Beyond Charismatic Leadership: The New York Catholic Worker Movement

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers - Social Science - 197 pages

Dorothy Day died recently in New York City. With her death, the Catholic Worker Movement lost the last of its founders and leaders. In this insightful and well-documented study, Aronica answers the question whether and how the Movement has survived beyond the founders. Starting from the notion of charismatic leadership, the author converts the Catholic Worker Movement into a test case for the classical analysis of social organization. Through participant observation, Aronica uncovers and explains the system of power and authority, the process of incorporation and the services provided to the poor by the Catholic Worker Movement. The Movement's paper, the Catholic Worker, was used to help provide a typology of membership categories. The book is more than a study in the transformation of charismatic leadership; it is also a study of the place of radical social thought within American Catholicism. Aronica shows the problems that the church structure has with grass-roots activities. She also illustrates the difficulty that a grass-roots organization has in transforming itself into a functioning bureaucracy. The book adds a new organizational dimension to the growing number of books on social movements. It is well suited for an audience interested in the sociology of religion and for those concerned with a fruitful application of modern ethnographic research to classical frameworks.


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Sociological Theory and Focus of Investigation
Personal Roots of Vision Selected Biographies of Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day Cofounders
The Evolution of Ideology and Leadership
New York City Houses of Hospitality in 1984
Categories of Membership Roles of Service and Group Processes Within the Catholic Worker Movement in 1984
The Catholic Worker Movement in 1984
Summary and Conclusions

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