Resource Mobilization

Topics: Social movement, Distribution of wealth, Poverty Pages: 2 (515 words) Published: July 15, 2012
There has been a dramatic increase in the gap between the rich and poor in the United States, however, according to William Gamson’s claim the issue of income inequality has not demanded for any organized social movements even to this day to end such unfairness.

One possible obstacle to mobilization on this issue is the lack of organization. Gamson claims that goals, tactics and organization factors did make a difference in a protest group’s chances for success, groups which could not marshal the necessary organizational or tactical strengths were considered likely to fail, in their own terms, to wrest any favors from the economic or political system. For instance, the American Federation of Labor and the National Brotherhood of Baseball Players, which are two of Gamson’s protest groups. During the years of protest, many of the parameters describing the groups changed, their size, levels of organization, tactics and even the goals. The level of protest activities varied from large-scale strike activity to periods of relative quiescence. Therefore, the lacking of organization can lead to the failure of the formation of a social movement.

Another obstacle to mobilization is people’s willingness to participate. People weight the costs and benefits of a movement and the amount of costs and benefits vary throughout a movement. Individuals may value the costs and benefits differently; therefore, motivations may be draw back on the individual level. Klanderman’s thesis states that when there are more people and more mainstream, participation and involvement increases. Having lack of motivation, people’s willingness to participate decreases and the formation of a social movement fails.

Framing might be another obstacle to mobilize, as one may perceive one’s failure leading to poverty at his or her individual fault at the micro level. Since poverty and income inequality often times are at the individual level and due to many factors that may attribute to...
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