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From God to markets

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  • Mehrpouya, Afshin

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    Abstract

    Actors at the boundary of two or more fields undertake work to stabilize, coordinate across or breach the field’s boundary. Meaning work is a key category of boundary work, which involves aintaining or changing of field-level meanings. Mobilizing institutional analysis of field level change processes and the social movement framing literature, this study conceptualizes the types of meaning work that boundary actors undertake in a field undergoing “mainstreaming”. Mainstreaming in this paper is defined as a process whereby a social movement succeeds in diffusing its norms, values or practices across the wider incumbent field. During the past few decades, socially responsible investment (SRI) has shifted from being a marginal, religious, US-based movement to an influential international movement, which has succeeded in mobilizing a large number of incumbent investors and financial organizations. Based on a multi-stage qualitative analysis of the SRI field during the past 50 years, this study first establishes the structural changes that define a field undergoing mainstreaming. It then introduces four propositions regarding links between these field-level changes and the meaning work that actors at the boundary between a social movement and the incumbent field undertake.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HEC Paris in its series Les Cahiers de Recherche with number 962.

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    Length: 65 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ebg:heccah:0962

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    Related research

    Keywords: meaning work; boundary; institutions; social movements; framing; socially responsible investment;

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