(1.) For more on the importance of socialization, see Bosi (2012); Demerath, Marwell, and Aiken (1971); Isaac, Mutran, and Stryker (1980); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1988); Nepstad (2004a); and Viterna (2006).
(2.) For more on the importance of prior activism, see Bosi (2012); Corrigall-Brown (2012); Isaac, Coley, Cornfield, and Dickerson (2016); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1988); Viterna (2006); and Wiltfang and McAdam (1991).
(3.) For more on the role of attitudinal affinity, see Cohn, Barkan, and Whitaker (1993); Corrigall-Brown (2012); Jasper (1997); Jasper and Poulsen (1995); Klandermans and Oegema (1987); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1986); and Schussman and Soule (2005); though also see Blee (2003), Han (2009), and Munson (2008).
(4.) For more on the link between personal networks and activist group participation, see Beyerlein and Bergstrand (2016); Bosi (2012); Cunningham (2013); Dixon and Roscigno (2003); Jasper and Poulsen (1995); Klandermans and Oegema (1987); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1986); McAdam and Paulsen (1993); Nepstad and Smith (1999); Snow, Zurcher, and Ekland-Olson (1980); and Viterna (2006). For more on the link between organizational networks and activist group participation, see Bosi (2012); Fernandez and McAdam (1988); Klandermans and Oegema (1987); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1986); Schussman and Soule (2005); and Viterna (2006).
(6.) For more on the role of attitudinal affinity, microstructural availability, and biographical availability in activist commitment, see Baggetta, Han, and Andrews (2013); Barkan, Cohn, and Whitaker (1993, 1995); and Cohn, Barkan, and Halteman (2003).
(8.) See studies on the impacts of activist group participation on political behavior and views, such as Demerath et al. (1971); Fendrich (1993); Giguni and Grasso (2016); Isaac et al. (2016); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1988, 1989); Terriquez (2015); and Whalen and Flacks (1989).
(9.) See studies on the impacts of activist groups on family plans, such as Klatch (1999); McAdam (1989, 1999); Sherkat and Blocker (1997); Van Dyke, McAdam, and Wilhelm (2000); Whalen and Flacks (1989); Whittier (2016); and Wilhelm (1998).
(10.) For other work on activism within institutions, see, for example, Banaszak (2010); Bell (2014); Davis and Robinson (2012); Kucinskas (2014); McCammon and McGrath (2015); and Santoro and McGuire (1997). For other work on activist (p.154) group-induced cultural change, see, for example, Armstrong and Bernstein (2008); Bruce (2016); Earl (2004); and an extended discussion in chapter four.
(11.) For other work on activist safe spaces and communities, see Fetner, Elafros, Bortolin, and Dreschler (2012); Kelner (2008); Nepstad (2004b); Reger (2012); Rupp and Taylor (1987); Staggenborg (1998); Taylor and Whittier (1992); and Whittier (1995). For other work on intentional activist group-induced personal change, see, for example, Bernstein and De la Cruz (2009); Reger, Myers, and Einwohner (2008); Whittier (2011); Woehrle (2014); and an extended discussion in chapter five.
(12.) For example, Armstrong (2002), Armstrong and Bernstein (2008), Crossley (2017), Reger (2012), Van Dyke, Soule, and Taylor (2004), and Whittier (1995) all highlight the varieties of goals and tactics that are pursued and deployed by activists.
(13.) For studies on bullying and harassment toward sexual and gender minorities in schools, see Pascoe (2012); Poteat et al. (2013); and Toomey and Russell (2013, 2016). For a recent study on violence against queer people more generally, see Meyer (2015).
(15.) For studies on conservative religiosity and homophobia, see Schnabel (2016); Sherkat (2016); Whitley (2009); Wolff, Himes, Miller Kwom, and Bollinger (2012); and Woodford, Levy, and Walls (2013).
