This chapter examines the conditions under which social movements demobilize. Political process theorists have long argued that hostility in the external environment often leads to movement decline, while others have suggested that some degree of hostility will mobilize constituents. Data drawn from the periodicals of two first-wave feminist organizations, the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman's Party, are used to document the changes in the two organizations’ levels of collectivism between 1910 and 1930. Analyses show that whether and to what extent movement organizations respond to favorable or hostile external environments depends on internal organizational dynamics. Specifically, single-issue organizations respond more quickly and acutely to changes in the external environment than their multi-issue counterparts. Thus, despite past research that has touted the benefits of organizing around a single issue, this chapter documents a potential downside: the difficulty of sustaining long-term collective mobilization.
Faupel, A. (2010), "The pitfalls of winning: a comparison of two first-wave feminist organizations", Coy, P. (Ed.) Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 69-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X(2011)0000031006Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited