Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Sociology

Understanding Then Funding Game the Textual Coordination of Civil Sector Work

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Sociology

Understanding Then Funding Game the Textual Coordination of Civil Sector Work

Article excerpt

Abstract. This paper investigates how people's work for non-profit organizations, charities, grassroots collectives, and social justice organizations is organized by official funding processes. In my analysis, I attend to the different kinds of text-based knowledge that coordinate people's work across the civil sector. Engaging in discussions with participants about their work, I discover how an individual's ordinary documentary activities are articulated to institutional relations of accountability. Attending to text-driven accountability practices--practices increasingly taken up to justify and carry out all kinds of work in the civil sector--I investigate the ideological organization of people's work via the policy documents and textual application procedures of the Revenue Canada tax act with regard to Charitable Status and the Ontario Trillium Foundation funding application process.

Resume. Cette communication s'interesse aux personnes qui travaillent dans le milieu qui regroupe les organismes a but non-lucratif, les oeuvres de bienfaisance, les collectifs communautaires et les organismes en justice sociale, du point de vue de l'impact exerce sur leur travail par le processus des demandes de financement officiel. Dans mon analyse, je m'attarde a la maniere par laquelle une diversite de savoirs textuels vient coordonner ce travail dans l'ensemble du secteur civil. Au moyen de discussions avec participants au sujet de leur travail, je decouvre comment les activites normales de documentation qu'effectuent ces individus sont liees a des relations institutionnelles d'obligation de rendre compte. En m'attardant a la primaute du texte vis-a-vis ces comportements d'obligation de rendre compte--comportements qui de plus en plus servent de justification a une gamme importante de fonctions dans le secteur civil--j'enquete sur l'organisation ideologique du travail en question via les documents de politique et de procedure d'application textuelle de la loi de Revenu Canada portant sur le statut caritatif et sur les demarches de demande de soutiel de la Fondation Trillium de l' Ontario.

INTRODUCTION

This paper investigates how people's work for non-profit organizations, charities, grassroots collectives, and social justice organizations is organized by official funding processes. It illustrates how a person's knowledge about her or his work can differ from the institutional accounts of this work that are produced to fund or officially define it. An individual working for a charity; a grantee working for a granting foundation; a member of the city council; and someone doing grassroots advocacy--each has a different orientation to particular kinds of work. They produce and interact with different (and differently authorized) knowledge about particular work activities. Thus, any one individual may conduct her or his work against a sometimes contradictory backdrop of knowledge.

Throughout this study, I have also investigated activism as a relation through which people's work processes are organized and understood. Activist work engages active processes of transformation within the "institutional complex of relations" (Smith 2005)--the very bureaucratic and administrative relations of the state against which some activist work struggles. In this article, I explore how people's work is connected to texts--official policies and practices--that are increasingly used to justify and carry out different kinds of civil sector work. In analyzing these texts, I investigate activism as an organizing schema through which the texts are experienced. The ideological coordination of this work can be seen by examining the policy documents and textual application procedures of the Revenue Canada tax act, with regard to Charitable Status, and Ontario funding application processes as people use and refer to them in their everyday work.

In their investigation of Canada's health care reforms, Rankin and Campbell (2006) concentrate on health care work shaped by the new public management--an approach to managing included in the restructuring of Canada's public sector (McCoy 1998 in Rankin and Campbell 2006). …

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