Chapter

Adherents and constituents

Nicholas Owen

in Other People's Struggles

Published in print September 2019 | ISBN: 9780190945862
Published online July 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190945893 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190945862.003.0002
Adherents and constituents

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  • Comparative and Historical Sociology
  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Political Sociology

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Chapter 2 develops a new definition, based on motivations rather than expected outcomes, renaming the conscience constituent as the adherent. An adherent puts resources into the movement in order that others, of whom she is not one, will benefit directly from the movement’s success. The adherent is contrasted with the constituent, who puts resources into the movement in order that she herself, or others of whom she is one, will benefit. The use of adherents depends on two features of a social movement’s activity. The first feature is orientation: the nature of the work that a social movement (or a group within it) is doing. There are four orientations: outward (pursuing interests); expressive (expressing identities); empowerment (empowering activists); and solidarity (increasing the movement’s cohesion). The second feature is ambition, which concerns the extent of the change the movement seeks and the degree to which it presumes equality.

Keywords: conscience constituent; altruism; adherent; ally; solidarity; social movements; social movement theory; resource mobilization; ambition; orientation

Chapter.  7362 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Political Sociology

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