Protesting and Its Evolution: Psychological Background

By Sarah Culmone, Trending Writer

Protesting is an intimidating topic. There was a time when protesting meant being in an angry crowd of people holding picket signs. Today, protesting equates to breaking glass of a Starbucks window and throwing chairs. Within this holds the beauty of protesting, because it is constantly evolving. As the world changes, so do protests. On an even more important note, with each protest, comes a new effect or conclusion, shaping the world today.

Politically, protests are the quickest way to achieve progress. Think back to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, with unhappy colonists yelling, “No taxation without representation!” From this stemmed a new idea that people have the right to argue for what they want, having the ability to defend oneself in law today in a fair trial. Yet protests do not need to be loud and aggressive in order to be successful. An example of this would be the peaceful protest in Washington D.C. for jobs and freedom, better known as when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. This was a gathering in support of civil rights. While superior leaders like President Kennedy discouraged the march, people still showed up in hopes of changing history. As history shows, that is exactly what happened. With the help of this march, there was a new push for congressional legislation of civil rights.

In turn, politics in society have been long changed because of these protests. It stems from a big enough group in a community being unhappy with something, and taking it on a larger scale. Eventually, the government will have to intervene to please the masses. Thus, the laws have been changed, and still will change moving forward. This not only affects politics, but culture as well. Protests can be looked at as one of the biggest social events a community has. When masses gather in the same place to discuss the same issue, it can boost morale and unity among people. On the flip side, it can also bring forth negative connotations to society and cause people to be unhappy with their environment.

All in all, protests will continue to exist, grow, prosper, succeed, and in some cases, fail. At times, their benefits will be reaped by society. At others, there will be ongoing problems until a solution is eventually brought to light. The world will be ever changing politically and culturally, especially thanks to the courageous protestors.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 13th print edition.

Contact Sarah at


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