passive resistance

A tactic of non-violent resistance to authority pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi in his campaign against the British government in India in the 1930s and 1940s. Passive resistance has since become an accepted way for minorities to place moral pressure on majorities. It failed in Czechoslovakia in 1968, but had great success in the American Civil Rights Movement between 1955 and 1964, when many thousands of activists were arrested for violating racial segregation rules in the South, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The tactic has also been widely used by peace movements, anti-nuclear-power movements, and anti-abortion movements. In general, passive resistance involves groups of protesters occupying some public or forbidden space, and allowing themselves to be arrested or otherwise harassed by authorities, without offering any violence in return. The power of passive resistance is essentially moral. The images it creates can sway public opinion via the mass media , and may create guilt and uncertainty among politicians and power-holders. See also civil disobedience.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • passive resistance — passive re sistance n [U] a way of protesting against something or opposing a government without using violence ▪ They tried to achieve their aims by passive resistance …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • passive resistance — ► NOUN ▪ non violent opposition to authority, especially a refusal to cooperate with legal requirements …   English terms dictionary

  • passive resistance — n. opposition to a government or occupying power by refusal to comply with orders, or by such nonviolent acts as voluntary fasting or public demonstrations …   English World dictionary

  • passive resistance — noun (U) a way of opposing or protesting against something without using violence: Gandhi s campaign of passive resistance passive smoking noun (U) the act of breathing in smoke from someone else s cigarette, pipe etc …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • passive resistance — passive resister. opposition to a government or to specific governmental laws by the use of noncooperation and other nonviolent methods, as economic boycotts and protest marches. Cf. civil disobedience, noncooperation (def. 2). [1880 85] * * * …   Universalium

  • passive resistance — passive re sistance noun uncount a way of protesting against a government or law using peaceful methods such as refusing to obey laws or refusing to leave a place or building …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • passive resistance — Synonyms and related words: Quakerism, a wise passiveness, acquiescence, amenability, challenge, civil disobedience, combative reaction, complaint, compliance, contemplation, contemplative life, counteraction, defiance, demur, disobedience,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • passive resistance — noun peaceful resistance to a government by fasting or refusing to cooperate • Syn: ↑nonviolent resistance, ↑nonviolence • Derivationally related forms: ↑nonviolent (for: ↑nonviolence) • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • passive resistance — noun Date: 1819 resistance especially to a government or an occupying power characterized mainly by noncooperation …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Passive Resistance —    See Cuno, Wilhelm and Ruhr Occupation …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

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