Part 1: Moblization
- On the Origins of Social Movements
by Jo Freeman.
- Mobilizing the Disabled
by Roberta Ann Johnson
- Sacrifice for the Cause: Group Processes, Recruitment, and Commitment
in a Student Social Movement
by Eric L. Hirsch
- Recruiting Intimates, Recruiting Strangers: Building the Contemporary
Animal Rights Movement
by James M. Jasper
Part 2: Organization
- The Structure of Social Movements: Environmental Activism and Its Opponents
by Luther P. Gerlach
- The Consequences of Professionalization and Formalization in the Pro-Choice
by Suzanne Staggenborg
- Aids, Anger, and Activism: ACT UP as a Social Movement Organization
by Abigail Halcli
Part 3: Consciousness
- The Spirit Willing: Collective Identity and the Development of the
by John C. Green
- Collective Identity in Social Movement Communities: Lesbian Feminist
Mobilization by Verta Taylor and Nancy E. Whittier
- The Social Construction of Subversive Evil: The Contemporary Anti-Cult
and Anti-Satanism Movements
by David G. Bromley and Diana Gay Cutchin
Part 4: Strategy and Tactics
- A Model for Analyzing the Strategic Options of Social Movement Organizations
by Jo Freeman
- The Strategic Determinants of a Countermovement: The Emergence and
Impact of Operation Rescue Blockades
by Victoria Johnson
- Civil Disobedience and Protest Cycles
by David S. Meyer
- The Transformation of a Constituency into a Movement Revisited: Farmworker
Organizing in California
by J. Craig Jenkins
Part 5: Decline
- The End of SDS and the Emergence of Weatherman: Demise Through Success
by Frederick D. Miller
- The Decline of the Civil Rights Movement
by Doug McAdam
- The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee: Rise and Fall of a Redemptive
by Emily Stoper
1960s was one of those rare decades that transforms society. It
was a decade that spilled over into the seventies and eighties.
Its effects are still rippling through some of our more remote
social bayous even as the reaction to those effects dominates the
societal center. The sixties was marked, above all, by public discontent
organized into protest movements.
protests are common in our history, there have been three
periods since our country's founding in which wave after
wave of protests have reshaped our policies, priorities and
values. The first of these were the moral reform movements,
particularly abolition and temperance, which preceded our
Civil War. The second were the populist and progressive movements
between 1890 and 1920 which sought to curb corruption in
politics and the economic power of corporations. The sixties
movements and their progeny were the third.
each period has its own theme, there are some common characteristics.
They last roughly twenty to thirty years. While there are a
few major movements which set the tone of the period, there
are many minor ones which vary the theme and bring its ideas
to people who might otherwise be unaffected. There is always
a backlash. Social movements generate countermovements, and
sometimes they also spawn government repression. Countermovements
can limit the reach of social movements; they can also mobilize
new populations and stimulate new movements. At the end of
the period there are new institutions, new interest groups,
and different policies and priorities than there were before,
though these are not always the ones the initial movements
aimed to attain.
book is about American movements and countermovements of the
civil rights movement that began in the late fifties was the
first of the sixties movements, and it set the tone and style
for what was to come. Organized by and for southern blacks,
the civil rights movement nonetheless sought a reaffirmation
of such basic American values as equal rights and individual
dignity. This reaffirmation by a movement that targeted as
its enemy a practice -- segregation -- typical of a region
that itself was stigmatized by the rest of the nation made
it easy for a population still appalled by the atrocities of
Hitler's Germany to view the movement's achievements as a goal
and not a threat. It was not until black protest "went
north" that serious national opposition appeared.
the meantime, the civil rights movement captured the imagination
of a public jaded by a decade of conformity, particularly the
post-World War II generation attending college. The young people
who found an answer to President Kennedy's call to "ask
what you can do for your country" through participation
in the civil rights movement began to apply the concepts and
values they had learned from that movement to other segments
of society. These values were initially expressed in the Port
Huron Statement, adopted in 1962 by the Students for a Democratic
Society. It urged "the establishment of a democracy of
individual participation governed by two central aims: that
the individual share in those social decisions determining
the quality and direction of his life; that society be organized
to encourage independence in men [sic] and provide the
media for their common participation ..."
