The Evolution of a Social Movement: A Study of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo

Boyd, Grace Anne M. (2014) The Evolution of a Social Movement: A Study of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Greg Love from Political Science, University of Mississippi.


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This thesis investigates the evolution of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo social movement in Argentina from 1979-2014. The Madres de Plaza de Mayo are a social movement that initiated protests against the military junta that controlled Argentina from 1976-1982. The Madres were the mothers of people the junta had “disappeared” during its regime, and the protests were a demand for information about the missing children. After the fall of the dictatorship, the movement continued its protest for information. During this time, the movement underwent a structural split that coincided with ideological structure. I analyzed both internal and external factors to understand their role in the changing structure and ideology of the movement. I used an historical comparison to evaluate the evolution of the movement over time. I found that the strong collective identity was very important to the Madres continued existence. I also found that the Madres overcame the “free-rider” problem of collective action through the use of selective incentives as well as pursuing a mission of social justice. The Madres’ recent alliance with the Kirchner administration has compromised some of their credibility with the Argentine population. New legal proceedings to prosecute those responsible for the crimes as well as locate the missing grandchildren could have an effect on the future structure of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Boyd, Grace Anne M.
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in International Studies and Spanish
Thesis Advisor: Greg Love
Thesis Advisor's Department: Political Science
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Depositing User: Grace Anne Boyd
Date Deposited: 08 May 2014 19:40
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 19:40

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