Rebecca Gasior Altman is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Brown University. Her focus is on medical sociology, environmental sociology, organizational theory, and social movement theory. Her current research projects analyze narratives about community toxics activism, environmental advocacy support organizations, and medical waste.Phil Brown is Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Brown University. He is currently examining disputes over environmental factors in asthma, breast cancer, and Gulf War-related illnesses, as well as toxics reduction and precautionary principle approaches that can help avoid toxic exposures. He is the author of No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action (Phil Brown & Edwin Mikkelsen), co-editor of a collection, Illness and the Environment: A Reader in Contested Medicine, and editor of Perspectives in Medical Sociology.Daniel M. Cress is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Western State College of Colorado. His research and teaching interests include social movements – particularly among poor and marginalized groups, environmental sociology, and globalization. His published work has focused on protest activity by homeless people.Jennifer Earl is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research areas include social movements and the sociology of law, with research emphases on the social control of protest, social movement outcomes, Internet contention, and legal change. Her published work has appeared in a number of journals, including the American Sociological Review, Sociological Theory, and the Journal of Historical Sociology.Myra Marx Ferree is professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work on social movements has focused on women’s mobilizations and organizations in Germany, the U.S., and transnationally, most recently looking at interactions between American and Russian feminists (Signs, 2001), German and American abortion discourses and the definition of radicalism (AJS, 2003), and the European Women’s Lobby in relation to transnational women’s organizations on the web (Social Politics, 2004).Joshua Gamson is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of San Francisco. He is author of Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity (Chicago, 1998), Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America (California, 1994), and numerous articles on social movements, gay and lesbian politics, popular culture and media. He is currently working on a biography of the disco star Sylvester.Teresa Ghilarducci is Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Higgins Labor Research Center at the University of Notre Dame. She is author of Labor’s Capital: The Economics and Politics of Private Pensions (MIT Press) and Portable Pension Plans for Casual Labor Markets: Lessons from the Operating Engineers Central Pension Fund (with Garth Mangum, Jeffrey S. Petersen & Peter Philips). She is a former Board of Trustees member of the Indiana Public Employees Retirement Fund, a former advisory board member for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Social Insurance.Brian Mayer is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at Brown University. His interests include environmental and medical sociology, as well as science and technology studies. His recent projects include an investigation of the growth of the precautionary principle as a new paradigm among environmental organizations and a study of social movements addressing environmental health issues.Sabrina McCormick is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Brown University. She is a Henry Luce Foundation Fellow through the Watson Institute of International Studies. Her main interests are environmental sociology, medical sociology, and the politics of development. As a Luce Fellow, she is engaged in comparing environmentally-based movements in the U.S. and Brazil. Additional special interests include the social contestation of environmental illness, the insertion of lay knowledge into expert systems, and the role of social movements in these struggles. She has recent publications by Ms. Magazine and The National Women’s Health Network related to these areas.Rachel Morello-Frosch is an assistant professor at the Center for Environmental Studies and the Department of Community Health, School of Medicine at Brown University. As an environmental health scientist and epidemiologist, her research examines race and class determinants of the distribution of health risks associated with air pollution among diverse communities in the United States. Her current work focuses on: comparative risk assessment and environmental justice, developing models for community-based environmental health research, children’s environmental health, and the intersection between economic restructuring and environmental health. Her work has appeared in Environmental Health Perspectives, Risk Analysis, International Journal of Health Services, Urban Affairs Review, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and Environment and Planning C. She also sits on the scientific advisory board of Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco.Daniel J. Myers is Associate Professor, Chair of Sociology, and Fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has published work on collective violence, racial conflict, formal models of collective action, urban poverty, and the diffusion of social behavior in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Conflict Resolution, and Mobilization. He is also author of Toward a More Perfect Union: The Governance of Metropolitan America and The Future of Urban Poverty (both with Ralph Conant), and Social Psychology (5th edition) with Andy Michener and John Delamater. He is currently conducting a National Science Foundation-funded project examining the structural conditions, diffusion patterns, and media coverage related to U.S. racial rioting in the 1960s.Sharon Erickson Nepstad is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University and the author of Convictions of the Soul: Religion, Culture, and Agency in the Central America Solidarity Movement (Oxford University Press, 2004).Francesca Polletta is Associate Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. She is the author of Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements (University of Chicago, 2002) and editor, with Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper, of Passionate Politics: Emotions and Social Movements (University of Chicago, 2001). She has published articles on culture, collective identity, emotions, law, and