Ad Hoc Antipornography Organizations and Their Active Members: A Research Summary1


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    Based upon research conducted under contract with the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography and under a supplemental grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. The following project colleagues are gratefully acknowledged: Ronald D. Birkelbach, Adreain R. Kirkpatrick, Mickey C. Bowman, Susan Lee Zurcher, Marilyn Bidnick, Marilyn Clayton Willis, Rosemary Cooney, Nijole Benokraitis, Paula Miller, Linda Birkelbach, Ralph Nemir, Vicki Watkins, Janine Nussbaum, and Malvern Lusky. The authors express their appreciation to the leaders of the anti-pornography campaigns for their consistendy generous cooperation.

Department of Sociology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712.


This paper summarizes an intensive field study of two ad hoc antipornography organizations, the campaigns they conducted, and their leaders and active participants. Data were gathered by extensive observation and document search, unstructured interviews with campaign-knowledgeable respondents, and by structured interviews with 85 leaders (Conporns), 51 opponents (Proporns), and 40 Controls. Comparative analyses of the two antipornography campaigns supported the hypothesis that the campaigns were norm-oriented social movements which could be described by Smelser's value-added stages of collective behavior. Conporns were found to be status discontents defending with a symbolic crusade the dominance and prestige of a lifestyle to which they were committed. Conporns were found, again as hypothesized, to differ from Proporns in selected demographic and social-psychological characteristics. Research problems which occurred during the course of the field study are discussed, and suggestions made for further investigations.