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Pro-Life Activists in America

Pro-Life Activists in America
Meaning, Motivation, and Direct Action


  • Date Published: September 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521669429

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • Maxwell offers an oral history of pro-life direct activism in America from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Through the stories of leaders and followers, men and women, Catholics and evangelicals, Carol Maxwell explores the complex beliefs and desires that gave rise to this activism, sustained, and eventually undid it. Maxwell's interdisciplinary approach weaves theory from sociology, political science, anthropology, and moral philosophy. She pays special attention to several key issues: the role of the participants' diverse concepts of salvation; concerns about social change; their unresolved grief; their personal experiences of abortion; and differences in men's and women's commitment to protest. The book offers a unique window into the minds of individual protestors as they shifted from conventional activism to direct action and gives an important account of the direct action movement as its initial commitment to Ghandian non-violence was broken by the lethal acts that accompanied its end.

    • Provides a non-partisan, in-depth exploration of a controversial group engaged with one of the most divisive issues in American society
    • Uses activists' oral histories to explore the complexities of motivation
    • Includes activists at all levels of the movement, from the rank and file to the leaders
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521669429
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 18 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Choosing incivility
    2. Pro-life direct action in St Louis 1978 to 1983: young liberals and middle-aged mainstreamers
    3. Variations in the sources of commitment
    4. Coping with bereavement through activism: real grief and imagined death
    5. Abortion experiences
    6. Pro-life conviction
    7. Persistence: a qualitative analysis
    8. Gender differences in motivation
    9. Individual choices within the shifting social, legal, and political environments

  • Author

    Carol J. C. Maxwell, Washington University, St Louis

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