The Cooperative Movement

CoopMonthlogoUtility companies distribute power to individual homes and businesses so that way that home can receive electricity. However, if you look at delivering electricity from a business perspective, why run miles of power lines to one rural home far from town? A business could not make any money with miles of power lines to a remote location, unless they charged that homeowner an inflated rate to cover the costs of delivering that electricity. From this problem came Cooperatives’ role in the distribution of electricity. Cooperatives make sure that each home and individual receives electricity at a fixed and reasonable rate, without rural home owners having to turn to other forms of energy, like kerosene and candle-light.

A social movement is characterized as “ uninstitutionalized collectivity that operates on a sustained basis to exert external influence in behalf of a cause.” (Simons & Jones) Now this is a lot of technical jargon, but to break this down into more colloquial talk, we know that a social movement is a group or organization that works to spread awareness of its issue, and solve its problem that is generally looked down upon or against most citizens’ viewpoint. Now, this is a long going social movement, something that has been around for a while. It isn’t something that has popped up in the last few years, and I’m sure that many aren’t familiar with it. A small percentage of people generate electricity and sell it, most people across the world receive their electricity from a locally owned cooperative. Now, cooperatives goal is to deliver electricity to all people without having a business-minded bias, so becoming part of an even bigger organization like Touchstone Energy Cooperatives is extremely popular.

Each individual cooperative is a business of it’s own, but most are part of a bigger or “branded energy cooperative” as it helps develop more revenue and awareness for their small business. When we look back on our American history we tend to look around things like electricity cooperatives when searching for social movements, but delivering electricity throughout the United States and the world, was a huge cultural influence. This influence may not have been as difficult to introduce as something like civil rights, but it certainly impacted the lives of many, and continues to do so.

The artifact that I have chosen is simple. I haven’t chose a video or even an image, but a logo. First, lets look at the text. The text of the item is explicit, “cooperatives build a better world”. The logo states clearly, cooperatives aren’t only good for our local community, but across the world. Receiving electricity is something that we all take for granted, and if we really think about it we can see that there are still a lot of communities across the world that could use this type of simple utility. Second, let us look at how that text is placed within the logo. World is the biggest and boldest item within the element. This puts extreme emphasis on the word, and the fact that the rest of the text is upon the word “World” makes the viewer see this as a cohesive unit.

Next, when looking at the color of the image we notice the colors blue and green. The green color used in the text emphasizes growth and stability, while the blue gives the viewer a calming effect. The two colors in the logo element complement each other very well, providing excellent graphic value and a clean image. Additionally, the world icon next to the text is being circled by a green circle, symbolizing the ability for cooperative’s influence on a world-wide scale. Finally, everything is placed equally and within restriction of a certain size and dimension making it easy to read and flows well. The text is close to each other, focusing the viewer to subliminally see the word “cooperatives” and the word “world” close to each other.

Is this document persuasive? Does it catch and identify with the market that it is displaying itself to? Yes, I think that the logo is clean, energized and simple in its ability to effectively delivering its message. Cooperative owners and larger cooperative organizations would definitely be influenced by this message and its ability to speak to them. It is so explicit because of its simplicity, and the viewer doesn’t have to analyze or think about the message. Cooperatives build a better world, cooperative organizations and owners see a bigger picture because of it, and want to distribute their utility amongst not only their own community but to even more places that may have not received utilities. The social movement not only is backed by this logo, but it adds to its professional image too. It broadens the perspective of the cooperative owner or operator, informs the non-cooperative owner, and helps the social movement of electrical power distribution and utilities across the world.

APA Citation:

Simons, H. W., & Jones, J. G. (n.d.). Persuasion in Society. Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group.


Drew Thomas

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