Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program



Kretschmer, Kelsy


It is clear that Social Movement Organizations (SMOs) aim to recruit and retain members, and most do so by promoting some sort of collective identity formation. What is unclear, however, is the role of extrinsic rewards in promoting collective identity formation in SMO members. To address this issue, I use AmeriCorps to investigate the consequences extrinsic rewards have on collective identity formation. Based on twenty-two interviews with a diverse sample of AmeriCorps members, I find AmeriCorps members do not express a sense of collective identity with their fellow members with reference to the work they do, the values they have, and their reasons for service. Instead, I find that AmeriCorps members found a sense of collective identity through the extrinsic reward of pay. Therefore, I find that collective identity can be formed through the use of extrinsic rewards, but it might not be the collective identity promoted by the SMO.