Original Paper

Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 211-231

First online:

Sponsored Social Change in a Public Housing Project

  • P. Denise CobbAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Email author 
  • , Jon ShefnerAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, 901 McClung Tower, University of Tennessee – Knoxville
  • , Beth A. RubinAffiliated withDepartment of Management, UNC-Charlotte

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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.


Sponsorship Legitimacy Interorganizational relations Collaboration Partnership