Holly J. McCammon
Professor of Sociology
Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair of Sociology
Professor of Law (secondary appointment)
Professor of Human and Organizational Development (secondary appointment)
Editor, American Sociological Review, 2010-2015
Affiliated Faculty, American Studies and Women and Gender Studies
How do individuals who join together in social movements succeed in gaining the political and social changes they seek?
Citizens come together as social activists to fight for important social and political reforms. Social movement activism can be an important source of social change, such as the momentous achievements brought about by the civil rights, environmental, gay and lesbian, and labor movements. My research centers on how social movement groups succeed in achieving their political and cultural goals.
I study the U.S. women’s movement and how it gained greater political and economic rights for women. I investigated married women’s effort to obtain property rights in the nineteenth century, the woman suffrage movement, and women’s campaigns in the first part of the twentieth century to gain the right to sit on juries. Currently I am investigating late twentieth-century feminist litigation strategies, as the women’s movement increasingly turned to the courts as an arena to press for greater legal rights. I am particularly interested in the strategies and discursive efforts feminist lawyers utilized to convince judges to support greater equality for women.