Matter and Black Girls Vote are two of the many organisations that have led impactful community campaigns to mobilise disenfranchised voters.

 

Black Voters Matter (BVM) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to engaging voters by disseminating political information to underrepresented groups, marching in solidarity with suppressed voters, rallying communities to increase voter turnout, and organising campaigns with college students.[39] The organisation is run by Black women, known to be the most ‘effective organisers on the ground because they are trusted voices’.[40] During BVM campaigns, such as their Freedom Bus Tour, organisers travel to different communities around the nation to ‘hear the challenges faced and solutions imagined’, thus giving community members the space to acknowledge their grievances.[41] As Janell Ross argues, ‘Black citizens’ concerns are often ignored [and] treated like a fallout of character flaws rather than policy failure,’ thus it is impactful when organisations treat Black voters as though they matter. BVM is as effective in their mobilisation efforts because they understand how it feels to have their voting rights negated, and for those who do not understand first-hand, they sympathise. The cultivation of public emotions and the mobilising efforts enacted by BVM ‘requires an understanding of Black life and culture’, thus it is necessary to understand the cultural context of a community before APF can be solved.[42]

 

Community, trust, and understanding are found within many local organisations that mobilise Black and Brown voters. Within Black Girls Vote, for example, organisers create and deliver locally themed engagement boxes that cultivate ‘a spirit of celebration about voting [and] capitalises…on Black attitudes about the power of the vote’.[43] This is achieved by understanding Black behavioural norms during election time, and the barriers—both legal and emotional—that may impede someone from voting.[44] Likewise, political organising committees that are housed in Black churches levy their social bonds to help mobilise voters, whilst Black political leaders use their established trust in communities to increase voter turnout.[45] In some cases, organisations provide transportation and food during election season so that voters are prepared to withstand any polling challenges.[46] These personalised touches enable community leaders to mobilise Black and Brown voters more effectively by being respectful of a community’s cultural context. This respect furthers the cultivation of public emotions around endogenous grievances and desires which are then used to change social structures and overcome APF within marginalised communities.  

 

A conclusion beyond passivity

 

APF theories often conceptualise disadvantaged groups as being passive and deficient actors in need of direct intervention. Direct intervention assumes that disadvantaged groups are responsible for their suboptimal position, thus elite rational actors are needed to intervene on the group’s behalf. These assumptions place blame on marginalised communities and fail to recognise the role that institutions play in imposing APF. Because APF has significant consequences, such as material deprivation, APF must be solved, but it is also important to acknowledge that it cannot be solved by just any actor. When desires are being imposed upon a community by foreign actors, more effort goes into changing the community’s consciousness as opposed to changing their oppressive condition. This can result in more harm than good when a community’s needs are not being met. However, when a community’s endogenous needs and desires are acknowledged as legitimate reasons for mobilising, then the capacity to solve APF by changing social consciousness and structures increases. APF is, therefore, best challenged and solved when the cultivation of public emotions derives from a community’s endogenous desires, which enables a community to identify its own needs and fight to demand justice accordingly.

 

Donari Yahzid


Donari Yahzid is a Fulbright Scholar and graduate of the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Development Studies. In addition to working as an editor for the CJLPA, Donari is a researcher working within the intersections of social movements, land rights, and international development.

 

[1] Ben Colburn, ‘Autonomy and Adaptive Preferences’ (2011) 23(1) Utilitas 52, 52.

[2] David Bridges, ‘Adaptive preference, justice and identity in the context of widening participation in higher education’ (2006) 1(1) Ethics and Education 15-28.

[3] John E. Craig, ‘The Expansion of Education’ (1981) 9 Review of Research in Education, 151-213.

[4] Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. (Continuum 1970).

[5] Bridges (n 2) 16.

[6] Amartya Sen, Development as freedom (Oxford University Press 1999) 63.

[7] Martha Nussbaum, Women and Human Development (Cambridge University Press 2000) 116.

[8] Bridges (n 2) 16.

[9] ibid 17-18.

[10] ibid.

[11] ibid 20.

[12] Nussbaum (n 7) 74.

[13] Elaine Unterhalter, James Ladwig, and Craig Jeffrey, ‘Decoding Aspirations: Social Theory, the Capability Approach and the Multiple Modalities of Education’ (2014) 35 (1) British Journal of Sociology of Education 133, 140.

[14] Nick Wragg, John Robert Stoszkowski, and Aine Macnamara, ‘The Absurdity of Aspiration within Further Education in England: Where Much is Said but Little is Done?’ (2020) 11(9) Journal of Education and Practice 106.

[15] Richard Adams and Sally Weale. ‘Ministers’ loan plans could stop poorer students in England going to university’ Guardian (London, 22 February 2022) <https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/feb/22/fears-that-minimum-grades-for-student-loans-in-england-could-narrow-access> accessed 27 January 2024.

[16] Catriona Mackenzie, ‘Responding to the Agency Dilemma’, in Marina A. L. Oshana (eds), Personal Autonomy and Social Oppression: Philosophical Perspectives (Routledge 2015) 49.

