Purpose – Scholars of social movements have tended to focus on the social movement organization (SMO) as the primary unit of analysis, documenting a trend toward its…
Purpose – Scholars of social movements have tended to focus on the social movement organization (SMO) as the primary unit of analysis, documenting a trend toward its professionalization. This trend, typified in the abortion rights movement, has facilitated the survival of movements, but is associated with a reduction in tactical and strategic innovation. Innovation is associated with movement entrepreneurs, like the body of lone activists that characterizes the antiabortion movement. However, work on online activism offers evidence that SMOs are not the dominant organizing structures in online mobilization, leading to general questions about innovation and the role of SMOs online.
Methodology – I analyze quantitatively content-coded data for the role of organizations and for innovative uses of the web for protest in the online abortion rights and antiabortion movements.
Findings – The two movements have different online footprints, with organizations dominating the former but not the latter, and an overall larger volume of antiabortion claims-making. Unlike in offline activism, organizationally affiliated sites are not less likely than those without an organizational affiliation to leverage innovative uses of the web for claims-making. Organizational composition may matter in other ways, though: the greater representation of antiabortion claims online, especially by individual activists, may be a lingering effect of the abortion rights movement's offline professionalization.
Research implications – These findings point to the importance of attending to variation across movements when they migrate online in investigations of new media for protest and for rethinking the role of SMOs in social movements.
Most women seeking abortion pay out-of-pocket for care, partly due to legal restrictions on insurance coverage. These costs can constitute a hardship for many women…
Most women seeking abortion pay out-of-pocket for care, partly due to legal restrictions on insurance coverage. These costs can constitute a hardship for many women. Advocates have sought to ensure insurance coverage for abortion, but we do not know whether the intermediaries between policy and patient – abortion-providing facilities – are able and willing to accept insurance.
We interviewed 22 abortion facility administrators, representing 64 clinical sites in 21 states that varied in their legal allowance of public and private insurance coverage for abortion, about their facility’s insurance practices, and experiences.
Respondents described challenges in accepting public and/or private insurance that included, but were not limited to, legal regulations. When public insurance broadly covered abortion, its low reimbursement failed to cover the costs of care. Because of the predominance of low income patients in abortion care, this caused financial challenges for facilities, leading one in a state that allows broad coverage to nonetheless decline public insurance. Accepting private insurance carried its own risks, including nonpayment because costs fell within patients’ deductibles. Respondents described work-arounds to protect their facility from nonpayment and enable patients to use their private insurance.
The structure of insurance and the population of abortion patients mean that changes at the political level may not translate into changes in individual women’s experience of paying for abortion.
This research illustrates how legal regulations, insurer practices, and the socioeconomics of the patient population matter for abortion-providing facilities’ decision-making about accepting insurance.
Purpose – Historically, the gay and lesbian community has been divided over same-sex marriage along gender lines, with gay men its most frequent supporters and lesbians…
Purpose – Historically, the gay and lesbian community has been divided over same-sex marriage along gender lines, with gay men its most frequent supporters and lesbians its most frequent critics. In recent years, however, in localities where same-sex marriage has been available, the gender polarity around same-sex marriage has reversed, with lesbian couples constituting the majority of those married. Although same-sex marriage is framed in a gender-neutral way, the higher rate of lesbians marrying suggests that gay men and lesbians may have different stakes in, demand for, and benefits from access to marriage.Methodology – Drawing on interviews with 42 participants (24 women; 18 men) in the 2004 San Francisco same-sex weddings, I qualitatively analyze how and when gender comes to be salient in the decision by same-sex couples to marry.Findings – Explicitly attending to the intersections of gender, sexual identity, and family, I find that lesbians and gay men did not systematically offer different narratives for why they married, but parents did offer different meanings than childfree respondents: the apparent gender gap is better described as a parenthood gap, which has a demographic relationship to gender with more lesbians than gay men achieving parenthood in California. Scholarship on the gendered experience of reproduction suggests that the importance of gender in the experience of queer parenthood may persist even if parity in parenthood were reached.Originality/value – Findings attest to the importance of attending to the intersections of gender, sexual identity, and family for scholars of same-sex marriage.
Delores P. Aldridge has served as the Grace Towns Hamilton Professor of Sociology and African American Studies since 1990 at Emory University. Her career has focused on racial, ethnic, gender, family, and educational issues. She provided the seminal work on Black Women and the Labor Market in the Journal of Social and Behavioral Sciences (1975). For her scholarly contributions and social activism in and beyond the academy, she has received countless awards including the Cox, Johnson, Frazier Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Sociological Association(2010); Charles S. Johnson Award for Professional and Scholarly Achievement on Race and the South, the Southern Sociological Society (2006); and, the W. E. B. Du Bois Award (distinguished scholar, social activist, humanitarian), the Association of Social and Behavioral Sciences (1986).
Edwin Amenta is a professor of sociology, political science, and history at the University of California-Irvine. He is the PI of the NSF-funded “Political Organizations in the News” project and the coeditor of the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology.