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Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory

John D. McCarthy and Mayer N. Zald
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 82, No. 6 (May, 1977), pp. 1212-1241
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2777934
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory
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Abstract

Past analysis of social movements and social movement organizations has normally assumed a close link between the frustrations or grievances of a collectivity of actors and the growth and decline of movement activity. Questioning the theoretical centrality of this assumption directs social movement analysis away from its heavy emphasis upon the social psychology of social movement participants; it can then be more easily integrated with structural theories of social process. This essay presents a set of concepts and related propositions drawn from a resource mobilization perspective. It emphasizes the variety and sources of resources; the relationship of social movements to the media, authorities, and other parties; and the interaction among movement organizations. Propositions are developed to explain social movement activity at several levels of inclusiveness-the social movement sector, the social movement industry, and social movement organization.

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