skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 119008 Find in a Library
Title: Organization and Transformation of Movements (From Cults, Converts and Charisma, P 100-133, 1988, Thomas Robbins -- See NCJ-119006)
Author(s): T Robbins
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter reviews the literature on the institutionalization and transformation of new religious movements (NRM's) over time.
Abstract: The development of NRM's over time apparently entails marked goal displacement. The economic or financial dimension of NRM's increasingly seems to become significant as a stimulus determining the direction of movement evolution. A recent study of American communes reports that the communal period of many 19th century utopian social experiments was short, but the movements sometimes persisted as corporations pursuing economic rationality (Erasmus, 1977). The competitive capitalist context of the American sociocultural environment may facilitate goal displacement in a direction of economic rationality. Certain difficulties may arise to impede the commercialization of NRM's; e.g., the proclivity of authoritarian religious leadership to centralize, closely supervise, and drain businesses may demoralize local adherents, whose support and involvement are essential to the creation and maintenance of dynamic enterprises. Another difficulty pertains to the advantages of maintaining a "religious" designation to safeguard tax privileges. The commercial and financial diversification of NRM's is implicated in their continually shifting and elaborated organizational structures as well as attempts to conceal this structure.
Main Term(s): Cults
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Economic influences; Religion; Social conditions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.