Sociology Civil Rights
by
David Cunningham, Nicole Fox
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 September 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0147

Introduction

Unlike many standard sociological concepts, “civil rights” is rarely interrogated as a phenomenon sui generis or in relation to other categories of rights, and instead is typically invoked in reference to a range of political claims, statuses, entitlements, and outcomes. Though foundational accounts of citizenship situate the sources and boundaries of civil rights, by far the most frequent usage of the term is in relation to the US civil rights movement, which has served as the central case informing prevailing theories of social movements. The movement’s canonical status and sweeping impacts on political, economic, and social life has given rise to a loosely bounded conception of an associated era, with much scholarship focusing on the contours of racial discrimination and mobility in the “post-civil rights” decades that have followed. Another area of movement influence relates to the encoding of civil rights protections in legislation and court decisions. A particularly robust literature has engaged with the implementation and enforcement of various provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as well as its impact on subsequent related legislation, such as the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. The legacy of the movement is also evident in its influence on subsequent civil rights movements, both tactically and through their ability to advance “civil rights” claims in familiar and resonant ways. The unique and familiar character of the civil rights movement, then, has ensured that conceptions of civil rights remain prevalent within a variety of sociological literatures––from social movements, to organizations, gender, race and ethnicity, and the sociology of law––while perhaps paradoxically discouraging focused research on the definitional and political contours of the term itself.

Citizenship and Rights Claims

This section brings together work on the relationship between civil rights and conceptions of citizenship, engaging with how communities or movements make claims to civil rights, often alongside or implicitly in contrast to other kinds of rights. Marshall 1950 offers a foundational conceptualization of core relationships between civil rights and citizenship, their historical evolution, and their implications for capitalist class systems. Turner 1993 elaborates on Marshall’s seminal essay to introduce a range of theoretical issues associated with citizenship. That volume’s emphasis on the intersection of civil and human rights clearly anticipates a now-burgeoning body of work focused on human rights claims in the age of globalization (Blau and Moncada 2009; Smith 2008, cited under Other Social Movements, Issues, and Constituencies). Within sociology, a related stream of scholarship has concentrated on how groups articulate and mobilize around rights claims. Such work most clearly emerges within the social movements literature, particularly related to analytic notions of “framing” developed by Snow and his colleagues and elaborated in Snow and Benford 1992. Conceptions of framing that speak most directly to “civil rights” tend to focus on how a movement articulates rights-based claims to resonate with intended audiences or constituencies, mobilize followings, solidify collective identities, and expand resources and political access. Particular works examine how movement framings can alter the meaning of rights over time (Engel and Munger 1996), and how claims to identities and rights structure the ways in which stories are told, received, and ultimately remembered (Polletta 2006). How such processes operate within the context of actual (Cole 2012) or imagined (Stanfield 2012) national and international governing bodies provides a means for assessing how norms and discourses around human rights can provide on-the-ground protection against civil rights abuses. Taken together, these sources speak to both the bases for, and the dynamics of, rights-based claims, as well as how those claims structure meanings, mobilizations, and orientations to political resources.

  • Blau, Judith, and Alberto Moncada. 2009. Human rights: A primer. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.

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    Introduces an integrative critical approach that orients conceptions of human rights in civil, social, economic, and environmental practices. The volume’s breadth and grounding in processes associated with globalization make it an ideal starting place for undergraduates and those seeking a broad overview of cutting-edge thinking in the rights field.

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    • Cole, Wade M. 2012. Institutionalizing shame: The effect of Human Rights Committee rulings on abuse, 1981–2007. Social Science Research 41.3: 539–554.

      DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2011.12.003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This article assesses the impacts of appeals to an international human rights body over claimed violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Cole finds that, while such international judgments did not reduce subsequent state-imposed physical retribution, civil rights freedoms subsequently expanded in states found guilty of covenant violations.

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      • Engel, D. M., and F. W. Munger. 1996. Rights, remembrance, and the reconciliation of difference. Law & Society Review 30.1: 7–53.

        DOI: 10.2307/3054033Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        Focusing on the Americans with Disabilities Act, Engel and Munger explore the meaning of rights in America by focusing on the intersection between the changing nature of civil rights and personal histories of individuals who benefit from many of these changes.

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        • Marshall, T. H. 1950. Citizenship and social class, and other essays. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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          The classic eponymous essay situates civil rights as one of three elements of citizenship. Marshall argues that civil rights––encompassing personal liberty and rights to property and justice––have become increasingly differentiated from citizenship’s political and social elements, with the development of civil strands predating the others and enabling the maintenance of capitalist institutions.

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          • Polletta, Francesca. 2006. “It was like a fever”: Storytelling in protest and politics. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

            DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226673776.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            This well-received book asks important questions about why and how stories matter. Paying close attention to American civil rights activism, Polletta examines why people protest and what is at stake in the remembrance and articulation of rights claims.

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            • Snow, David A., and Robert D. Benford. 1992. Master frames and cycles of protest. In Frontiers in social movement theory. Edited by Aldon D. Morris and Carol McClurg Mueller, 133–155. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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              Alongside an influential body of scholarship by Snow, Benford, and their colleagues, this chapter summarizes and extends research on how social movements frame issues to align their goals with audience values by examining connections among movements within a particular protest cycle. A key illustration centers on civil rights activists’ adoption of a rights-based “master frame.”