(16.) For studies on the impacts of high school Gay–Straight Alliances, see Currie, Mayberry, and Chenneville (2012); Fetner, Elafros, Bortolin, and Dreschler (2012); Fetner and Elafros (2015); Heck, Flentje, and Cochran (2011); Marx and Kettrey (2016); Mayberry (2006, 2013a, 2013b); Poteat et al. (2013, 2015); Renn (2007); Renn and Bilodeau (2005); Toomey and Russell (2013); and Walls, Kane, and Wisneski (2010).
(17.) Although both Loyola University Chicago and Catholic University are associated with the Roman Catholic Church—a religious tradition with a body of social justice teachings—I exploited variation within the Catholic Church by selecting one school associated with the social justice-oriented Jesuits (Loyola University Chicago) and another school associated with the more conservative wing of the Roman Catholic Church (Catholic University).
(18.) I interviewed participants rather than nonparticipants given my goal of understanding variation among participants rather than understanding differences between participants and nonparticipants (an objective that has historically characterized studies of micromobilization but that tends to homogenize participants). This approach is consistent with other recent studies on variation among activists (e.g., Bosi 2012; Isaac et al. 2016).
(19.) By interviewing Belmont students during two waves, I was able to assess the potential role of changing school policies on students’ pathways to activism while holding other contextual variables constant. Furthermore, by interviewing some students during both waves, I was able to verify that recall bias was not an issue—students recalled the details of their initial participation just as well three to four years after they joined as they did in the first few months after they joined.
(20.) I was not able to identify the earliest participants in the group at Loyola University Chicago given that group’s early founding date.
(p.155) (21.) Note that I generally avoid referencing respondents’ race or gender identity throughout the book; because people of color and trans people were greatly outnumbered within all of these groups, identifying a respondent as a person of color or transgender might compromise their anonymity.
(22.) Students repeatedly mentioned that Advocate was known for being a male-dominated club.
(23.) Students similarly mentioned that straight allies dominated the leadership of Advocates.
(2.) The Mattachine Society was predated by the Society for Human Rights, a homophile-like organization founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1924. However, the organization lasted for only a few months, because police arrested many of the organization’s members (Licata 1981).
(4.) For further research on the 1960s civil rights, feminist, and working-class movements, see studies such as Gitlin (1987); Isaac and Christiansen (2002); McAdam (1982); Morris (1986); and Roth (2003).
(5.) There was an attempt by some activists to revive the contentious tactics that marked the gay liberation and lesbian feminist movements of the late 1960s, as evidenced by the formation of the radical group ACT UP in 1987, which staged high-profile direct actions in such cities as New York City and Los Angeles to fight the AIDS pandemic (Gould 2009; Roth 2017). However, these groups were the exception to the more general trend toward moderation, and most did not last long.
(6.) An incomplete list of these organization includes A Common Bond (Jehovah’s Witnesses); Affirmation (the Mormon Church); Axios (Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine Rite, and Eastern Catholic Christians); Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (American Baptist Churches USA and other mainline Baptist denominations); Brethren Mennonite Council (Church of the Brethren); Changing Attitude (Anglican Church); Courage (Roman Catholic Church); Dignity USA (Roman Catholic Church); Emergence International (Christian Scientists); Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns (Quakers); GLAD Alliance (Disciples of Christ); Integrity USA (Episcopal Church in the United States of America); Lutherans Concerned/North America (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America); Methodists in New Directions (United Methodist Church USA); More Light Presbyterians (Presbyterian Church USA); Nazarene Ally (Church of the Nazarene); New Ways Ministries (Roman Catholic Church); Pink Menno (Mennonite Church USA); Reconciling Ministries Network (United Methodist Church USA); Seventh-Day Adventist Kinship International (Seventh-Day Adventists); and the UCC Open and Affirming Coalition (United Church of Christ). See Fuist, Stoll, and Kniss (2012) for (p.156) an analysis of many of these organizations, and see Loseke and Cavendish (2001) and Radojcic (2016) for an analysis of Dignity in particular.
(9.) I use the terms “individualist” and “communal” rather than related terms such as “libertarian” and “communitarian” because these latter terms generally conflate a focus on individuals versus communities with conservative versus liberal social beliefs (see Davis and Robinson 2012). Specifically, the term “libertarian” often implies that those who are focused on the plights of individuals also hold liberal social beliefs, and the term “communitarian” implies that those who are focused on reforming wider communities also hold conservative social beliefs, whereas I wish to avoid these assumptions.
