The Anti-Abortion Movement: Testing a Theory of the Rise and Fall of Social Movements
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Mobilization, Abortion, Extremist cause
Politics and Social Change
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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Leahy, Peter James, "The Anti-Abortion Movement: Testing a Theory of the Rise and Fall of Social Movements" (1975). Sociology - Dissertations. 57.