narrative in social movements, and on the civil rights, women’s liberation, new left, and contemporary anti-corporate globalization movements.Nicole C. Raeburn is Assistant Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of the book, Changing Corporate America from Inside Out: Lesbian and Gay Workplace Rights (University of Minnesota Press, 2004). Her new research project compares the adoption of gay-inclusive workplace policies in the corporate, educational, and government sectors.Leila J. Rupp is Professor and Chair of Women’s Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A historian by training, her teaching and research focus on sexuality and women’s movements. She is coauthor with Verta Taylor of Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret (2003) and Survival in the Doldrums: The American Women’s Rights Movement, 1945 to the 1960s (1987) and author of A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Sexuality in America (1999), Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women’s Movement (1997), and Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939–1945 (1978). She is also editor of the Journal of Women’s History.David A. Snow is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. He taught previously at the universities of Arizona and Texas. He has authored numerous articles and chapters on homelessness, collective action and social movements, religious conversion, self and identity, framing processes, symbolic interactionism, and qualitative field methods; and has authored a number of books as well, including Down on Their Luck: A Study of Homeless Street People (with Leon Anderson), Shakubuku: A Study of the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist Movement in America, 1960–1975, and The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements (edited with Sarah Soule & Hanspeter Kriesi). His most current research project involves an NSF-funded interdisciplinary, comparative study of homelessness in four global cities (Los Angeles, Paris, São Paulo, and Tokyo).Sarah A. Soule is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona. Her research examines U.S. state policy change and diffusion and the role social movements have on these processes. Current projects include the NSF-funded “Dynamics and Diffusion of Collective Protest in the U.S.” from which data for this paper come; an analysis of state-level contraception and abortion laws; an analysis of state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment; and an analysis of state-level same-sex marriage bans. She has recently completed an edited volume, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, with David Snow and Hanspeter Kreisi.Verta A. Taylor is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is coauthor with Leila J. Rupp of Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret (University of Chicago Press) and Survival in the Doldrums : The American Women’s Rights Movement, 1945 to the 1960s (Oxford University Press); co-editor with Laurel Richardson and Nancy Whittier of Feminist Frontiers VI (McGraw-Hill); and author of Rock-a-by Baby: Feminism, Self-Help and Postpartum Depression (Routledge). Her articles on the women’s movement, the gay and lesbian movement, and social movement theory have appeared in journals, such as The American Sociological Review, Signs, Social Problems, Mobilization, Gender & Society, Qualitative Sociology, Journal of Women’s History, and Journal of Homosexuality.Nella Van Dyke is currently an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at Washington State University. Her research focuses on the dynamics of student protest, social movement coalitions, hate crimes, and the factors influencing right-wing mobilization. Her recent publications include articles in Social Problems and Research in Political Sociology. She is currently conducting research on the AFL-CIO’s Union Summer student internship program and its influence on student protest, how the tactics of protest change over time, and how movement opponents influence the collective identity of gay and lesbian movement organizations.Stephen Zavestoski is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of San Francisco. His current research examines the role of science in disputes over the environmental causes of unexplained illnesses, the use of the Internet as a tool for enhancing public participation in federal environmental rulemaking, and citizen responses to community contamination. His work appears in journals such as Science, Technology & Human Values, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Sociology of Health and Illness, and in the book Sustainable Consumption: Conceptual Issues and Policy Problems.
The authors theorize the role that identity, and especially collective identity, plays in the creation of new institutions. The authors begin by reviewing the literature…
The authors theorize the role that identity, and especially collective identity, plays in the creation of new institutions. The authors begin by reviewing the literature on social movements, focusing on identity movements; from this, the authors extract and explore the role of identity in collective action and institutional formation. The authors propose that identity and lifestyle movements create institutions that furnish the necessary cultural tools to support and enact a given identity. As an example of this process, the authors examine Martha Stewart’s cultivation of a lifestyle-driven brand. The authors discuss the implications of their work on social movement theory and institutional theory.
Opening the special issue on global protest and democracy since 2011, this article surveys the key dimensions of the debate. It provides a critical overview of significant…
Opening the special issue on global protest and democracy since 2011, this article surveys the key dimensions of the debate. It provides a critical overview of significant protest events in the post-2011 period and explores a range of the analytical tools that may be used to understand them, before proceeding to identify, disaggregate, and draw into question some of the major claims that have emerged in literature on the post-2011 mobilizations. The articles contained within this volume are then outlined, revealing the novel and nuanced insights provided by the contributors with respect to the post-2011 protests’ composition, mobilization forms, frames, democratic practices, and interrelationships with other actors in pursuit of democratic reform. The article concludes with a discussion of the opportunities for further research into protest and democracy.