[17] Serene Khader, Adaptive Preferences and Women's Empowerment (Oxford University Press 2011).

[18] HE Baber, ‘Adaptive Preferences’ (2007) 33(1) Social Theory and Practice 105.

[19] ibid.

[20] Caroline Hart, ‘How Do Aspirations Matter?’ (2016) 17 (3) Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 324.

[21] Anne-Catherine Guio and Isabelle Engsted Maquet, ‘Material deprivation and poor housing’ (2006) Draft paper for the conference ‘Comparative EU Statistics on Income and Living conditions: issues and Challenges’.

[22] Richard Wilkinson, Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality (Routledge 1996).

[23] James Jasper, ‘The Emotions of Protest: Affective and Reactive Emotions in and around Social Movements’ (1998) 13 (3) Sociological Forum 397.

[24] Gerlie Caspe-Ogatis, ‘Cultivating Constructive Civic Emotions: Why Compassion Matters in Human Survival During the Covid 19 Pandemic’ (2020) 8 Mabini Review 150.

[25] Rachel Abrams, ‘Police Clear Seattle’s Protest ‘Autonomous Zone’’ The New York Times (New York, 1 July 2020) <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/us/seattle-protest-zone-CHOP-CHAZ-unrest.html> accessed 27 January 2024.

[26] Amy Winans, ‘Cultivating Racial Literacy in White, Segregated Settings: Emotions as Site of Ethical Engagement and Inquiry’ (2010) 40(3) Curriculum Inquiry 475.

[27] Martha Nussbaum, Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice (Harvard University Press 2013).

[28] ibid.

[29] Taeku Lee, Mobilizing Public Opinion: Black Insurgency and Racial Attitudes in the Civil Rights Era (University of Chicago Press 2002) 6.

[30] Doug McAdam, Political Process and the Development of the Black Insurgency, 1930-1970 (University of Chicago Press 1982).

[31] James (n 23).

[32] Joyce Ladner, ‘A New Civil Rights Agenda: A New Leadership Is Making a Difference’ (Brookings, 1 March 2000) <https://www.brookings.edu/articles/a-new-civil-rights-agenda-a-new-leadership-is-making-a-difference/> accessed 27 January 2024.

[33] Lee (n 29).

[34] Christopher Klein, ‘How Selma's ‘Bloody Sunday’ Became a Turning Point in the Civil Rights Movement’ (Sky History, 18 July 2020) < https://www.history.com/news/selma-bloody-sunday-attack-civil-rights-movement> accessed 27 January 2024.

[35] Lee (n 29).

[36] Zack Beauchamp, ‘Georgia’s restrictive new voting law, explained’ (Vox, 26 March 2021) <https://www.vox.com/22352112/georgia-voting-sb-202-explained> accessed 27 January 2024.

[37] Janie Boschma, ‘Lawmakers in 47 states have introduced bills that would make it harder to vote. See them all here’ (CNN, 3 April 2021) < https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/03/politics/state-legislation-voter-suppression/index.html> accessed 27 January 2024.

[38] Brandon Tensley, ‘America's long history of Black voter suppression’ (CNN, May 2021) <https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2021/05/politics/black-voting-rights-suppression-timeline/> accessed 27 January 2024.

[39] ‘Our Purpose’ (Black Voters Matter, 2020) <https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/our-purpose/> accessed 27 January 2024.

[40] Jessica Washington, ‘‘Whatever it takes’: how Black women fought to mobilize America's voters’ Guardian (London, 12 November 2020) <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/12/black-women-voters-mobilize-georgia-elections> accessed 27 January 2024.

[41] Janell Ross, ‘A radical way to mobilize black voters in 2020: Work on issues, not voting’ (NBC News, 20 October 2019) <https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/radical-way-mobilize-black-voters-2020-work-issues-not-voting-n1068681> accessed 27 January 2024.

[42] ibid.

[43] Ashley Daniels et al., ‘Party at the Mailbox: Mobilizing Black Voters with Celebrations of Community’ (2020) American Government and Politics <https://preprints.apsanet.org/engage/apsa/article-details/614e0b9387a02d089d475063> accessed 2 February 2024.

[44] ibid.

[45] Baodong Liu, Sharon D. Wright Austin, and Byron D'Andrá Orey, ‘Church Attendance, Social Capital, and Black Voting Participation’ (2009) 90(3) Social Science Quarterly 576; Christopher Clark, ‘Collective Descriptive Representation and Black Voter Mobilization in 2008’ (2013) 36(2) Political Behavior 315; Seth E Masket, ‘Did Obama’s ground game matter? The influence of local field offices during the 2008 presidential election’ (2009) 73(5) Public Opinion Quarterly 1023; Tracey Osborn, Scott D. McClurg, and Benjamin Knoll, ‘Voter mobilization and the Obama victory’ (2010) 38(2) American Politics Review 211.

[46] Chelsea Floyd, ‘Nonprofit Organization Encourages Black Voters, Provides Transportation to Polls’ (Spectrum News, 8 October 2020) <https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/triad/news/2020/10/08/nonprofit-organization-encourages-black-voters--provides-transportation-to-polls> accessed 27 January 2024.

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