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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2015

Howard Lune

How do transnational social movements organize? Specifically, this paper asks how an organized community can lead a nationalist movement from outside the nation. Applying…

Abstract

How do transnational social movements organize? Specifically, this paper asks how an organized community can lead a nationalist movement from outside the nation. Applying the analytic perspective of Strategic Action Fields, this study identifies multiple attributes of transnational organizing through which expatriate communities may go beyond extra-national supporting roles to actually create and direct a national campaign. Reexamining the rise and fall of the Fenian Brotherhood in the mid-nineteenth century, which attempted to organize a transnational revolutionary movement for Ireland’s independence from Great Britain, reveals the strengths and limitations of nationalist organizing through the construction of a Transnational Strategic Action Field (TSAF). Deterritorialized organizing allows challenger organizations to propagate an activist agenda and to dominate the nationalist discourse among co-nationals while raising new challenges concerning coordination, control, and relative position among multiple centers of action across national borders. Within the challenger field, “incumbent challengers” vie for dominance in agenda setting with other “challenger” challengers.

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Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-359-4

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Book part
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Mario Aquino Alves and Marcus Vinícius Peinado Gomes

We analyze how Brazilian Black Movement organizations and banks deployed different mechanisms like cooperation, cooptation, and confrontation that generated affirmative…

Abstract

We analyze how Brazilian Black Movement organizations and banks deployed different mechanisms like cooperation, cooptation, and confrontation that generated affirmative action initiatives in the banking sector at the beginning of this century. Black movement organizations triggered an institutional change by connecting fields and exploring a constellation of strategies. However, Brazilian banks adopted defensive strategies aiming to accommodate their interests. We find that only piecemeal change occurred, as the field’s structures – resource distribution and power – remained unscratched. We conclude by noting how the success of social movement strategies can depend upon the framing and sense-giving work that social movements conduct in their continuous jockeying activity toward incumbents.

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Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-Market Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-349-2

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Book part
Publication date: 22 May 2012

Larry W. Isaac

Purpose – This paper extends research on social movement media by focusing on the use of a literary genre – realist fiction – namely, the labor problem novel in the…

Abstract

Purpose – This paper extends research on social movement media by focusing on the use of a literary genre – realist fiction – namely, the labor problem novel in the context of the labor movement and countermovement in late 19th-century America.

Methodology – I do a close reading of a significant early dialogical cluster of such novels to address three key questions: (1) Field position of authors – What was the position of these labor problem authors in relation to the movement field and literary field and how did that positioning matter? (2) Genre selection – What was it about the realist novel that attracted labor problem partisans to it? (3) Internal content – How did authors shape the internal structure and content of their stories?

Findings – As literary activists, authors pivoted between the movement field and literary field selecting the novel for the special powers that it possessed relative to other historically available media. Authors produced stories with a good/evil binary attached to characters that stood for emerging social categories in young industrial America. During the Gilded Age (and beyond) the novel played an important role as medium for the labor movement and its opposition – characterizing collective actors, dramatizing forms of action, providing materials for claims of injustice or threats, solutions to social problems, and new categories and collective identities – all with powerful emotional appeal and entertainment value.

Implications – This study suggests that social movement scholars might expand their purview of cultural media used by movements and also take genre and its selection by activists seriously.

Originality – This study demonstrates how literature – realist fiction – has been shaped by movement agents and played an important, but under-appreciated, role in the struggle over cultural supremacy in the context of movement–countermovement dynamics.

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Media, Movements, and Political Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-881-6

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Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2012

Sadia Saeed

This paper examines the Pakistani state's shift from the accommodation to exclusion of the heterodox Ahmadiyya community, a self-defined minority sect of Islam. In 1953…

Abstract

This paper examines the Pakistani state's shift from the accommodation to exclusion of the heterodox Ahmadiyya community, a self-defined minority sect of Islam. In 1953, the Pakistani state rejected demands by a religious movement that Ahmadis be legally declared non-Muslim. In 1974 however, the same demand was accepted. This paper argues that this shift in the state's policy toward Ahmadis was contingent on the distinct political fields in which the two religious movements were embedded. Specifically, it points to conjunctures among two processes that defined state–religious movement relations: intrastate struggles for political power, and the framing strategies of religious movements vis-à-vis core symbolic issues rife in the political field. Consequently, the exclusion of Ahmadis resulted from the transformation of the political field itself, characterized by the increasing hegemony of political discourses referencing Islam, shift toward electoral politics, and the refashioning of the religious movement through positing the “Ahmadi issue” as a national question pertaining to democratic norms.

