Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Controlling interests: Institutions and ideas in labor-community coalitions
by Clayton, Kathleen Yang, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2014, 240; 3615641
Abstract (Summary)

Given the exponentially complex set of urban governance processes that are implicated when issues such as economic redevelopment, transportation, and jobs are concerned, it is misleading to believe that local actors immediately recognize and are able to articulate their interests with respect to these processes. My "actors" are "hybrid" progressive-issue social movement organizations (SMOs) that consciously attempt to bridge both cognitive and material divides among diverse coalition members from union, community, faith-based and service-based organizations. This study focuses on how ideas reduce uncertainty, act as coalition-building resources, empower agents to contest existing institutions, act as resources of new institutions and finally coordinate agents' expectations, thereby reproducing institutional stability. I examine how these SMOs are reshaping ideas, interests and institutions on the urban scale in efforts to reclaim and recast the responsibility and role of local institutions in mitigating the effects of global capital. The re-emergence of interest in organizations in urban sociology is being driven in no small part by the rise in sophistication of non-profit actors (e.g., think tanks, community-based organizations, advocacy organizations) and of the strategies and tactics used to influence political and policy issues, as well as the proliferation of institutional "access points" as Allard correctly points out on the state and local levels.

The hybrid progressive organizations that I examine are products of the structuration process that has been ongoing for decades, whereby conservative-oriented policy and advocacy organizations have been dominant on the state level, consistently producing a policy climate not only conducive to investment and business outcomes, but also aggressively pursuing an anti-union, slashing social-services strategy as part of a particular vision of what it means to create a "business friendly" regulatory environment in a state. Therefore, I have also identified three other factors that appear in tandem with progressive, hybrid organizations based on the state or regional level: 1) networked leadership development, 2) resource coordination and 3) deliberate state/regional-level strategies around coalition building, legislative advocacy and leadership development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sassen, Saskia, Taub, Richard
Commitee: McRoberts, Omar
School: The University of Chicago
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Sociology, Urban planning
Keywords: Community, Conservative politics, Labor, Leadership training, Progressive politics, Social movements
Publication Number: 3615641
ISBN: 978-1-303-81716-8
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