went through many changes before finally self-destructing in
1969. But the values expressed in the Port Huron Statement
did not die with it. These values emphasized the politicization
of society, individual fulfillment, and the legitimation of
dissent in a sharp break with the previous era's stress on
privatization and conformity. Such a change proved enduring
even while conservatives organized their own movements in reaction
to the successes of the sixties and seventies.
and individual fulfillment as values probably had their greatest
effect in the women's movement, which expressed them in the
phrase "the personal is political" and acted them
out in ways that began to violate fundamental American institutions
such as patriarchy. Although this movement began in the sixties,
it did not become public until 1970, and in the decade of the
seventies it reached its peak and greatest influence. More
than any other movement of the last two decades, it deprivatized
what had heretofore been perceived as personal problems.
the sixties is viewed as the decade of protest, it was really
the seventies that saw the greatest flowering of movements
on a wide variety of issues. As waves of protest spread throughout
our society, new segments of the population picked up the banner
of social change. Gays and lesbians, animal rights activists
and the disabled were just some of the many identities that
appeared in order to demand new laws, attitudes and practices.
Indeed "identity" took on new meaning, resulting
in highly organized groups distinct from traditional economic "interests." But
when protests grew larger and more frequent, publicity waned.
Four marches on Washington between 1960 and 1980 drew over
one hundred thousand participants: a civil rights march in
1963, an antiwar demonstration in 1969, an ERA march in 1978,
and an antinuclear march in 1979. While accurate figures aren't
available, there were probably more marches and demonstrations
in the seventies than the sixties.
eruption of movements in the seventies testified to the success
of the sixties' movements in several ways. First, the sixties'
movements legitimated dissent itself. Protesters are no longer
stigmatized as subversive; at worst they are dismissed as troublemakers.
Second, the use of mass demonstrations and even civil disobedience
was perceived as effective. Participants may have seen few
immediate benefits from their actions, but they attracted the
attention of many others who had neither the skills nor the
knowledge to use the traditional methods of political insiders.
Last, but hardly least, the gains achieved in the sixties stimulated
sixties' movements were largely from the left. Those of the
seventies, eighties and nineties were from the right as well
as the left, and other movements were unclassifiable on a left-right
spectrum. The initial targets of the countermovements were
issues that were publicly prominent: busing, the Equal Rights
Amendment, and abortion. Soon added were opposition to civil
rights for gays, affirmative action, environmental regulation,
health and safety programs, and immigrants, legal and illegal.
In the eighties and nineties the Christian Right, which had
sporadically resisted the changes demanded by the movements
of the sixties and seventies, organized into a politically
cohesive and permanent opposition.
the end of the Twentieth Century the third wave of protests
had long worn out, and even the countermovements had lost steam
and direction. The third wave left in its wake new values,
new priorities, new organized groups and new political alignments.
It also left new conflicts, but ones which would be fought
through the courts and the legislatures rather than on the
streets. Protest slipped from the headlines to the back pages.
It remains for another era, another generation of idealists,
to see protest as the best route to change.
of the most difficult problems in analyzing social movements is defining
exactly what a social movement is. Participants generally know that
they are part of a movement, but movements are so diverse that it is
difficult to isolate their common elements and incorporate them into
a succinct definition. Virtually all movement theorists have differing
definitions. Nonetheless, there are some common themes and elements
that recur in case studies and theoretical analyses, although not always
with a common emphasis.
and structure are the most important elements. Scholars writing
from the collective behavior perspective emphasized the spontaneity
present in fads, crowds, panics, riots, and social movements,
with the latter merely a more organized version of these similar
phenomena. Little attention was paid to how movements became
organized, or how the type of organization affected the movement's
goals and participants. Resource mobilization theorists critiqued
this perspective, emphasizing the importance of structure to
understand social movements. They downplayed spontaneity, sometimes
to the point of viewing all movement actions as deliberate
is much more useful to think of all the many forms of social
action as existing along a continuum. At one end are those
forms marked by their contagious spontaneity and lack of structure,
such as fads, trends, and crowds. At the other end are interest
groups whose primary characteristic is a well developed and
stable organization often impervious to spontaneous demands
from their members. In the middle are social movements that,
however diverse they may be, exhibit noticeable spontaneity
and a describable structure, even if a formal organization
is lacking. It is difficult to identify the exact
amount of structure necessary to distinguish a social movement
from a crowd or trend, and often harder to distinguish a social
movement organization from an interest group, but those distinctions
are crucial. It is the tension between spontaneity and structure
that gives a social movement its peculiar flavor. When one
significantly dominates the other, what may one day be, or
may once have been, a social movement, is something else.
