Resource mobilization by local social movement organizations: Agency, strategy, and organization in the movement against drinking and driving

John D. McCarthy, Mark Wolfson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mobilization of resources is a central concern among analysts of social movements. However, little research has focused on factors that influence the types and amounts of resources collective actors are able to mobilize. In this study, data from local social movement organizations opposing drinking and driving are used to assess the roles of agency (i.e., amount of effort), strategy, organizational structure, and nature of national affiliation in the mobilization of resources. Measures of agency consistently predict mobilization of volunteer labor, revenue, and membership. Strategy seems less important: An emphasis on victim services was positively related only to mobilization of members. Organizational structure, particularly the number of task committees, was consistently related to mobilization of volunteer labor, revenue, and membership. Affiliation with a highly visible and highly legitimated national organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), appears to have an energizing effect on local leaders while it dampens the effects of agency, strategy, and organizational structure. These results are interpreted within the distinctive political and cultural context of the movement against drinking and driving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1088
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican sociological review
Volume61
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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