Understanding activist leadership effort in the movement opposing drinking and driving

Cassandra R. Dorius, John D. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Why do some social movement leaders work harder than others? And, how does gender affect the patterns we uncover? Utilizing historical case study evidence of local chapters in the emerging movement opposing drinking and driving we are able to develop and test theoretical expectations about predictors of weekly effort among MADD and RID leaders. Taken together, our model explains 45 percent of the variation in leadership effort. We find bureaucratic complexity and victim support activities are more powerful predictors of effort than are individual leader characteristics, although all are important. Further analysis reveals that gender almost wholly conditions the strong effect of bureaucratic complexity on leadership effort so that increasingly complex chapter structures are associated with substantial increases in work hours for women but not men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbersor035
Pages (from-to)453-473
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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