a social movement as the middle of a continuum does not mean
there is a natural progression from the spontaneous end to
the organized one, as "natural history" theorists
postulate. As some of the case studies in this book illustrate,
the organization can exist before the movement. While it is
unusual for a highly formalized organization to become a social
movement organization, it is even more unusual for a totally
unorganized mass to become one.
social movement has one or more core organizations in a penumbra
of people who engage in spontaneous supportive behavior which
the core organizations can often mobilize but less often control.
When there is spontaneous behavior with only embryonic organization,
there may be a premovement phenomena awaiting the right conditions
to become a movement, but there is no movement per se. When
the penumbra of spontaneous behavior has contracted to no more
than the core organizations, or has not yet developed, there
is also no movement. An organization that can mobilize only
its own members, and whose members mobilize only when urged
to action by their organization, is lacking a key characteristic
of movements. Regardless of whether structure or spontaneity
comes first, or if they appear simultaneously, the important
point is that both must exist.
addition to structure and spontaneity other important elements
shape the form and content of a social movement. Whether all
are necessary to make a movement is open to debate. But they
are so prevalent that they cannot be overlooked.
utmost importance is consciousness that one is part of a group
with whom one shares a particular concern. Individuals acting
in response to common social forces with no particular identification
with one another may be setting a trend, but they are not part
of a movement. It was said by sixties' activists that "the
movement is a state of mind." As Roberta Johnson demonstrates
in her analysis of the disabled, it is a common state of mind
and a sense of identification with others who hold similar
views that make possible the common acts of movement participants,
even when they are out of communication with each other. Government
agents in the 1960s often attributed concurrent eruptions of
protest on the campus as the result of some underlying control
by agents of a well-organized subversive group. The real culprit
was the press, which by publicizing the actions of student
on one campus gave new ideas for actions to students with a
common state of mind on other campuses. The spontaneous activities
that subsequently occurred may not yet have been a movement,
but they drew upon the common consciousness that was later
forged into a movement.
a movement can create consciousness. The desire to do this
by spreading the movement's message is another key component.
This missionary impulse is not limited to social movements
but when it is lacking, it usually indicates that the movement
has been successfully repressed or is stagnating. It may also
mean that what ought to be a movement has never become one.
There is a reason social movements are called "movements." Without
the missionary impulse they do not move.
message carried is another important element -- some would
say the most important. Highly developed movements usually
embody their message in an elaborate ideology that may antedate
the movement, or be constructed by it. Such an ideology has
several parts. It specifies discontents, prescribes solutions,
justifies a change from the status quo, and may also identify
the agents of social change and the strategy and tactics they
are to use. Not all movements have a complete ideology, nor
is one necessary. What is necessary is identification of a
problem, and a vision of a better future. These alone can create
a belief system of extraordinary power.
has become common to use the term "movement" for
two different phenomena, and this can cause some confusion
in understanding what a movement is. "Movement" is
used initially for the mobilization and organization of large
numbers of people to pursue a common cause. It is also used
for the community of believers that is created by that mobilization.