(10.) Specifically, scholars have documented strong support for social movements among communal religious traditions (Braunstein, Fuist, and Williams 2017; Shepherd 2009; C. Smith 1996; Wood 2002; Wood and Fulton 2015), including black Protestant churches and colleges (e.g., work on the civil rights movement by Isaac et al. 2012; Morris 1986; R. H. Williams 2002), mainline Protestant denominations (e.g., work on LGBT movements by H. White 2015 and on peace and economic justice movements by Snarr 2011; Wuthnow and Evans 2002; though see mixed findings in Mirola 2015), and the Catholic Church (e.g., other work on peace and economic justice movements by Nepstad 2004a, 2004b, 2008; Palacios 2007; C. Smith 1991). In comparison, mobilization within individualist traditions, such as evangelical Protestant denominations, has mostly been limited to issues of personal piety (e.g., R. H. Williams 2002; R. H. Williams and Blackburn 1996; though see Steensland and Goff 2013). See also Perry’s (2017) discussion of how social engagement by conservative evangelicals is self-limiting.
(11.) For example, Gary T. Marx (1967, 67) shows that African Americans in individualist denominations, which seek to “solace the individual” and “divert concern away from efforts at collective social change,” were unlikely to support nonviolent protests in support of civil rights. However, members of denominations that followed a “social gospel” (or communal) tradition often supported civil rights protests. More recently, Barnes (2004) distinguished between individualist functions of religion (such as attendance to “spiritual/religious needs of members”) and communal functions of religion (such as the promotion of community empowerment), showing that black churches specializing in communal functions are more involved in providing social services than black churches specializing in individualist functions (also see Reed, Williams, and Ward 2015). Finally, Davidson and Garcia (2014) find that black Protestants are much more likely than evangelical Protestants to support social services for undocumented immigrants given their history of teachings on social justice.
(12.) There is, of course, an alternative explanation—perhaps a more intuitive one—that would suggest that it is liberal or conservative teachings on the morality of same-sex relationships, rather than these more general theological orientations, that drive Christian colleges and universities to support or oppose LGBT groups (e.g., (p.157) Wuthnow 1988, 1989). However, schools that were associated with religious traditions that view same-sex relationships as “sinful”—including the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church—comprise the majority of LGBT-inclusive schools in my database, and, in additional multivariate analyses, a variable indicating whether a school was associated with a denomination viewing same-sex relationships as sinful was an insignificant predictor of LGBT group presence and inclusive nondiscrimination policy adoption (see Coley 2017). As I argue, then, it is not teachings on same-sex relationships but rather theological orientations that best explain schools’ support for LGBT groups and nondiscrimination statements. This is not to say that conservative or liberal readings of scriptures do not matter. However, it is to argue that religious traditions guided by conservative or liberal teachings on scriptures will not necessarily seek to impose those teachings on their wider communities; those who read scriptures as condemning certain moral practices might still tolerate those practices in their communities in the interest of ensuring universal rights.
