social activist

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Renatrix

Senior Member
polski
Is the term 'social activist' a good term for a person who is involved in various types of activities for the welfare of a given community, an involved citizen, an author and/or member of various social associations and movements?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I've seen the term "community activist", but I'm not sure that I've ever seen "social activist" before. Google's Ngram Viewer tells me that "social activist" appears in books more often than "community activist" does: social activist/community activist

    Like Greyfriar, I believe that many people associate "activism" with "making trouble." However, newspapers and magazines generally use terms like "community activist" with a positive meaning. "Altruist" is certainly accurate, but I'd expect "Mr X" to be described as a "community activist" rather than an "altruist" in an article about Mr X and all the good he does for the community.

    Here in the US, I think many people would be just as uneasy about the word "social" as they were about the word "activist". There's a lot of ranting about big government and socialism over here, so "social" might not be viewed as neutrally as it should be by many readers.

    Personally, Renatrix, I think "social activist" is a good term for the person you described.
     

    Renatrix

    Senior Member
    polski
    Thank you, Greyfriar and Owlman5
    I'd like to use a neutral term. How about a 'community worker'? But I'm not sure if a community worker does pro bono work and the person I have in mind does it voluntarily.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I don't think "community worker" would be a good choice if you want to express the idea that he does this work pro bono.

    You could use a term like "community volunteer", but I'm not sure that readers would understand that he is committed to doing different works for the community. In my part of the world, "volunteers" are often people who agree to do some short-term charitable work.

    I think I'd choose "community activist" over "community volunteer" or "social activist" in a piece I was writing for the general public here in the US. If you're not too concerned about brevity, you could always express the idea in a sentence or a phrase: Mr X currently works on projects with many different charities.
     
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