Building Movement Bridges: The Coalition of Labor Union Women
Activists often participate in more than one social movement and organization. Bridging organizations are formed by activists who feel that the movements in which they are participating do not adequately address the various issues they are involved in. The author provides a case study of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), an organization which was founded in 1974.
Using the CLUW as a model, the author demonstrates how one organization can address the needs of diverse social movements, in this case the women's movement and the labor movement. By tracing the formation and development of the CLUW, the author illustrates and elaborates on her theories concerning social movements and bridging organizations. She uses historical documents, first hand accounts, and a case study approach to analyze the interrelatedness of oppression, opposition, social change, movement change, and personal change associated with social movements and bridging organizations. Detailing the obstacles the CLUW faces, the author makes clear how important such organizations are as well as how difficult it can be to negotiate the collective identity of its members and reconcile the needs of various social groups represented therein.
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