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Mobilizing and sustaining grassroots activism in the National Organization for Women, 1966-2000 : by Maryann Barakso.

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dc.contributor.advisor Stephen Ansolabehere. en_US Barakso, Maryann, 1967- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science. en_US 2005-08-23T18:35:22Z 2005-08-23T18:35:22Z 2001 en_US 2001 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2001. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 278-294). en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation examines how the National Organization for Women (NOW) survived the vagaries of both the political environment and its intraorganizational problems and controversies over its thirty-five year history. It considers the role that patrons, the state, mobilizing structures, leaders, organizational structure, strategic flexibility, and collective identity played in NOW's creation and maintenance. Little support is found for the role of patrons or of the state in NOW's origination and sustenance. Mobilizing structures, in the form of social networks, however, proved crucial factors supporting NOW between 1966 and 1971, its founding period. NOW's organizational structure, particularly its (limited) professionalization and its federalization both assisted NOW in overcoming potentially crippling information gaps between members and leaders. However, federalization has not had an entirely benign effect. In addition to allowing a great deal of autonomy, NOW's federal structure also permitted the development of strong intraorganizational factions. Leaders positively influenced organizational stability by enhancing NOW's collective identity and by stewarding the group towards new strategies. However, NOW's strong identity acts as a constraint upon leaders' ability to change the organization's goals or tactical approach. NOW's longevity and institutionalization over time suggests a second set of issues which are examined in this study. How has NOW's aging affected the organization's attention to its founding principles? en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) How is NOW different from interest group organizations who rely mainly on checks, rather than member involvement, for their sustenance? The ways in which NOW is different from the average "interest group" are outlined, as is its continuing commitment to radical politics and to its founding principles. en_US
dc.format.extent 294 leaves en_US
dc.format.extent 20337884 bytes
dc.format.extent 20337642 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Political Science. en_US
dc.title Mobilizing and sustaining grassroots activism in the National Organization for Women, 1966-2000 : by Maryann Barakso. en_US
dc.title.alternative Mobilizing and sustaining grassroots activism in NOW, 1966-2000 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 50305953 en_US

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