Cultural and Political Constraints In the Gulf War Illness Social Movement
Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development
Recent contributions to social movement theory have emphasized the importance of cultural and political opportunities in shaping movement growth and development. While most of that work focuses on how these factors facilitate social movement efforts, we examine a case in which cultural and political factors have constrained the efforts of a social movement. Analyzing data from in-depth interviews with 55 respondents, we examine the organizing efforts of Gulf War veterans claiming illnesses connected to environmental exposures in the Persian Gulf. Despite the claims of many veterans that exposure to hazardous conditions resulted in illness, they have been unsuccessful in legitimating Gulf War illness to the government or to the public. This article contributes to the social movement literature by analyzing ways in which both cultural and political institutions may hamper the efforts of a contemporary social movement.
Shriver, T. E.,
Chasteen, A. L.,
Adams, B. D.
(2002). Cultural and Political Constraints In the Gulf War Illness Social Movement. Sociological Focus, 35(2), 123-143.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/21282