The first of these is a short-term phenomenon. Movements always
decline. But when movements cease, the community that was created
often continues. It may even survive until the next wave of
movement activity, and may (or may not) provide resources and
ideas for a new generation of movement activists. When reading
about the "movement" it is important to understand
whether mobilization or community is the topic because the
questions asked will have different answers.
sixties transformed the study and analysis of social movements. Previously
social movements was a subfield within the framework of collective
behavior. While those grounded in this tradition did not all agree
on what a social movement was, or what the key elements of analysis
ought to be, they did share a common distaste, often subtle, for movements
and their participants. By and large these writers came of age politically
and academically in the thirties and forties when the prevalent movements
were extremist in nature. Fascism, communism, and other totalitarian
movements shaped their perception of social movements and the questions
they considered central to their analyses. The literature of this period
was focused on the psychology of movement participation. It looked
for the sources of discontent, analyzed the motives of participants,
parsed their ideology, and critiqued their leadership.
scholars writing in the seventies and eighties were influenced
by the movements of the sixties and seventies. Unlike the previous
generation, most of these writers were sympathetic to the movements
they studied. Many had been participants, or had friends who
were involved. Consequently, they asked very different questions,
ones of more immediate interest to movement participants. Their
core concerns -- access to resources, political opportunity,
organization, and strategy are reflected in some of the chapters
of this book. The "resource mobilization" school looked
on movement participation as a rational decision calculated to
obtain specific goals. It downplayed the role of ideology and
grievances in favor of examining actions. Scholars asked "who
did what" rather than "why."
the 1980s and 1990s the pendulum swung. Analysts asked "how" political
opportunities or access to resources led to collective action.
Ideology was restored to explain how grievances were translated
into actions and movement culture became a core concern. The
construction of meaning and the manipulation of symbols became
crucial to explaining mobilization, and assessing movement success
of the research on what we call "consciousness" --
movement ideology, culture and collective identity -- has been
influenced by European "New Social Movement" theorists.
They proposed that the search for identity distinguishes the
movements of the 1970s and 1980s from earlier class based movements.
Movement participation is seen as a way to question all aspects
of the social order, from government to interpersonal relationships
to organization. In
1983 Jo Freeman published a collection of articles on Social
Movements of the Sixties and Seventies. The authors in that
book were largely from the "resource mobilization" school.
Their chapters revealed its diversity of approaches as well as
its commonality of concerns. This book, published sixteen years
later, retains the best of those articles, some of which have
become classics in the literature. A couple have been revised
and updated. Most remain as they were. To these have been added
new chapters reflecting the change in theoretical approaches
as well as the new social movements. Thus this book is not only
about movements, but is part of an intellectual movement in the
study of social movements. It illuminates the changes in the
questions asked by scholars over the past forty years.
a regular column written by Katharine Turok, for DID YOU KNOW, the
newsletter of the New York City Chapter of the Women's National Book
Association (February 1999).
member Jo Freeman, author, photographer, activist, and attorney,
knows how to get published "the hard way." Next month
her Waves of Protest: Social Movements since the Sixties (Rowman & Littlefield,
$19.95), coedited with Victoria Johnson, will break into the
bookstores. It leaves a long tale in its wake.
story really begins in 1973 at a political science conference.
Just awarded a doctorate, Freeman (B.A., University of California
at Berkeley; Ph.D., University of Chicago; J.D., NYU), was walking
past an exhibitor's booth when she was stopped by a stranger's
outstretched arm as a voice boomed, "Stop! You've written
a dissertation I want to publish!" The arm and the voice
belonged to Edward J. Artinian, editor at David McKay's college
department. He acquired her dissertation, The Politics of
Women's Liberation, which was published in 1975 and went
on to sell 27,000 copies. In 1975 it was awarded a prize by the
American Political Science Association as the best scholarly
work on women in politics. (The runner up was a book by Jeane
same year Freeman published another anthology, Women: A Feminist
Perspective, with Mayfield, a California publisher. Although
it had been rejected by almost every publisher in, and out of,
New York, it quickly became the leading introductory women's
studies textbook and is now in its fifth edition.
McKay sold its text division to Longman, which kept McKay's editors
and books. After a few years Artinian left to found his own publishing
house (Chatham House) and his assistant, Nicole Benevento, became
the editor who signed Freeman's next book, a projected anthology, Social
Movements of the Sixties and Seventies, which appeared in
1987 Longman reorganized its lists, fired Benevento, and sold
or put out of print all of her books, including Freeman's. Armed
with a reversion of rights and the knowledge that Social Movements was
still selling 500 copies a year Freeman looked for a publisher
to reprint it. In the meantime, Artinian introduced her to Leo
Wiegman, political science editor at Dorsey Press. He signed
her to prepare a textbook on women in politics. Three months
later Dorsey was sold to Wadsworth and all its editors lost their
was then hired by Peacock Publishing, privately owned by F. E.
