The Elusive, Inclusive 'We': Inclusion and Contradiction in a Prefigurative Social Movement Group

Master's Thesis


In this paper I apply Pierre Bourdieu"s theory of practice to the study of internal movement culture in a prefigurative social movement organization, using data from an ethnographic study of a nascent food cooperative. Organizers of the cooperative, who were white and highly educated, attempted to promote an inclusive movement culture and organizational structure that would facilitate cross-class and cross-race alliances with neighborhood residents. I argue that group attempts to promote inclusivity were undermined by counter-processes, the origins of which I trace to group members" social locations as white, educated individuals influenced by the discourse and ideology of the alternative food movement and the Catholic Worker movement. Evidence from this case suggests that values-based movements in the New Social Movements paradigm may reinforce, rather than ameliorate, structural inequalities.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-11162011-113604

Author Amy Jonason
Advisor Christian Smith
Contributor Christian Smith, Committee Chair
Contributor Mary Ellen Konieczny, Committee Member
Contributor Erika Summers-Effler, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name Master of Arts
Defense Date
  • 2011-11-01

Submission Date 2011-11-16
  • United States of America

  • social movements

  • culture

  • identity

  • organizations

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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