ERIC Number: ED246434
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
NOW vs. Stop ERA: Unequal Messages on the Equal Rights Amendment, January-June 1982.
Smith, Linda Lazier
A study examined the content of direct mail materials, distributed by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Stop ERA groups, favoring or opposing passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. It was expected that NOW's pieces would concentrate on counteracting or counterattacking Stop ERA's arguments against the amendment (military draft, lesbian issues, women's "privileges," and financial support) in a feminist oriented, rather militant manner that would demand equality. Conversely, it was expected that Stop ERA's pieces would center on legalistic, pro-American, state's rights arguments against the amendment in an educated "lady-like" manner that would not mention the opposition. It was expected that the NOW pieces would be negatively oriented due to deadline pressure and waning legislative favor, while Stop ERA's pieces would be optimistic, even touting, of success. Five pieces of mail for each group, sent to dues paying members during the last six months of the ratification attempt (January through June 1982) were examined. Key themes examined were argument and issue, setting, character, and action. Other content items noted were sources, references to the opposition's pleas for funds or volunteers, background, tone, and the design specifications of the letter or brochure. The results of the analysis showed that, aside from providing legislative updates and requests for financial contributions, the tactics of the two groups were quite dissimilar, and virtually opposite of the hypotheses. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Direct Mail Campaigns; Equal Rights Amendment; National Organization for Women; Schlafly (Phyllis); Stop ERA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).