(1.) Beyond McAdam’s (1986, 1988) work, studies ranging from Snow et al.’s (1980) early work on micromobilization into religious movements, Klandermans’s (1997) study of social movement participation in an overseas context (the Netherlands), Klatch’s (1999) work on participation in both right-and left-wing movements during the 1960s, Schussman and Soule’s (2005) analysis of nationally representative U.S. survey data on activist group participation, and Swank and Fahs’s (2012) article on college student participation in LGBT activism all support the idea that a prototypical activist exists, although they each make their own unique contributions to the micromobilization literature. Snow et al. (1980) found that religious and student movements were more effective at recruitment when they were rich in personal ties and when they targeted those at a life course stage conducive to movement participation. McAdam (1988) showed that, although factors such as childhood socialization, prior activist group participation, and attitudinal affinity seemed to be “necessary” for participation in Freedom Summer, they were not “sufficient,” because such characteristics were also shared by a group of “no-shows” to the Freedom Summer project; instead, microstructural availability in particular seems to distinguish actual participants from no-shows. Klandermans (1997); Klandermans and Oegema (1987) argued that scholars should take seriously the “stages” that would-be participants must progress through en route to activist group participation: specifically, people must first adopt attitudes conducive to movement participation before they are targeted for recruitment by their friends or organizations; they must then decide that the benefits of participation outweigh any costs to participation before they overcome personal constraints on participation. Klatch (1999) showed that socialization, prior movement participation, attitudinal affinity, and microstructural availability matter just as much for right-wing activists as they do for left-wing activists. Schussman and Soule (2005) found that membership in existing organizations can lead to invitations to participate in protests, and prior political and activist engagement and biographical availability explain actual participation in protests. Finally, Swank and Fahs (2012) (p.158) found that adopting pro-LGBT attitudes and frames, having personal ties to activists, and maintaining an activist identity are all linked to participation in LGBT rights protest.
(3.) For examples of studies that discuss the role of prior activist group participation, see Bosi (2012); Corrigall-Brown (2012); Isaac et al. (2016); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1988); Viterna (2006); and Wiltfang and McAdam (1991).
(4.) For examples of studies discussing attitudinal affinity, see Cohn et al. (1993); Corrigall-Brown (2012); Jasper (1997); Jasper and Poulsen (1995); Klandermans and Oegema (1987); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1988); Schussman and Soule (2005); and Swank and Fahs (2012). For a related perspective, see Farrell’s (2011) work on moral schemas. But for important exceptions, see Blee (2003), who shows that many women develop intensely racist attitudes only after they begin participating in hate groups; Han (2009), who showed that people’s commitment to certain political issues came only after they began participating in a political or civic organization; and Munson (2008), who speaks to many members of pro-life organizations who initially identify as pro-choice or were ambivalent about abortion rights.
(5.) For examples of studies emphasizing microstructural availability, see Beyerlein and Bergstrand (2016); Bosi (2012); Cunningham (2013); Dixon and Roscigno (2003); Fernandez and McAdam (1988); Jasper and Poulsen (1995); Klandermans and Oegema (1987); Klatch (1999); McAdam (1988); McAdam and Paulsen (1993); Nepstad and Smith (1999); Schussman and Soule (2005); Snow et al. (1980); Suh (2014); Swank and Fahs (2012); and Viterna (2006). But note that studies on participants in animal rights, homeless, and religious movements have shown that the recruitment of strangers who are not otherwise embedded in personal and organizational networks supportive to social movements can be effective (Corrigall-Brown et al. 2009; Jasper 1997; Jasper and Poulsen 1995; Snow et al. 1980, 1986). Even a large-scale study of participation across a variety of activist groups found that a significant minority of people “participate in protest despite never being asked to do so” (Schussman and Soule 2005, 1098).
(6.) But note that the study that initially offered the idea of biographical availability, McAdam’s (1986) study of applicants to the 1964 Freedom Summer voter registration drives in Jim Crow Mississippi, was quite limited in its ability to demonstrate the role of biographical availability—the sample of college-age students was fairly homogenous in terms of life course stage. Also, McAdam’s (1986, 85) own analysis of Freedom Summer applicants showed that the “sum of personal constraints” makes “no significant contribution to likelihood of participation” in Freedom Summer when controlling for other variables. Finally, other studies have showed that, in different movements, middle-age people have been more likely to participate in certain activist groups than younger people (Beyerlein and Hipp 2006; Cohn et al. 1993; Nepstad and Smith 1999), people who are fully employed have been more likely to participate in activist groups than underemployed people (Corrigall-Brown 2012; Nepstad and Smith 1999), and parents have been more likely to participate in activist (p.159) groups than childless people (Corrigall-Brown 2012; Corrigall-Brown et al. 2009; Wiltfang and McAdam 1991).
(7.) Although it may seem odd that someone who believes homosexuality is sinful would be involved in LGBT activism, Heather White (2015) discusses how many people of faith were active in the early homophile movement despite similarly believing that same-sex relationships were morally inferior to opposite-sex relationships.
