The Consequences of Professionalization and Formalization in the Pro-Choice Movement

I actually found the conclusions of this article to be quite intuitive. It seemed natural to me that those who were not emotionally or somehow otherwise invested in the movement would not go on to create their own Social Movement Organization.

It relates back to the story I told in one of the early classes of the semester.
I often talk to the people on the corners trying to get donations from those passing by for their organization.While I never have any money to give, I always feel bad about rejecting them, so I often stop to chat or say “hey thanks for standing out here!” (even though I now know they are simply a product of resource mobilization and are often paid to be out there)
On one occasion, the particular gentleman standing out in the cold was initially rather aggressive in speaking with me. When I told him I had no money but would be okay with donating some time and volunteering if they needed anyone (I really cannot hand out rejection…I’d prefer to compromise!) he explained to me that he ws actually paid to be out there. He also explained that there are some people who actually make a commission on how many people/monthly donations they are able to obtain, but he explained that he received an hourly wage, and that it was not a bad gig. I did not ask him too many questions about it, but he said something to the extent of “so it does not matter to me whether you give or not.” This led me to believe he was not really an active participant in the organization he was pushing on others. (It was either The Red Cross or a Children’s Charity.)
When I finally said goodbye, I felt he had made it clear that he as getting paid regardless of the outcome, and I think that’s why, going into this article, professional SMO workers (those paid to be there) did not carry any connotations of being passionate about their work (though I am certain there are cases that would prove me wrong).

One question that did arise after reading the article was: Does the professionalization of the pro-choice movement make the protesting less effective?
To clarify, I feel that the professionalization means that protests must be set in advance and must gather the proper permits. Because of this, a protest is planned much in advance, and thus, easily avoided by people who do not support the movement. On the other hand, an informal organization can quickly gather a group and have their people protest and they can be in the way (and being in the way means getting noticed). I guess the question is: are impromptu protests better than planned in advance? The answer is probably “it depends.”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s