• 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.

Flat-Earth Paradigms and a Round-Earth Paradigm Outline
Flat-earth paradigms and a round-earth paradigm outline

After reviewing the mapping metaphor for understanding the research literature on the voluntary nonprofit sector (VNPS), this chapter discusses 19 specific flat-earth VNPS paradigms in use by scholars in the field today. An outline of a more comprehensive round-earth paradigm of the VNPS is then presented.

Metaphors and Paradigms for Understanding the VNPS

I have chosen the central metaphor of maps and mapmaking in this book and theory because it effectively captures the pitfalls of having an incomplete or distorted view of any intellectual terrain or type of social processes and activities. Van Til (1988) wrote an important earlier book with the apt title Mapping the Third Sector, on which I draw in various ...

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