Title

The Anti-Abortion Movement: Testing a Theory of the Rise and Fall of Social Movements

Date of Award

1975

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

Advisor(s)

Allan Mazur

Keywords

Mobilization, Abortion, Extremist cause

Subject Categories

Politics and Social Change

Abstract

A large theoretical literature is devoted to explaining, in general terms, the growth and development of social movements. Unfortunately, as on observer notes, "most theories are so undifferentiated and so lacking in operational clarity that they are of little explanatory value." A good example is Kornhauser's (1959) "mass society" theory. Mass society is defined as a "social system in which elites are readily accessible to influence by non-elites, and non-elites are readily available for mobilization by elites." On the level of social movements, the theory implies an alienated, atomized group(s) of individuals within society who are susceptible for mobilization by elites for a variety of generally extremist causes.

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