Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Mooney

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Dyk


Resource mobilization theory and political opportunity theory are often used to describe separate portions of social movements. This dissertation proposes a combined model of these two theoretical perspectives which describes how social movement organizations effectively engage in social marketing both online and offline. The field of social marketing highlights the utility of standard commercial marketing practices to achieve non-commercial goals. I argue that, while commercial marketing practices may benefit social movement organizations and are more cost effective given emerging technology, momentum for gathering resources, will be stifled unless a political opportunity presents itself. Guided by theory about the ways that political opportunities are translated into action by organizations, and momentum acquired through mobilizing resources, cycles of opportunity and resulting resource responses by housing social movement organizations are examined over time to present a case study for this theoretical model. The seemingly endless cycle of resource gathering underscores organizational mobilization of resources as a process rather than an outcome. My model outlines numerous forces that shape an organization’s ability to mobilize in two distinct ways, through resources deployed (online and offline) and resources gathered. Resources will be discussed in three categories: organizational characteristics, network structure/position, and media/Internet presence. The relative importance of these factors and this process are described at length in the review of theoretical literature and will be illustrated in the case study that I provide: the housing social movement. Data for this case study has been collected through hyperlink network analysis, general webometrics, and congressional archives. My research aims to provide suggestions for the strategic socio-technical networking and social marketing of social movement organizations.

Included in

Sociology Commons