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Activists, categories, and markets: Racial diversity and protests against Walmart store openings in America

Categories in Markets: Origins and Evolution

ISBN: 978-0-85724-593-9, eISBN: 978-0-85724-594-6

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 21 December 2010

Abstract

Identity movements rely on a shared “we-feeling” among a community of participants. In turn, such shared identities are possible when movement participants can self-categorize themselves as belonging to one group. We address a debate as to whether community diversity enhances or impedes such protests, and investigate the role of racial diversity since it is a simple, accessible, and visible basis of community diversity and social categorization. We focus on American communities’ protests against Walmart's entry from 1998 until 2005 and ask whether racial diversity affects protests after accounting for a community's sense of pride and attachment to their town. We use distance from historical monuments as a proxy of a community's pride and attachment, and after controlling for it, we find that community's racial homogeneity significantly increases protests against Walmart.

Citation

Rao, H., Qingyuan Yue, L. and Ingram, P. (2010), "Activists, categories, and markets: Racial diversity and protests against Walmart store openings in America", Hsu, G., Negro, G. and Koçak, Ö. (Ed.) Categories in Markets: Origins and Evolution (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 235-253. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2010)0000031010

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited