Replacing members with managers? Mutualism among membership and nonmembership advocacy organizations in the United States

Edward T. Walker, John D. Mccarthy, Frank Baumgartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Associations with a professional staff but no members (nonmem-bership advocacy organizations, or NMAOs) are the subject of lively debate. Many argue that their proliferation has allowed an expansion of advocacy without an accompanying growth in civic engagement. This article asks if there has been significant recent growth of NMAOs and if those organizations have displaced membership advocacy organizations (MAOs). The authors find no evidence for a proportional increase of NMAOs since the 1960s. Further, among all organizations in three populations-peace, women's issues, and human rights-NMAOs have not displaced MAOs. In particular, the authors find that MAO density shapes NMAO founding, as membership groups provide a base for professional advocacy. These findings challenge the notion that U.S. civic life has undergone a systemic transformation away from organizational forms that promote civic engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1284-1337
Number of pages54
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume116
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Replacing members with managers? Mutualism among membership and nonmembership advocacy organizations in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this