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NCJ Number: 166635 Find in a Library
Title: "It's Hard To Change What We Want To Change": Rape Crisis Centers as Organizations
Journal: Gender and Society  Volume:8  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1994)  Pages:562-583
Author(s): A Fried
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 22
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Rape crisis centers are analyzed from the perspective of organizational theory, using a case study of the Sexual Assault Hotline located on the campus of a large midwestern State university.
Abstract: The discussion noted that rape crisis centers are similar to other groups associated with social movements in that they have been considered co-optive by some and progressive by others. However, organizational theory produces fuller explanations of their dynamics and character. Information for the study was collected by means of participant observation and intensive interviews over a 16-month period. The analysis focused on the first 6 months, which included the first training for hotline volunteers and the first campus speak-out for survivors of sexual assault. The case study revealed that two subcultures developed and exemplified fundamentally different approaches to sexual assault. These subcultures were called the politicized perspective and the service perspective. The subcultures emerged for a number of reasons, including the organization's goals; the character of the feminist movement; and organizational features such as permeability, a broad constituency, a collective goods orientation, and an emphasis on open discourse. Similar organizational and context features in rape crisis centers and other organizations related to social movements are associated with organizational fluidity and conflict. These groups may not be cohesive and stable actors for broad social change, but they contribute incrementally to long-term shifts in gendered social structures. Table, notes, and 40 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Higher education; Hotlines; Organizational theories; Rape crisis centers; Victim services
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