Pols 251 1
February 1st 2013
Resource Mobilization Theory
Resource Mobilization Theory: a theoretical approach focusing on the resources,
organization, and opportunities needed for social movement mobilization and
• Resource Mobilization Theory (RMT) emerges as a result of the dissatisfaction
with previous assumptions of so-called Classical Social Movement Theory.
• A) Members of the movements emerging in the 1960’s were not
characterized as marginalized, isolated or deprived but were more often
members of the middle class.
• Early assumptions on who joins included:
• Marginal and alienated members of society
• Individuals that were insecure and/or dogmatic
• Individuals that were compensating for some kind of personal
• Difficult given young middle class youth, easy associated
• Out casted, disempowered
• Psychological state
• Imitate the short falls
• B) The larger picture of collective behavior as irrational appeared unfounded.
Margit Mayer argues, “the failure of liberal politics provided the trigger for a
wave of social movements that could hardly be read as irrational outbursts of
deviant or marginal groups” (Mayer, 1995).
• Political interest, political culture, couldn’t address the problems
• Context specific
• 1960s to early 1970s
• Dominate frame work
The problems with these conclusions an