, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 211-231

Sponsored Social Change in a Public Housing Project

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Abstract

Federal and local pressures have given rise to a hybrid organization that brings together disparate groups from the public and non-profit sectors to address complex social problems. This article examines one such organizational emergence of state-affiliated sponsorship. Based on data from a multi-method case study, we find that not only do members of the sponsoring organization use legitimate authority structures, existing laws, and social norms to reproduce their power, they do so with a state mandate that privileges their expertise and processes.

Parts of this paper were prepared while the third author, Beth A. Rubin, was on leave to serve as Director, Sociology Program, National Science Foundation. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
P. Denise Cobb is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. This research reflects one part of Cobb's dissertation research that addresses how organizational actors from unequal social positions define a collective agenda and whose interests prevail when there is a lack of consensus. Her current research further examines the emergence of the university-community partnership form. She has published related work in Administration & Society and previously in Qualitative Sociology.
Jon Shefner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Studies Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is co-editor, with Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, of Out of the Shadows: Political Action and the Informal Economy in Latin America (2006: Pennsylvania State Press). He is currently working on a book examining the impact of globalization and democratization on the mobilization and well being of Mexico's urban poor.
Beth A. Rubin is Professor of Management and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Rubin publishes on economic and workplace transformation, labor unions, homelessness and social policy and social theory in leading academic journals. Her current research is on organizational commitment in the context of the new economy, inequality and industrial restructuring, organizational and workplace restructuring and time in organizations, the latter of which is represented in the forthcoming book, Research in the Sociology of Work: Workplace Temporalities, that Rubin is editing.