Organizing Women as Women: Hybridity and Grassroots Collective Action in the 21st Century
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The Million Mom March (favoring gun control) and Code Pink: Women for Peace (focusing on foreign policy, especially the War in Iraq) are organizations that have mobilized women as women in an era when other women’s groups struggled to maintain critical mass and turned away from non-gender-specific public issues. This article addresses how these organizations fostered collective consciousness among women, a large and diverse group, while confronting the echoes of backlash against previous mobilization efforts by women. We argue that the March and Code Pink achieved mobilization success by creating hybrid organizations that blended elements of three major collective action frames: maternalism, egalitarianism, and feminine expression. These innovative organizations invented hybrid forms that cut across movements, constituencies, and political institutions. Using surveys, interviews, and content analysis of organizational documents, this article explains how the March and Code Pink met the contemporary challenges facing women’s collective action in similar yet distinct ways. It highlights the role of feminine expression and concerns about the intersectional marginalization of women in resolving the historic tensions between maternalism and egalitarianism. It demonstrates hybridity as a useful analytical lens to understand gendered organizing and other forms of grassroots collective action.
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Kevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and Political Science
Professor Goss focuses on why people do (or don't) participate in political life and how their engagement affects public policymaking. Her current research projects focus on the role of philanthropic billionaires in policy debates and on the evolution of gun-related advocacy over the past decade. See more about Professor Goss at <a href="http://kris