(8.) For this study, information on organizational ties was not useful for explaining activist group participation, because all potential participants were already embedded in the most important organization relevant to their LGBT group—their school. Furthermore, because so many students joined these groups at the beginning of their first years, they were seldom members of other organizations.
(9.) Social movement scholars often refer to the concept of collective identity when discussing identities relevant to activist group participation. However, as Klatch (1999, 6) notes, this term has been used in highly contradictory ways. Some scholars, including Klatch (1999), consider collective identity to be the identity of an organization; others consider collective identity to be the property of an individual—for example, “an individual’s cognitive, moral, and emotional connection with a broader community, category, practice, or institution” (Polletta and Jasper 2001, 285). My use of the term identity is most similar to this latter definition, but to avoid some of the confusion surrounding the term collective identity, I instead use the term social identity, following Klatch’s (1999, 6) formulation: “When I speak of identity here I am referring to an individual or personal identity that defines a person as a social actor. In answer to the question ‘Who am I?’ it conveys a sense of ‘the real me.’ Individual identity is necessarily a social identity. It is the situated self. Individuals gain a sense of identity by locating themselves within a meaningful social world and seeking recognition within this web of social relationships.”
(10.) For examples of studies discussing identity and activist group participation, see Corrigall-Brown (2012); Heaney and Rojas (2015); Klandermans and De Weerd (2000); Klandermans, Sabucedo, Rodriguez, and De Weerd (2002); Klatch (1999); McAdam and Paulsen (1993); and Viterna (2013).
(11.) Participants with salient religious identities generally held conservative religious views because conservative religious teachings about same-sex relationships are in tension with participation in LGBT activist groups, thus making religion highly salient in these participants’ decisions about whether to join LGBT activist groups. Many people in my sample held liberal religious views, but because same-sex relationships are not a big deal in their religion, they did not report those views as being relevant when they decided to join LGBT activist groups; rather, their liberal political views or their own LGBT identities were much larger factors in their participation.
(13.) In separate analyses, I also assessed potential contextual influences on participation in these LGBT activist groups—that is, characteristics of a surrounding state or the university itself that might shape students’ pathways into LGBT groups. Although such analyses are rare in studies of micromobilization (though see studies by Biggs 2006 (p.160) ; Bosi 2012; Cable, Walsh, and Warland 1988; Cunningham 2013; Viterna 2006), it is possible in this study because I rely on multiple sites. However, I found that factors like the “red” (Republican) or “blue” (Democratic) leanings of a state in which a school is located, and the absence or presence of inclusive nondiscrimination policies at a school, did not seem to shape pathways into these LGBT activist groups.
(14.) For example, a famous study by Snow et al. (1986), drawing partially on data from religious movements, showed that those who recruit others to a movement often have to work to convince recruits that the movement in question has valid goals and values, including through “frame alignment” processes such as “frame amplification” and “frame extension,” where recruiters interact with those who are indifferent about the movement, and “frame transformation,” where recruiters interact with those who are initially hostile to the movement. More recently, a study by Munson (2008) showed that numerous pro-life activists initially lacked attitudinal affinity (or at least a fully articulated pro-life ideology) when they first joined the movement, although it should be acknowledged that the pro-life movement has been a rare conservative movement in the United States that has indeed often turned to more confrontational (and even violent) tactics.
(15.) For example, Mayberry’s (2006) and Renn’s (2007) studies of Gay–Straight Alliances show that these groups draw LGBT students who develop “politicized consciousness” and adopt “activist identities” only after participating in the group (although Fetner et al.  question whether they ever come to see themselves as activists at all).
