Chapter Nine Editors' abstract. Get ready for the “SPIN cycle.” Gerlach (University of
Minnesota) provides an excellent summary on the organizational and
strategic dynamics that characterize all manner of “segmented, polycentric, integrated networks” found in American social movements.
This is one of the few studies that discusses social movements from a
thoroughgoing network perspective. We believe that many of his observations also apply across the range of “uncivil-society” actors. This
chapter stems from his contributionto Jo Freeman's and Victoria
Johnson's edited volume, Waves of Protest (1999), Lanham, Mass.:
Rowman and Littlefield, a study of social movements since the 1960s.
Reprinted by permission.In the late 1960s Virginia H. Hine and I examined the structure of several social movements. We found that the most common type of organization was neither centralized and bureaucratic nor amorphous,
but one that was a segmentary, polycentric, and integrated network
(acronym SPIN) (Gerlach and Hine, 1970, 1973; Gerlach, 1971/1983).
THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS:
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM AND ITS OPPONENTS
Luther P. Gerlach
|• ||Segmentary: Composed of many diverse groups, which grow and
die, divide and fuse, proliferate and contract.|
|• ||Polycentric: Having multiple, often temporary, and sometimes
competing leaders or centers of influence.|
|• ||Networked: Forming a loose, reticulate, integrated network with
multiple linkages through travelers, overlapping membership,|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Networks and Netwars:The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy.
Contributors: John Arquilla - Editor, David Ronfeldt - Editor.
Place of publication: Santa Monica, CA.
Publication year: 2001.
Page number: 289.
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