Social movement activity and institutionalized politics: A study of the relationship between political party strength and social movement activity in the United States.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/186323
Title:
Social movement activity and institutionalized politics: A study of the relationship between political party strength and social movement activity in the United States.
Author:
Bunis, William Kane.
Issue Date:
1993
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The relationship between social movement activity and conventional politics has received little systematic attention from the sociological social movements literature. In this dissertation I bring together diverse literatures (i.e., the social movement literature in Sociology and the interest group and political party literature in Political Science) to broaden our conceptualization of social movement activity and to understand more adequately the changing nature of that activity. The central premise of this dissertation is that variation in the openness or accessibility of the political opportunity structure is shaped, in part, by the strength of the political parties. The central proposition is that an erosion of political party strength is associated with an increase in social movement activity within institutionalized politics. Without the centrist demands of a traditional two-party political system, the system is vulnerable to a more diverse set of demands as well as a more extreme set of demands. A second proposition suggests that the degree to which a given party has been in or out of power at the presidential level shapes party vulnerability to social movement interests. This may reflect a natural tendency for parties to become increasingly vulnerable to more radical interests over their period of dominance. To address these questions, an historical analysis of party conventions and party platform battles is utilized. The analysis is designed to yield an empirical description of the tensions between the centrist interests of a traditional two-party system and more radical interests associated with an erosion of party strength in such a system. The significance of these arguments rests upon their demonstration of a faulty conceptualization of institutional versus noninstitutional strategies of collective action that permeates much of the sociological social movements literature. I argue that the distinction should not follow an either/or mentality. Rather, under varying historical circumstances the embeddedness of movement interests within institutional structures should be and is variable as well.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Sociology.; Political science.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Sociology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Snow, David A.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleSocial movement activity and institutionalized politics: A study of the relationship between political party strength and social movement activity in the United States.en_US
dc.creatorBunis, William Kane.en_US
dc.contributor.authorBunis, William Kane.en_US
dc.date.issued1993en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe relationship between social movement activity and conventional politics has received little systematic attention from the sociological social movements literature. In this dissertation I bring together diverse literatures (i.e., the social movement literature in Sociology and the interest group and political party literature in Political Science) to broaden our conceptualization of social movement activity and to understand more adequately the changing nature of that activity. The central premise of this dissertation is that variation in the openness or accessibility of the political opportunity structure is shaped, in part, by the strength of the political parties. The central proposition is that an erosion of political party strength is associated with an increase in social movement activity within institutionalized politics. Without the centrist demands of a traditional two-party political system, the system is vulnerable to a more diverse set of demands as well as a more extreme set of demands. A second proposition suggests that the degree to which a given party has been in or out of power at the presidential level shapes party vulnerability to social movement interests. This may reflect a natural tendency for parties to become increasingly vulnerable to more radical interests over their period of dominance. To address these questions, an historical analysis of party conventions and party platform battles is utilized. The analysis is designed to yield an empirical description of the tensions between the centrist interests of a traditional two-party system and more radical interests associated with an erosion of party strength in such a system. The significance of these arguments rests upon their demonstration of a faulty conceptualization of institutional versus noninstitutional strategies of collective action that permeates much of the sociological social movements literature. I argue that the distinction should not follow an either/or mentality. Rather, under varying historical circumstances the embeddedness of movement interests within institutional structures should be and is variable as well.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectSociology.en_US
dc.subjectPolitical science.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSociologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairSnow, David A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcAdam, Dougen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberClemens, Elisabeth S.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9333328en_US
dc.identifier.oclc702682108en_US
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