MADD: Grassroots Movement to Policy

Sociology
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

Given that grassroots organizations often do not have the expertise, stature, or other resources of larger, more institutional stakeholders, what tools do grassroots organizations have that enable them to successfully influence policy? To what degree do you think MADD has changed over its history from a grassroots organization to a more institutional stakeholder? How does this change what it does or how it functions?

Sep 29th, 2015

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Grassroots organisations may not have the expertise or funds available to lobby, but what they do have is the ability to mobilize large groups of people for a cause, usually using pathos (emotional argumentation) to sway large groups into actions. Take for example Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The organisation went from a grassroots campaign to a highly efficient policy changing machine. But, instead of using political influence or money, they simply used the pathos of losing a child to drunk driving. Who can argue against stopping drunk driving when it is taking the lives of children? MADD then did not need public influence, just a cause and a voice heard by the general population. Then, as this voice was heard, MADD did end up gaining that political influence and money required to influence policy changes. MADD has evolved into an institution that functions more as a lobbyist stakeholder, but still comes from a grassroots beginning that keeps the public talking about the cause and keeps it relevant.

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Sep 29th, 2015

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Sep 29th, 2015
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Sep 29th, 2015
Feb 22nd, 2017
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