Introduction: How Do Chronically Failing Altruistic Social Movement Groups Persist?

Erika Summers Effler

in Laughing Saints and Righteous Heroes

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226188652
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226188676 | DOI:
Introduction: How Do Chronically Failing Altruistic Social Movement Groups Persist?

Show Summary Details


This chapter investigates altruistic social movement groups and the day-to-day interactions in two altruistic social movement organizations in order to understand how such groups maintain intensity of involvement. It focuses on the process of maintaining the energy required to carry out good work; to maintain a sense of responsibility for others, commitment to the work, and cooperation among group members; and the ability to deal with failure. The purpose of this study is to understand the emotional dynamics of such groups, and how group dynamics either motivate the production of collective goods or drain participants of their feelings of efficacy and enthusiasm. The findings from this research are also relevant to the recent and increasing focus on the role of emotions in social life within the field of sociology. Furthermore, this text illustrates how these groups survived unfavorable political conditions, internal conflict, and fluctuations in their resources, through a combination of adjusting to their local environment and working on their local environment so that it adjusted to them.

Keywords: social movements; emotional dynamics; sociology; local environment; groups

Chapter.  10251 words. 

Subjects: Organizations

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.