Much of the current literature on category construction and maintenance has focused primarily on the disciplining effect of audiences that evaluate for conformity. This literature often characterizes categories as benign organizing devices that bring order to social life. However, categories are also contentious political and cultural productions. This is especially so, when the categories are hybrid. Employing a qualitative case study of an impact investing organization operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, we illustrate how the construction and maintenance of hybrid categories can have potentially advantageous effects for certain actors by shaping the architecture of knowledge and transferring legitimacy to otherwise illegitimate actors or nascent practices. The findings of this study highlight how some hybrid categories can be used to create and maintain unequal relations of power.
Quinn, Q.C. and Munir, K.A. (2017), "Hybrid Categories as Political Devices: The Case of Impact Investing in Frontier Markets", From Categories to Categorization: Studies in Sociology, Organizations and Strategy at the Crossroads (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 51), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 113-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20170000051002Download as .RIS
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