(Ted) Peacock, to run the editorial side. Wiegman told Freeman
he would do a revised edition, not a reprint, of her Social
Movements book and in March 1991, she signed with Peacock.
In 1992 Peacock fired Wiegman and canceled his existing contracts.
Freeman begged Peacock to reconsider her project, but he turned
it down definitively at the end of 1993.
wrote her contributors to explain the unanticipated delay, and
one of them recommended that she take the book to Westview. After
a lunch with Dean Birkenkamp, Westview's sociology editor, she
began negotiations with him and Jill Rothenberg. Then Westview
was sold to HarperCollins and in early 1996 most of its editors
left. Jill was still there. After lunch in Brooklyn, where they
negotiated terms, Rothenberg returned to Colorado with the proposed
contract - and Freeman heard nothing more.
the Spring of 1997, Artinian phoned Freeman to tell her that
Westview's publisher had been fired and more editors had left.
Learning that they had gone to Rowman and Littlefield, Freeman
got in touch with them again. This time she negotiated with the
political science editor, Jennifer Knerr, and signed a contract
in June of 1997. Waves of Protest: Social Movements Since
the Sixties will finally be published twelve years after
its predecessor was put out of print.
Wiegman, Freeman's almost editor, ultimately ended up as the
political science editor at HarperCollins/Westview. So if the
contract had gone to completion, Wiegman would most likely have
been Freeman's editor again!
Copyright (c) 1999 by Katharine Turok. Reprinted by permission of the
"Freeman, Johnson, and their fellow authors survey American social movements
since the 1950s with enthusiasm and perspicacity, forcing us to recognize how
movement activity has transformed American life over the past half-century."
—   Charles Tilly, Columbia University
"Waves of Protest is a highly useful and empirically rich collection
that considers movements since the sixties as a protest wave. Indeed, the movements
here are a tsunami of challenge and contention that will pique the interest of
—   Hank Johnston, San Diego State University
"Fresh, timely, and widely useful...."
—   Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin
"A 'good read' -- sorely needed to fill a gap in the political science literature
on social movements."
—   Karen O'Connor, American University
"The current generation of political science students will appreciate the
useful summaries and valuable analyses of movements' political strategies within
the structures of the American political system."
—   Andrew S. McFarland, University of Illinois, Chicago.
on Political Science, Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer 2000.
by Jon S. Ebeling, California State University, Chico
eighteen authors of these collected articles on social movements since
the 1960s have impressive academic credentials. Virtually all are Ph.D.s
teaching at the university level or are practicing organization leaders.
The book is systematic, well written, theoretically substantive, and
shows high-quality social science analysis of the structure and spontaneity
of social movements. The editors suggest that the social movements of
the 1960s and the countermovements of the 1970s represent a third broad
experience for the United States. The first group of social movements
consisted of moral reforms prior to the Civil War. The second group consisted
of populist and Progressive movements from the 1890s through the 1920s.
Examples of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s are environmental
activism, the pro-choice movement, and the activities of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Students for a Democratic Society.
There is not enough space in this review to cover all of the movements
discussed in the book.
seventeen articles are organized into five topics: mobilization, organization,
consciousness, strategy/tactics, and decline. Some of the articles,
now rewritten, appeared in an earlier book edited by Jo Freeman, Social
Movements of the Sixties and Seventies (1983). Three of the seventeen
have been updated. Seven were newly written for this anthology.
of the articles deal with the origins of social movements,
conceptualizing them as originating in "cooptable communication
networks" (p. 6). Social movements may be created because
of a crisis or by more direct instrumental methods. Some articles
discuss types of organizational structure, ranging from the
bureaucratic to the "segmentary, polycentric, and reticulate" p.
