Although scholars have examined the different pathways to participation in social movements, far less research has looked at the endurance of activists once they mobilize. This article specifically explores the relationship between the pathways to mobilization and retention. Our data show that both social ties and individual motivations play a role in mobilizing participants of social movements. Contrary to what one might expect, we find that those activists who were mobilized with personal connections were less likely to be working for the organization a year later versus those who came to the organization as strangers. We find instead that self-starters—those canvassers who entered the canvass through their own volition—stayed on longer. Although those canvassers who came to the job through network ties were less likely to be working for the organization a year later, they were more likely to be engaged in other civic and political groups and they were more likely to be leaders of these groups.
The Limits of Networks in Social Movement Retention: On Canvassers and their Careers
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Dana Fisher, Paul-Brian McInerney; The Limits of Networks in Social Movement Retention: On Canvassers and their Careers. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 June 2012; 17 (2): 109–128. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/maiq.17.2.y8g9r5m2261p7222
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