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Creating Commitment in an Ecovillage Community

Togami, Chie L. (2018) Creating Commitment in an Ecovillage Community. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Existing literature on the topic of individual commitment to social movements focuses primarily on how the internal dynamics of those movements foster commitment. In so doing, scholars have largely ignored the ways that intra- and extra- movement mechanisms work in tandem to reinforce commitment in social movements and social movement communities. This thesis draws on original data gathered through participant observation and interviews at a Japanese Ecovillage to speak to the central theoretical question: How is individual commitment to social movement communities—especially those that resemble total institutions—sustained? Building on the work of Kanter (1968, 1972) I argue that four types of mutually-reinforcing mechanisms sustain commitment in high-commitment social movement communities: 1) quotidian rituals and group practices, 2) individual investment and sacrifice, 3) charismatic leadership, and 4) embeddedness within transnational movement networks. I suggest that this fourth kind of commitment mechanism, embeddedness within transnational movement networks, is an understudied type of commitment mechanism that may actively reinforce individuals’ affective, instrumental, and moral commitment to high-commitment social movement communities. I conclude by discussing the implications of this analysis for the study of activist commitment to contemporary transnational social movements.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Togami, Chie L.clt57@pitt.educlt57
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairStaggenborg, Suzannesuzstagg@pitt.edusuzstagg
Committee MemberBanerjee, Taruntdb@pitt.edutdb
Committee MemberMoss, Danadmm209@pitt.edudmm209
Date: 26 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 December 2017
Approval Date: 26 September 2018
Submission Date: 3 August 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 66
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: commitment, ecovillage, environment, community, transnational, social movement
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 23:16
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2018 23:16


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