• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Grassroots Associations is a comprehensive review and critique of empirical and theoretical research on grassroots, nonprofit and voluntary organizations. David Horton Smith examines in depth the distinctive nature and characteristics of a previously under-studied area which includes such groups as Alchoholics Anonymous, community-environmental action committees and church Bible study groups. He addresses: group formation, structure, process, leadership, and life cycle change; effectiveness; the influence such associations have on society; the future of grassroots associations, which he sees as integral to a postmodern society moving towards participatory democracy, self-determinism and individual choice.


Briefly, grassroots associations (GAs) are local volunteer groups. Most readers will be familiar with at least some of the common types of GAs in the United States such as those noted in the first paragraph of the preface. To further arouse the reader's interest, here I present some examples of unusual GAs drawn mainly from the literature on GAs in less developed, but also from some modern, Western nations and one former Eastern Bloc nation:

  • Among immigrant Japanese in Brazil after World War II, GAs have been very strong and active but split into two factions or sets of groups: those GAs accepting Japan's World War II defeat and those GAs insisting on Japan's actual victory, operating as deviant secret societies to maintain this fictive ...
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