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Social Movements, Field Frames, and Industry Emergence: A Cultural-Political Perspective on U.S. Recycling (WP-02-27)

Michael Lounsbury, Marc J. Ventresca, and Paul M. Hirsch

This article examines how social movements contribute to institutional change and the creation of new industries. We build on current efforts to bridge institutional and social movement perspectives in sociology and develop the concept of field frames to study how industries are shaped by social structures of meanings and resources that underpin and stabilize practices and social organization. Drawing on the case of how nonprofit recyclers and the recycling social movement enabled the rise of a for-profit recycling industry, we show that movements can help to transform extant socioeconomic practices and enable new kinds of industry development by engaging in efforts that lead to the deinstitutionalization of field frames.

Michael Lounsbury, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University

Marc J. Ventresca, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Paul M. Hirsch, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

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