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Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-867-0

Book part
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Forrest Briscoe and Sean Safford

This paper develops an argument about how contentious changes unfold in organizational fields, focusing on the role of uncertainty – and the networks people use to address…

Abstract

This paper develops an argument about how contentious changes unfold in organizational fields, focusing on the role of uncertainty – and the networks people use to address uncertainty. We propose that as controversial practice gains traction and spreads, the nature of uncertainty facing organizational decision makers also evolves. This dynamic has important implications for how different actors and networks can influence change. We illustrate our argument with a mixed-methods case study on the diffusion of domestic partner benefits across US Fortune 500 companies. Our findings shed light on how – and when – social activists, corporate elites, and middle managers can influence the corporate decision-making process.

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Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-Market Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-349-2

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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2012

Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam

The discovery of meso-level social orders in organizational theory, political sociology, and social movement theory, what have subsequently been called sectors, policy…

Abstract

The discovery of meso-level social orders in organizational theory, political sociology, and social movement theory, what have subsequently been called sectors, policy domains, and most popularly, fields (or in organizational sociology, organizational fields), opens up a theoretical terrain that has not yet been fully explored (see Martin, 2003 for one view of fields). In this chapter, we propose that in fact all of these phenomena (and several others), fields, domains, policy domains, sectors, networks, and in game theory, the “game” bear a deep theoretical relationship to one another. They are all a way of characterizing how meso-level social orders, social spaces are constructed. We want to make a bold claim: the idea of fields is the central sociological construct for understanding all arenas of collective strategic action. The idea of fields is not just useful for understanding markets and political policy domains, but also social movements, and many other forms of organized social life. In essence, scholars working on their particular empirical corner of the world have inadvertently discovered something fundamental about social structure: that collective actors somehow manage to work to get “action” toward their socially and cultural constructed ends and in doing so, enlist the support of others in order to produce meso-level social orders.

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Rethinking Power in Organizations, Institutions, and Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-665-2

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Book part
Publication date: 16 April 2014

Paolo Parigi

In the last 10 years or so, a growing body of research has highlighted the importance of social movements as the mechanism through which fields change or new fields

Abstract

In the last 10 years or so, a growing body of research has highlighted the importance of social movements as the mechanism through which fields change or new fields emerge. This article contributes to this body of research by studying how an organization was able to promote institutional change from the center of a field by channeling the legitimacy generated by local religious movements. Data comes from the archives of a special commission within the Catholic Church that developed rules for adjudicating miracles performed by candidates to sainthood. The social movement is composed of candidates and their supporters who mobilized local communities using miracles. The period of the analysis was the aftermath of the Protestant Schism, when long-established practices and beliefs were fundamentally challenged. By approving miracles that created ties between individuals that spanned across kinship and social status boundaries, the commission was able to channel legitimacy into the wounded core of the Church. At the same time, receiving Rome’s approval reduced the competition the candidate’s supporters faced from other religious activists. The noncontentious interaction that occurred between the two actors gave birth to the field of modern sainthood. The main implication for organization theory is that, even in the absence of conflict, a new environment and ideology can emerge endogenously from the center of a field and transform both the organization and the social movement.

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Religion and Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-693-4

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2015

Belinda Robnett, Carol L. Glasser and Rebecca Trammell

We develop theoretical and conceptual insights into a social movement’s strategic articulation, through an examination of the relationships among the conservative…

Abstract

We develop theoretical and conceptual insights into a social movement’s strategic articulation, through an examination of the relationships among the conservative, moderate and radical organizations within a movement field before, during and after a wave of contention. Definitions for conservative, moderate and radical organizations that have been lacking in the literature are provided. Three U.S. cases are employed including the Civil Rights Movement, the Animal Rights Movement, and the AIDS Movement to illustrate/apply our concepts and test our theoretical assertions. We find a distinct conservative flank in movements which facilitates linkages to state officials. Moderates have a unique role as the bridge between the radical and conservative flanks. A lack of formal organization among radicals appears to incite state repression. The radical flank, or strong ties between the radial flank and moderates or conservatives, does not have a positive effect prior to or at the peak of a wave of contention when there is significant state repression. In the absence of state repression and after concessions or the peak of activism, moderates and conservatives benefit by distancing from the radical flank. Moderate organizations marginally institutionalize except when conservative movement organizations are absent; then full incorporation occurs.

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Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-359-4

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Book part
Publication date: 17 February 2017

Sabrina Zajak

This contribution conceptualizes the politicization of MNCs from outside – the processes by which MNCs become confronted with demands for regulation and engage in…

Abstract

This contribution conceptualizes the politicization of MNCs from outside – the processes by which MNCs become confronted with demands for regulation and engage in political contestation with other non-state actors. It compares two global industries, athletic footwear and toys, to show that the dynamics of politicization follow different trajectories, which are only partially to explain with structural differences across industry fields. If politicization leads to increasing political functioning of business or to a depoliticization of criticism depends to a great extend on the agency of business and their capacity to strategically counter mobilization, but also on the difficulties for activist to construct continuing collective action across a diverse range of cultural-institutional settings.

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Multinational Corporations and Organization Theory: Post Millennium Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-386-3

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2015

Abstract

Details

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-359-4

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