University of Tasmania
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Access to power: the organisational structure of the wilderness conservation and anti-nuclear movements in Australia

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posted on 2023-05-27, 06:29 authored by Holloway, G
Social movements open new modes of political participation. The placement of social movements exclusively in the domain of 'unconventional' politics ignores their 'conventional' aspects and reinforces the ideological stereotypes that devalue social movements as 'abnormal'. On the other hand, treating social movements as a mere extension of 'conventional' politics tends to ignore the semiinstitutional nature of some social movements bodies. A discussion of these theoretical and ideological issues in Chapters One and Two opens the way for an empirical examination of social movement bodies in Chapters Four to Six. Empirical analysis of organisations and groups forming the wilderness conservation and the anti-nuclear movements in Australia reveals their multi-modal structure and operation. Both movements include formalised organisations, which operate in 'conventional' ways (Institutional Mode) similiar to other interest and lobby groups, as well as movement bodies that are 'unconventional' in their structure and operation. The latter include two types analysed, under the labels 'Social Movement Mode' and the 'New Mode'. The characteristics of these three modes are investigated using a survey of 330 movement bodies (formal and semi-formal). Cluster analysis of the organisational characteristics reveals both the three-modal structure of the movements and some interesting differences between the wilderness conservation and the anti-nuclear movements.


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