Jevons, William (183582) 2441

available legal means, and counseled the Wit
nesses to avoid the most abrasive slogans against
big business, politics, and other religions,
which would not have fared well in courts of
law. The introduction of theocratic tact showed
how legal strategy contributed to mainstreaming
the Witnesses after World War II (Zygmunt
However, after they had scored important
victories before the US Supreme Court and
other jurisdictions, the Witnesses did not con
tinue with the disciplined litigation strategy
and even appeared concerned not to lose their
distinctiveness. Similar processes of backing off
from what may be perceived as a too rapid
integration into the religious mainstream have
been described by Mauss (1994) with respect to
the Mormons, and defined as retrenchment.
These retrenchment strategies may be very suc
cessful in terms of church growth because, as
Stark and Iannaccone (1997: 1523) have argued
precisely with reference to Jehovahs Witnesses,
keeping the strict features of the group may
both reduce the number of free riders and make
a movement more attractive to the large conser
vative niche of the religious market.
In the case of the Witnesses, a certain
retrenchment in the 1960s involved the closing
in 1963 of the movements in house legal office,
which had served as an important tool for con
tacts with religious liberty advocates and other
religious groups, although limited to legal issues
rather than involving ecumenical dialogue.
However, renewed attacks led to the reopening
of the legal office in 1981 and the emergence in
the 1990s of a new strategy that Cote and
Richardson (2001: 11) have defined as vigilant
litigation. Court cases are now used to prove to
opponents, the media, and the members them
selves that the Witnesses lifestyle should no
longer be regarded as marginal or controversial
but is part of the mainline, although their theol
ogy remains unique. Law and the courts have
thus been consciously used as a vehicle for
moving toward the mainstream, although the
results in countries like Russia or France remain
quite uncertain.

SEE ALSO: Charisma; Charisma, Routiniza
tion of; Denomination; Fundamentalism; Glo
balization, Religion and; Millenarianism; New
Religious Movements; Sect
Beckford, J. A. (1975) The Trumpet of Prophecy: A
Sociological Study of Jehovahs Witnesses. Wiley,
New York.
Cote, P. & Richardson, J. T. (2001) Disciplined
Litigation, Vigilant Litigation, and Deformation:
Dramatic Organization Change in Jehovahs Wit-
nesses. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
40(1): 11 25.
Festinger, L., Riecken, H. W., & Schachter, S.
(1956) When Prophecy Fails. University of Minne-
sota Press, Minneapolis.
Mauss, A. L. (1994) The Angel and the Beehive: The
Mormon Struggle with Assimilation. University of
Illinois Press, Urbana.
Melton, J. G. (1985) Spiritualization and Reaffirma-
tion: What Really Happens When Prophecy Fails.
American Studies 26(2): 17 29.
Singelenberg, R. (1989) It Separated the Wheat
from the Chaff: The 1975 Prophecy and its
Impact on Dutch Jehovahs Witnesses. Sociologi-
cal Analysis 50: 23 40.
Stark, R. & Iannaccone, L. R. (1997) Why the Jeho-
vahs Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical
Application. Journal of Contemporary Religion 12:
133 57.
Zygmunt, J. R. (1977) Jehovahs Witnesses in the
USA, 1942 1976. Social Compass 24(1): 45 57.

Jevons, William

Milan Zafirovski

William Stanley Jevons is best known as an
early influential British neoclassical and utilitar
ian economist mostly influenced by and devel
oping Benthamite utilitarianism (Schumpeter
1991). More precisely, he is renowned among
economists as one of the founders (alongside
Carl Menger and Leon Walras) of marginalism
or marginal utility theory (during the 1870s) as
what economist sociologist Schumpeter (1954)
describes as a Copernican Revolution in eco
nomics (for more on Jevons as an economist,
see Mosselmans & White 2000). Overall, his
sociologically minded disciple Philip Wicksteed
(1905) describes Jevons as one of the most