Local social movements: A case study of their character, operation, and persistence
AuthorHutchinson, Richard N.
AdvisorSnow, David A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis case study of local social movements presents the findings of four years of ethnographic observations in Cactus City, a Southwestern city in the U.S., during the 1990s. The basic unit of analysis is the protest event, and the population of protest events in Cactus City is nearly 900 over the period of study. The central aim of the research is to map the social movement sector and its network structure, or in other words the community level ecology of social movements. One important finding is that the preponderance of protest is generated by a highly interlinked "Activist Community" which extends across issues and movements, including peace, labor, human rights and the environment. Another key finding is that the preponderance of this organizing is done using mainly informal rather than formal organizations, linked in networks. Finally, the motivation of the core of activists most active in public protest is mainly moral concern rather than self-interest. Cognition and emotion both play a role in the framing process. A persistent social movement presence is maintained in the absence of any national protest cycle by a critical mass of individuals and organizations, both in and across specific movements at the community level.
Degree ProgramGraduate College