Social Movement Challenges to
Abortion Rights, AIDS, and Long-Term Care
Social movement researchers and institutional analysts of organizations have long shared an interest in systems of beliefs and values (logics) and the motivated action (agency) of reformers (Davis et al. 2005). The two scholarly traditions have, however, conceived of relations between logics and agency rather differently. While social movement researchers recognize that prevailing logics, or frames, present significant barriers to social reform, they have shown that new systems of beliefs can motivate the change efforts of disadvantaged actors (Snow 2004a). In contrast, a central understanding of institutional analysts is that within “fields” of related organizations, a dominant logic tends to restrict opportunities for change by underpinning a template, or “archetype,” of prescriptions concerning what constitutes legitimate organizational form and behavior (Greenwood and Hinings 1998: 295).
Although institutional analysts have recently given more attention to agency and the implications of multiple field logics, they have generally provided accounts of a new logic and archetype being imposed, top-down, by powerful actors (e.g., state agencies) relatively quickly, and with little reported resistance to change (Brock, Powell, and Hinings 1999). With little consideration of social movement studies, the pursuit of new archetypes by less powerful field actors remains under-studied, undertheorized, and leaves unattended the interesting phenomenon of resistance for change (Spicer 2006).
This chapter presents the first attempt to explicate the potential for social movement studies to provide empirical insights and theoretical leverage for analyses of the promotion of new archetypes by grassroots health reform movements. The chapter is