(84). The third section covers group consciousness in the emergence
of collective action. The fourth section focuses on the use
of external and internal resource opportunities in organizing
social movements. The final section discusses how we might
conceptualize the decline of organizations involved in social
this is excellent social science. It is well written, empirical,
and intellectually stimulating. A brief example illustrates
this: "Mobilization can then be explained by analyzing
how group-based political processes, such as consciousness-raising,
collective empowerment, polarization, and group decision-making,
induce movement participants to sacrifice their personal welfare
for the group cause" (p. 47).
book will be useful for students and scholars of political
science, sociology, and social movements, and for people interested
in working in such movements. In comparison with other sociological
treatments of organizational behavior, the book provides theoretical
breadth, new concepts about organizations, and substantive
empirical results. It offers new understanding of recent U.S.
Off Our Backs, Nov 1999 by Ellen Kaye Scott
Both feminist teachers and feminist activists will find Waves of Protest: Social Movements Since the Sixties, edited by Jo Freeman and Victoria Johnson, interesting to read as well as a useful resource. For feminist activists, this book offers a tool for reflecting about our political mobilization--past, present and future. While the essays in this volume cover a range of social movements, such as mobilization for disabled rights, the animal rights movement, AIDS awareness, anti-abortion organizing, and farmworkers, feminists will find this diverse representation of social movements provocative and relevant.
First, many of the movements discussed in the volume constitute components of women's movements in the U.S., or they are movements with large numbers of feminist activist participants.
Second, some of the case studies are explicitly antifeminist movements and reading about them provides insight into the forces that feminists find themselves working against. Third, other social movements analyzed in this volume offer useful directives for feminist activists. While all movements face particular conditions that shape their direction in specific ways, there are also generalizable lessons to be learned from large-scale mobilization for social change. So it is that we still find it useful to analyze the political process, and the successes and failures of the Civil Rights
Movement, for example. The lessons therein are abundant. This collection of essays is therefore extraordinarily useful for activists who also consider themselves students of social change.
Feminist teachers who teach in the area of social movements will also find this collection to be a terrific resource. One could organize a course on social movements around this text and use it as a reader. Waves of Protest is divided into five parts that cover the following areas of social movement theory and analysis: mobilization; organization; participant consciousness and collective identity; strategy and tactics; and social movement decline.It also contains fascinating case studies of movements that have emerged since the sixties in the United States. Freeman and Johnson collected here a number of reprints of classic articles, including Jo Freeman's "On the Origins of Social Movements," Suzanne Staggenborg's "The Consequences of Professionalization and Formalization in the Pro-Choice Movement," Verta Taylor and Nancy Whittier's "Collective Identity in Social Movement Communities: Lesbian Feminist Mobilization," Craig Jenkins' "The Transformation of a Constituency into a Social Movement Revisited: Farmworker Organizing in California" (somewhat revised), and Doug McAdam's "The Decline of the Civil Rights Movement."
In addition to the reprints, there are seven new articles in Waves of Protest. Some of the new material deserves mention here. Considering the seemingly timeless questions of why people join social movements, Eric Hirsch examines the group-based political processes involved with mobilization in the mid- 1980s in the student movement against apartheid and for divestment at Columbia University, and James Jasper considers the different contexts in which social networks and collective meanings have greater relative importance in recruiting new members to the Animal Rights movement. In her analysis of ACT Up, an AIDS activist group that emerged in the late 1980s, Abigail Halcli explores the relationship between organizational structure and social change strategies. John Green examines the role of collective identity in the formation of the Christian Right and reciprocally how the movement itself was the source of collective identity critical to its political mobilization. Victoria Johnson and David Meyer both look at tactics deployed by social movement organization. Johnson examines the use of blockades of abortion clinics by Operation Rescue and Meyer examines how uses of civil disobedience shift at different points in a cycle of protest.
Together, these articles, new and republished, offer a wonderful collection of both theoretical and empirical material on a wide range of social movements since the 1960s in the United States. My main complaint is that I would have liked a little more new material included here. The field of social movements is currently rich with debates that might have been more fully represented. For example, recent burgeoning concern over culture and meaning in social movements offers lively new terrain in the field that shifts attention away from the resource mobilization and political process models that have dominated since the seventies. Discussions on the role of emotions in social movements have also gained both momentum and attention in the last couple of years as well. These areas of social analysis were notably absent in this collection. Nonetheless, I found Waves of Protest to be engaging and most useful for activists and scholars alike. I would highly recommend the book to those interested in the study of social movements.