(1.) The question of activist commitment has received little attention from scholars and has been labeled a “black box in the social-movement and voluntary-association literatures” (Cohn, Barkan, and Halteman 2003, 311). Few scholars have studied commitment in part because there is little agreement about what commitment actually entails. Many scholars conflate “commitment” with concepts such as “persistence,” or the decision to participate in an activist group over time (see studies on persistence by Bunnage 2014; Corrigall-Brown 2012; Downton and Wehr 1997; Fisher and McInerney 2012; Klatch 1999; McAdam 1988; Nepstad 2004a, 2004b; Passy and Giugni 2000; Rohlinger and Bunnage 2015; Simi, Futrell, and Bubolz 2016; Taylor and Rupp 1987; Van Dyke and Dixon 2013; R. W. White 2010; Whittier 1995). However, other scholars define “commitment” as the level of time, energy, and activity one devotes to or expends on an activist group (e.g., Bagetta et al. 2013; Barkan et al. 1993, 1995; Cohn et al. 2003; Dorius and McCarthy 2011; Isaac et al. 2016; Knoke 1981). Although “commitment” and “persistence” are related—Barkan et al. (1993, 1995) and Cohn et al. (2003) find that “commitment” measured as level of activity in an organization is correlated with “persistence” measured as years of membership in an organization—the two concepts are analytically distinct. I focus here on level of activity in an organization in part because many of my own respondents were in the early stages of their participation in activist groups, meaning data on their persistence are not yet available, and in part because the nature of college-based activism is that participation has a natural end point—graduation.
(p.161) (2.) For research linking rational choice calculations and biographical availability to commitment, see Bagetta et al. (2013); Barkan et al. (1993, 1995); Cohn et al. (2003); Dorius and McCarthy (2011); Isaac et al. (2016); and Knoke (1981).
(3.) The concept of group ethos is distinct from related concepts such as organizational identity, which place emphasis on official titles and mission statements and which may miss nuances in how groups actually operate in practice (see, e.g., Eliasoph and Lichterman’s  extended discussion of how peoples can interpret the same “collective representations” in very different ways). Instead, the concept of group ethos has its roots in the scholarship of Weber ( 2002), who argued that the character of certain Protestant groups (as communicated through beliefs and embodied in practices) could be linked to the spread of capitalism. More recently, Xu (2013) argued that the correspondence of certain Chinese student organizations’ group ethos (those with an “ethical” ethos, which indicated a collective interest in self-transformation and moral cultivation) with the Bolshevik organizational culture (which similarly emphasized “ascetic self-discipline and subjugation of the self to collective ends”; Xu 2013, 774) led student groups to join the emerging communist movement in China. I draw heavily on Xu’s (2013) conceptualization of group ethos (i.e., the character of a group, as communicated through beliefs and embodied in practices) here. However, whereas Xu constructs his argument such that a mesolevel variable (group ethos) must correspond with a macro-level variable (the communist movement’s organizational culture) to explain a macro-level outcome (movement spillover), I am interested here in how the meso-level variable group ethos corresponds with an individual-level variable (participants’ salient identities) to produce an individual-level outcome (participants’ commitment to activist groups). Furthermore, I illustrate the applicability of Xu’s insights on group ethos to a very different context.
(4.) For an early theoretical statement on the problem of “identity correspondence,” see Snow and McAdam (2000). For other perspectives on the connection between the identities of individuals and groups, see Simi et al. (2016) and Valocchi (2001).
(5.) Note that being a Christian certainly did not preclude activists from considering more contentious tactics in my sample. Those Christians from denominations with social justice traditions, who were more likely to consider themselves “activists” first (and are thus not classified as having more salient religious identities), certainly employed such tactics. McVeigh and Sikkink (2001, 1425) have shown that churchgoing Protestants can approve contentious tactics when they report the following characteristics: “volunteering for church organizations, a perception that religious values are being threatened, a belief that individuals should not have a right to deviate from Christian moral standards, and a belief that humans are inherently sinful.”
