The Sociology of CND

  • John Mattausch
Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS)


This chapter is divided into three parts. In the first part I give a critical overview of three of the major academic analyses of the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Parkin, 1968; Taylor and Pritchard, 1980; Nias, 1983). In this overview, I am particularly concerned with the analysts’ theoretical perspectives and their limitations. It is argued that their various theories are inappropriate and give rise to misleading portrayals of the Campaign and its members. In the second part of the chapter, I briefly outline an alternative theory to account for the form which the original Movement took, a theory which sheds some light on its social base. In Part 3, I will discuss some preliminary findings of my own research in progress in which I utilise the theory discussed in Part 2 of this paper, to investigate sociologically the recent revival of the Campaign.


Nuclear Weapon Labour Party Social Base Mail Questionnaire Moral Legitimation 
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© British Sociological Association 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Mattausch

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