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Ideology and the Clamshell Identity: Organizational Dilemmas in the Anti-Nuclear Power Movement

Ideology and the Clamshell Identity: Organizational Dilemmas in the Anti-Nuclear Power Movement Abstract This ethnographic study examines the role of ideology in the development of organizational dilemmas in the Clamshell Alliance, an anti-nuclear protest group active in New England during the late 1970s. In 1977, the Alliance received national recognition for its use of consensus decision making and nonviolent civil disobedience during a highly publicized two-week incarceration following an attempted occupation of the Seabrook nuclear plant. But over the next few years, sharp internal disagreements developed over the use of these strategies, leading ultimately to a factional split. I extend theory from symbolic anthropology to integrate the analysis of ideology into the study of resource mobilization without sacrificing the latter's emphasis on rational calculation. My analysis shows that the Alliance's anti-nuclear ideology established an egalitarian identity for the group which structured both the initial selection of strategies and later efforts to modify them. This content is only available as a PDF. Author notes * " The fieldwork for this article was supported by NSF Grant # BNS-7910334 and by a Faculty Research Grant from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan. I also acknowledge the continuing support of Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Science in Society. I thank the anonymous reviewers of this journal for their helpful comments. © 1986 Society for the Study of Social Problems, Inc. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Problems Oxford University Press

Ideology and the Clamshell Identity: Organizational Dilemmas in the Anti-Nuclear Power Movement

Social Problems , Volume 33 (5) – Jun 1, 1986

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References (25)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© 1986 Society for the Study of Social Problems, Inc.
ISSN
0037-7791
eISSN
1533-8533
DOI
10.2307/800656
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This ethnographic study examines the role of ideology in the development of organizational dilemmas in the Clamshell Alliance, an anti-nuclear protest group active in New England during the late 1970s. In 1977, the Alliance received national recognition for its use of consensus decision making and nonviolent civil disobedience during a highly publicized two-week incarceration following an attempted occupation of the Seabrook nuclear plant. But over the next few years, sharp internal disagreements developed over the use of these strategies, leading ultimately to a factional split. I extend theory from symbolic anthropology to integrate the analysis of ideology into the study of resource mobilization without sacrificing the latter's emphasis on rational calculation. My analysis shows that the Alliance's anti-nuclear ideology established an egalitarian identity for the group which structured both the initial selection of strategies and later efforts to modify them. This content is only available as a PDF. Author notes * " The fieldwork for this article was supported by NSF Grant # BNS-7910334 and by a Faculty Research Grant from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan. I also acknowledge the continuing support of Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Science in Society. I thank the anonymous reviewers of this journal for their helpful comments. © 1986 Society for the Study of Social Problems, Inc.

Journal

Social ProblemsOxford University Press

Published: Jun 1, 1986

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