(6.) As noted, a few scholars have argued that an activist considers whether the potential collective benefits that the group might secure—for example, the potential to achieve goals like nondiscrimination ordinances that all people could benefit from (whether they participate in the group or not)—and especially the potential selective incentives one might gain through participation in the group—for example, practical leadership skills one might gain only if one actually participates in the group—merit his or her commitment to the group (Barkan et al. 1993, 1995; Cohn et al. 2003). Yet, (p.162) when I asked my respondents what they thought would come about as a result of their participation, I found that different groups I studied tended to value different types of benefits (e.g., direct action group members anticipated changing the policies of their school, educational groups anticipated changing the culture or climate of their schools, and solidarity group members anticipated making new friends). Regardless, there was no one type of organization that produced more committed members than others—the most committed members of each type of organization tended to devote five to six hours per week to their group. Similarly, with regard to biographical availability—another explanation of activist group commitment offered in past studies (Barkan et al. 1993, 1995; Cohn et al. 2003)—I found that my respondents were homogeneous in terms of most traits generally linked to biographical availability: age (they were young), student status (they were all enrolled at their college or university at the time of their participation), marital status (they were mostly single), and parental status (none had children). Thus, biographical availability does not seem to be a helpful explanation for groups where members are at a similar life course stage.
(7.) For example, Baggetta et al. (2013) show that leaders who spend a smaller proportion of time in meetings devote more time to the organization overall. For the LGBT groups examined here, the attitude toward meetings was generally all or nothing: groups either had no meetings or had weekly meetings. Among those groups that held no meetings, the number of hours students participated each week was above three; among groups that held weekly meetings, the number of hours students participated each week was just above five. If one assumes that students in the meeting groups spent up to two hours each week in meetings (which was usually the case), this means that the overall level of participation in LGBT activism outside of meetings did not significantly vary according to whether groups held meetings. The LGBT groups I studied also varied in terms of bureaucracy and centralization—factors emphasized by Dorius and McCarthy (2011) and Knoke (1981)—but I found no consistent link between organizational structure and commitment. Finally, another relevant study by Isaac et al. (2016) highlights the role of “movement schools” that provide formal training in nonviolent direct action, but I did not uncover much evidence that my respondents attended movement schools.
(1.) For other studies on social movements mobilizing within higher education, see Binder and Wood (2013); Cole (2014); Crossley (2017); Dixon, Tope, and Van Dyke (2008); McCammon, McGrath, Dixon, and Robinson (2016); McEntarfer (2011); Munson (2010); Poulson, Ratliff, and Dollieslager (2013); Van Dyke (1998, 2003); and Vespone (2016).
(2.) For studies on movement-induced artistic products, see Coley (2015); Isaac (2009, 2012); Mai (2016); Morrison and Isaac (2012); Roscigno and Danaher (2001); Rosenthal and Flacks (2012); and S. J. Williams (2016).
(p.163) (4.) Studies that show that cultural change can accomplish political goals include Armstrong (2002); Armstrong and Bernstein (2008); Bail (2015); Best (2012); Ellingson (2016); Hess (2016); Hess and Coley (2014); Jasper (1997, 2014); Polletta (1997, 2004, 2008); and Taylor, Rupp, and Gamson (2004).
(5.) Most of the activists involved in the protests believed that enforcing a prohibition on sex outside of marriage was a way of discriminating against lesbian and gay people without actually acknowledging discrimination against lesbian and gay people, because same-sex marriage was not then recognized in Tennessee.
(6.) Both Belmont and the soccer coach, citing an exit agreement, have refused to comment on the circumstances of her departure—for instance, why she left and whether she was fired, was asked to resign, or resigned voluntarily.
(7.) One person did bring a sign comparing the Belmont administration to the Nazis, but students quickly asked him to hide the sign and announced rules for future protests banning any language that might be perceived as anti-Belmont.
(1.) Specifically, works ranging from Demerath et al.’s (1971) study on white civil rights activists who participated in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s voter registration drives, Fendrich’s (1993) analysis of black and white civil rights activists who participated in the 1960s Florida civil rights movement, Giugni and Grasso’s (2016) analysis of a representative sample of trajectories of activists in Switzerland, Isaac et al.’s (2016) study of participants in the 1960s Nashville civil rights movement, Klatch’s (1999) study of participants in the 1960s Young Americans for Freedom and Students for a Democratic Society organizations, McAdam’s (1988, 1989) famous studies on Freedom Summer, McAdam and his team’s (McAdam 1999; Van Dyke et al. 2000; Wilhelm 1998) later analyses of a representative sample of 1960s activists, Sherkat and Blocker’s (1997) work on high school students who came of age in the 1960s, Terriquez’s (2015) study on the political trajectories of nonprofit youth activists, Whalen and Flacks’s (1989) study of left-wing bank burners in 1970 Santa Barbara, California, and Whittier’s (2016) research on biographical outcomes of lesbian and gay movements have all sought to identify the biographical impacts of activist groups. For an early literature review, see Giugni (2004), and for a recent meta-analysis, see Vestergren, Drury, and Chiriac (2017).
