Date of Award

4-2002

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

During the 1990's, the Promise Keepers grew from 70 men who met at a basketball court to a social movement organization that collected millions of dollars in donations and fees. Until Promise Keepers' near bankruptcy, the organization received national attention for its series of summer conferences, its gathering on the Washington D.C. mall, and the conservative views of its leadership.

This study considers the ideology of the organization as illustrated by the material contained on its website. It concentrates on the contents of the Promise Keepers web site, the ideology Promise Keepers attempts to communicate through its web site, and the techniques the organization uses to communicate this ideology.

The study also considers the theory of ideology as it appears in sociology. Primarily examining Habermas' more recent formulations of his theories about instrumental rationality and the lifeworld, the paper includes the ideas of other theorists as well. In particular it concentrates on whether the idea of a dominant ideology can adequately reflect the beliefs of humanity or whether multiple ideologies more accurately reflect reality.

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