ERIC Number: ED214224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Boycott as a Persuasive Tactic in Attempting to Ratify E. R. A.
Larson, Charles U.
The Speech Communication Association's (SCA) decision to participate in a boycott of convention facilities to press for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has been ineffective (not a single state has ratified the ERA since the inception of the boycott) and may be counterproductive. In Illinois, the boycott was aimed primarily at the hotel facilities in Chicago, but the state legislature is dominated by downstate politicians, so the boycott does not affect those whose votes need to be changed. Further, the SCA's decision to boycott was conveyed to the governor of the state and the party leaders in the legislature, but word never reached the membership of either house. Such a boycott disrupts only a small portion of the total convention revenues, and since many conventions are booked years in advance, the hotels are only too glad to cancel in favor of more lucrative bookings. Furthermore, since the hotels are likely to cut primarily women and minority staff members to compensate for lost revenues, the boycott ends up being counterproductive. Most of the groups boycotting for ERA ratification have a membership that is much smaller and on a tighter budget than those organizations continuing to use hotel facilities, so their political impact is minimal. While the boycott may be an important symbolic gesture, survey results indicate that it alientates potential supporters among the uncommitted and is being carried out at the expense of more effective direct mail and phone campaigns aimed at legislators. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Boycotts; Equal Rights Amendment; Speech Communication Association
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Hot Springs, AR, April 6-9, 1982).