(2.) For important exceptions to the general rule that scholars analyzing the biographical consequences of activism often downplay differences among activists themselves, see Fendrich (1993); and Van Dyke et al. (2000).
(3.) For scholarship taking a longer view on the biographical impacts of activist groups, see work on the lives of civil rights activists fifty years following their participation in sit-ins by Isaac et al. (2016); Coley, Cornfield, Isaac, and Dickerson (2017); and Cornfield, Coley, Isaac, and Dickerson (2018).
(p.164) (4.) For example, McAdam’s (1988) famous study on Freedom Summer showed that participants were much more likely to become active in the student free speech, women’s, and antiwar movements of the later 1960s, as well as social justice struggles in the 1970s and 1980s. Other studies (Demerath et al. 1971; Fendrich 1993; Klatch 1999; Sherkat and Blocker 1997; Whalen and Flacks 1989), often relying on smaller, noncomparative samples, largely replicated McAdam’s findings.
(5.) A helpful study of civil rights activists in Florida by Fendrich and Tarleau (1973, 249) constructed a typology of occupations “classified along a continuum, ranging from those chiefly offering rewards of money and status in the private sector of the economy to those that offered the opportunity to express creativity and a chance of humanistic service: (1) proprietors, managers, officials, and salesmen in the private sector of the economy; (2) private practice professionals such as doctors and lawyers; (3) government workers; (4) academic professionals; and (5) those in social service and creative occupations.” The study found that former activists almost exclusively pursued jobs in the fourth and fifth categories—collectively known as the “humanistic” professions—while nonactivists pursued jobs in the first three categories. Scholars examining biographical trajectories of other 1960s activists reported similar results (Klatch 1999; McAdam 1988, 1989, 1999; Sherkat and Blocker 1997; Whalen and Flacks 1989).
(6.) One reason for this is that, as Robbie’s story indicates, organizing can be a full-time career.
(7.) For example, in terms of activists’ subsequent family lives, McAdam (1988, 1989) showed that Freedom Summer participants were no less likely to marry compared with no-shows, but they were perhaps more intentional about selecting a partner who agreed with their political and religious views, and they reported more volatile marital trajectories. Other studies largely replicated these findings (Klatch 1999; McAdam 1999; Sherkat and Blocker 1997; Whalen and Flacks 1989), also adding that participants of 1960s movements adopted more egalitarian gender views (Sherkat and Blocker 1997) and that the 1960s generation would facilitate a broader shift in attitudes regarding cohabitation (Wilhelm 1998).
(8.) Although Renn (2007; Renn and Bilodeau 2005) documents how many sexual minorities involved in a GSA-like group at a Midwestern research university moved from identifying as “student leaders” to identifying as “activists,” studies that examine GSA participants’ future activist behaviors find mixed evidence that participants engage in behaviors like voting or political campaigns (Mayberry 2013b; Poteat et al. 2015; Russell et al. 2009; Toomey and Russell 2013).
(9.) This is slightly higher than the 31 percent of students whom I placed in the “politicized participants” category in chapter three, because some students initially identified not only as “activists” but also as persons of faith or LGBT people prior to joining, and for some of these respondents, their faith or sexuality was a greater “pull” for joining the LGBT group.
(10.) Note that three respondents said they preferred stronger terms—such as “radical” or “rebel”—and I included these people in the “activist” group. However, I exclude people who said they were uncomfortable with the term “activist” (in any sense) and preferred softer terms such as “advocate” or “ally.”