Reinvigorating the study of organizational processes in social movements

Debra C. Minkoff, John D. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


We draw upon diverse theoretical perspectives in organizational analysis to identify four areas where a more serious interface between this "cognate" field and social movement research promises to deepen our understanding of social movement organizations (SMOs). These areas include conceptualizing social movements as organizational fields, thinking of activists as part of a labor market situated in the social movement sector, analyzing SMOs in terms of entrepreneurship and organizational change, and finally, looking more closely at processes of organizational decision making. We discuss studies by social movement scholars that implicitly or explicitly engage the cognate scholarship with an eye to identifying those areas where systematic research is lacking. We close by sketching some methodological approaches for addressing each of the lacunae we identify.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-308
Number of pages20
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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