Foreword by Michael Harrington
Part 1: Origins
1. On the Origins of Social Movements
by Jo Freeman.
Part 2: Moblization
2. Mobilization of Membership: The Black and Brown Lung
by Bennett M. Judkins.
3. The Transformation of a Constituency into a Movement:
Farmworker Organizing in California
by J. Craig Jenkins
4. The Men's Movement: Personal Versus Political
by Alan F. Gross, Ronald Smith, and Barbara Strudler Wallston.
5. Mobilizing the Disabled
by Roberta Ann Johnson.
6. Protest and the Problem of Credibility: Uses of Knowledge
and Risk Taking in the Draft Resistance Movement of the
by Barrie Thorne.
Part 3: Organization
7. A Decentralized but Moving Pyramid: The Evolution and
Consequences of the Structure of the Tenant Movement
by Ronald Lawson.
8. Movements of Revolutionary Change: Some Structural
by Luther P. Gerlach.
9. Structure and Strategy in the Antinuclear Movement
by Lynn E. Dwyer.
10. Countercultural Organizations and Bureaucracy: Limits
on the Revolution
by Leonard Davidson.
11. Generational Change and Primary Groups in a Social
by Robert J. Ross.
Part 4: Strategy
12. A Model for Analyzing the Strategic Options of Social
by Jo Freeman.
13. Organization or Disruption? Strategic Options for
Groups: The Case of the Chicago Indian Village
by Deborah LeVeen.
14. The Social Context of Strategic Success: A Land-Use
Struggle in Hawaii
by James A. Geschwender.
15. The Use of Terrorism by American Social Movements
by Ernest Evans.
16. Conservative Tactics in Social Movement Organizations
by David P. Gillespie.
Part 5: Decline
17. The End of SDS and the Emergence of Weatherman: Demise
by Frederick D. Miller.
18.The Decline of the Civil Rights Movement
by Douglas McAdam.
19. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee: Rise
and Fall of a Redemptive Organization
by Emily Stoper.
20. Repression and the Decline of Social Movements: The
Case of the New Religions
by David G. Bromley and Anson D. Shupe, Jr.
21. The New York City Transit Strike of 1980: A Case Study
of Organizing a Movement Within an Institutionalised Social
by Steve Burghardt.
About the Authors
Sociology, Vol. 13, No. 6, November 1984, pp. 706-7.
by Carl M. Hand, and Thomas C. Hood.
book appears exactly ten years after John McCarthy and
Mayer Zald's first publication, the pamphlet The Trend
of Social Movements in America: Professionalization and
Resource Mobilization. That year also saw the publication
of Freeman's well-received analysis of the origins of
the women's liberation movement. Freeman notes that the
contributors to this volume have been shaped by their
experiences in the sixties and seventies. The resource
mobilization perspective associated with Zald and McCarthy
and with Gamson is even more influential.
This book differs from some treatments of the topic in
its focus on community-based or localized organizations
as examples of social movements. The book gives information
about approximately eighteen different movements and even
more organizations related to them. The environmental
movement and religious movements of the sixties and seventies
appear underrepresented. The book's emphasis is on social
movement organizations (SMOs), their origin, mobilization,
organization, strategy, and decline. An expansion of Freeman's
well-known article on origins of the women's liberation
movement sets the style by providing evidence about a
movement and theoretical interpretation of its significance.
Taken as a whole, the mobilization section represents
an indictment of the utilitarian logic of the resource-mobilization
perspective. While such scholars ad Judkins, Jenkins,
and Johnson eschew the traditional "hearts and minds"
approach, their work provides evidence that solidary (and
not just "selective") incentives and the existence
of solidary networks represent essential capital for achieving
resource mobilization. Attention to such incentives should
be important in future study.
Organization is undoubtedly an essential element of movement
success, but no necessarily successful or ideal organizational
form exists. The articles agree that movements need not
be the bureaucratic and oligarchic form to sustain movement
goals; rather, movements are "...segmentary, polycephalous,
and reticulate" in structure (Gerlach, 134). "Functional
specialization," as Lawson puts it, allows a social
movement to operate more efficiently in a heterogenous
society, attracting a broader base of commitment and maintaining
flexibility in a mutable social movement climate.
Naturally, organizational structure reflects in part the
movement's goals and tactics. Ultimately, the choice of
strategy depends on what segments of society a movement
wishes to organize, among other things. Freeman notes
that when "people change" takes precedence over
institutional reform, a larger amount of resources must
be devoted purely to group maintenance. The LeVeen and
Geschwender studies reveal that movements among the poor
and marginal are limited in their resources and strategy
options; confrontational and disruptive strategies appear
to be the only effective means of communicating grievances
and demands. Gillespie counters, arguing that choice of
strategy depends on the movement's expectations about
how specific actions will affect the appointed target
The final section posits various reasons for movement
decline; for example, repression, cooptation, success,
and failure. But each chapter must also deal with why
movements begin in the first place and how the raison
d'être for their existence changes over time. McAdam's
analysis of SDS and Stoper's of SNCC show that, contrary
to classical movement analysis, movement organization
can resist cooptation and compromise and become more radical,
although at the cost of increased repression and loss
of institutional effectiveness.
The articles in the book provide interesting material
and sound interpretive insight. The articles discuss micromobilization
processes -- such as solidary networks, ideology, and
internal organizational pressures -- as well as how changing
fiscal fortunes, relations to external control agents,
and public support affect a movement's organization and
growth. Grievance among the constituent base is a factor
in mobilization. Whether and how such grievance is articulated,
organized, and brought to focus on tangible (or perhaps
intangible goals is contingent on the interplay of both
internal and external social processes, none of which
can be easily described in convenient movement models.
The book's major weakness is its failure to show how groups
like the antinuclear movement which have some national
connections differ from neighborhood associations, community
interest groups, and disenfranchised labor union members.
This book should be in all libraries with an interest
in social movements. It will be very useful for teaching
classes in social movements and intentional change as
a book of case studies in a common comparative framework.
Amazon Customer Review by Barron Laycock
November 18, 2003