The majority of research on intersectionality and social movements has focused on agenda-setting or internal identity processes. However, little research has focused on…
The majority of research on intersectionality and social movements has focused on agenda-setting or internal identity processes. However, little research has focused on the ways in which social movements present themselves as intersectional, particularly in recruitment, which is important for building inclusive movements. In this chapter, we begin to outline a theory of movement recruitment based around intersectional identities that draws on work on coalitional recruitment and concepts from framing. In particular, we argue that “identity bridging,” which occurs when two or more identities are linked during recruitment attempts, is a potential tool for inclusive and intersectional recruitment. We evaluate the extent to which movements engage in this style of recruitment using data on intersectional youth identities acknowledged on web-addressable advocacy spaces. Youth are at a critical moment in their identity development, and so it is especially important to engage them in ways that respect their developing intersectional identities. We find that, overall, most movement sites do not engage in identity bridging, and those that do rarely move beyond bridging the youth identities with one other aspect of identity. Based on our theory, this would help to explain why so many movements struggle with issues of inclusivity.
We develop theoretical and conceptual insights into a social movement’s strategic articulation, through an examination of the relationships among the conservative…
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.
Purpose – Although scholars have long been interested in how social movements use mass media to forward their goals, sociological research almost exclusively focuses on…
Purpose – Although scholars have long been interested in how social movements use mass media to forward their goals, sociological research almost exclusively focuses on the ability of activist groups to get their ideas and organizations in general audience, mainstream media coverage. This paper contributes to a more systematic understanding of media coverage outcomes by broadening the range of outlets considered relevant to political discourse. In addition to mainstream venues, we consider conservative and liberal/left outlets in our analysis of social movement organization media coverage.
Method – Using negative binomial regression, we analyze how organizational characteristics, organizational frames, political elites, and event type affect the rates of social movement organization media coverage in mainstream and partisan news venues.
Findings – We find that the independent variables play very different roles in mainstream and partisan media coverage outcomes. Specifically, while organizational characteristics and frames often enhance the media coverage outcomes of activist groups in mainstream venues, political elites have no effect at all. In contrast, organizational characteristics and frames do not affect social movement media coverage in partisan outlets, whereas political elites and event type do.
Originality of the paper – Conceptually, this research broadens how scholars think about the relationship between social movement groups and mass media as well as the factors that influence media outcomes.
Social movement scholars have increasingly drawn attention to the process of “bridge building” in social movements – that is, the process by which activists attempt to…
Social movement scholars have increasingly drawn attention to the process of “bridge building” in social movements – that is, the process by which activists attempt to resolve conflicts stemming from different collective identities. However, most scholars assume that social movements primarily attempt to resolve tensions among activists themselves, and thus that bridge building is a means to other ends rather than a primary goal of social movement activism. In this chapter, I challenge these assumptions through a case study of a “bridging organization” known as Bridge Builders, which sought as its primary goal to “bridge the gap between the LGBT and Christian communities” at a Christian university in Nashville, Tennessee. I highlight the mechanisms by which Bridge Builders attempted to facilitate bridge building at the university, and I argue that Bridge Builders succeeded in bridging (a) disparate institutional identities at their university, (b) “structural holes” between LGBT- and religious-identified groups at their university, and (c) oppositional personal identities among organizational members. As I discuss in the conclusion, the case of Bridge Builders has implications for literatures on bridge building in social movements, cultural and biographical consequences of social movements, and social movement strategy.
In this paper, we demonstrate the linkages between humor and political and cultural opportunities and present an analysis of the importance of humor for collective…
In this paper, we demonstrate the linkages between humor and political and cultural opportunities and present an analysis of the importance of humor for collective identity and framing in the New Atheist Movement, a social movement focused on reducing the social stigma of atheism and enforcing the separation of church and state. Drawing on a qualitative analysis of interview, ethnographic, and web-based data, we show why the New Atheist Movement is able to use humor effectively in the political and cultural environment. We further demonstrate that humor is central to the development and maintenance of collective identity and to the framing strategies used by the New Atheist Movement. Through a diverse range of forms, including jokes, mockery, and satire, humor is a form of resistance and also can be harnessed to support the goals of social movements. We use this case study as a basic for advocating for greater attention to humor within social movement studies, and greater attention to social movements in humor studies.
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…
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.