• 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.

Definitions and Metaphors
Definitions and metaphors

This chapter begins with a connotative definition of grassroots associations (GAs) and then briefly discusses some broader theoretical background on the study of associations. The “dark matter” astrophysical metaphor and the mapmaking metaphor used in this book are then presented. Much of the chapter is devoted to a presentation of the definitions involved in my theory of voluntary altruism. The chapter conclusion details many reasons for the usefulness of this theory.

The Connotative Definition of Grassroots Associations

Grassroots associations are locally based, significantly autonomous, volunteer-run, formal nonprofit (i.e., voluntary) groups that manifest substantial voluntary altruism as groups and use the associational form of organization and, thus, have official memberships of volunteers who perform most, and often all, of the work/activity done in ...

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