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              • Stanfield, John H. 2012. “Taking care of unfinished business and the business of the 21st century: What an Institute for Advanced Study in Civil Rights, preferably in the academic deep South, should examine.” American Behavioral Scientist 56.10: 1434–1454.

                DOI: 10.1177/0002764212454426Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This unique article is based on a fictitious institute that would inquire about what was learned in retrospect from the American civil rights movement. Stanfield engages with the ways in which knowledge about the lessons of the movement has been produced, and how such ideas have shifted over time.

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                • Turner, Bryan S., ed. 1993. Citizenship and social theory. New York: SAGE.

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                  An edited volume that engages broadly with key theoretical developments around citizenship. Turner’s concluding essay orients thinking about citizenship around conceptions of civil society and human rights.

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                  The US Civil Rights Movement

                  Considerations of the civil rights movement emphasize its tremendous impact on subsequent campaigns focused on a range of rights-based claims, as well as on theoretical understandings of social movements generally. As Morris 1999 notes, civil rights provided a lens through which movement analysts could reconfigure prevailing conceptions of protest as fundamentally spontaneous and irrational, recognizing movements as organizationally grounded vehicles for advancing instrumental political claims. As the field has matured, the strong empirical base provided by civil rights movement studies has produced increasingly nuanced understandings of movement origins, participation, leadership, culture, and impacts. Along with Morris 1984, (cited under Foundational Works), Blumberg 1991 offers a thorough account of the movement’s basic chronology, especially useful for undergraduates. Much of the most influential work that has emerged since emphasizes tactical exchanges, both as they relate to the organizational and strategic capacity of challengers (McAdam 1983; Morris 1993) and as determinants of movement outcomes in interaction with various authorities and audiences (Andrews 2004; Luders 2010; McAdam 1983). Crosby 2011 delivers an important compendium of current models for considering how civil rights claims relate to core questions associated with the tactical and philosophical bases for nonviolence and armed self-defense, how political struggles are shaped in varied ways by gender and class dynamics, and how we might bound and assess the origins and outcomes of movement trajectories. Andrews 2004 takes up this latter question in more detail, systematically assessing how movement actions can create short-run change and also––through the establishment of institutionalized infrastructures––produce longer-run effects on the political process. McAdam, et al. 2005 cautions against overgeneralizing from the civil rights case, noting how such tendencies have inappropriately bounded the contours of protest to highlight campaigns that deploy a particular tactical repertoire to assert rights claims and thus have missed key transitions in public contention over the past thirty years.

                  • Andrews, Kenneth T. 2004. Freedom is a constant struggle: The Mississippi civil rights movement and its legacy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                    Provides a comprehensive assessment of the dynamics of the civil rights movement in Mississippi. By taking seriously how local struggles compelled federal civil rights interventions and created durable infrastructures for institutional political action, Andrews importantly assesses both the short- and long-run impacts of social movements.

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                    • Blumberg, Rhoda Lois. 1991. Civil rights: The 1960s freedom struggle. New York: Twayne.

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                      An early sociologically informed account of the movement’s peak mobilization period, beginning with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Though this text does not incorporate a number of the sociological and historical insights that have emerged since its publication, it serves as a useful introductory account of the chronology and contours of the movement.

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                      • Crosby, Emilye, ed. 2011. Civil rights history from the ground up: Local struggles, a national movement. Athens, GA: Univ. of Georgia Press.

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                        An edited volume that compiles a range of interdisciplinary contributions from a 2006 conference. Chapters synthesize the contributions and challenges associated with a “bottom-up” local studies approach to civil rights movement studies. The volume engages with and extends work in Morris 1984 and Payne 1995 (both cited under Foundational Works) on the movement’s organizing tradition.

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                        • Luders, Joseph E. 2010. The civil rights movement and the logic of social change. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511817120Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          This provocative monograph develops an approach to political contention that shifts analytic focus to protest targets and audiences. Luders assesses the outcomes of civil rights campaigns by analyzing the interests and vulnerabilities of elites, officials, and other movement targets.

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                          • McAdam, Doug. 1983. Tactical innovation and the pace of insurgency. American Sociological Review 48:735–754.

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                            A now-classic article that clearly and elegantly demonstrates how tactical interactions relate to social movement outcomes. McAdam elucidates how the “chess-like” interplay between protestors’ tactical innovations and authorities’ tactical adaptations impacts the pacing and effectiveness of insurgent action.

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                            • McAdam, Doug, Robert J. Sampson, Simon Weffer, and Heather MacIndoe. 2005. “There will be fighting in the streets”: The distorting lens of social movement theory. Mobilization 10.1: 1–18.

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                              A critique of the “stylized image” of social movements produced by a predominant emphasis on civil rights and other 1960s cases. The authors identify and assess the increasingly routinized and peaceful character of public protest since 1980, as well as associated implications for our understanding of social movements generally.

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                              • Morris, Aldon D. 1993. “Birmingham confrontation reconsidered: An analysis of the dynamics and tactics of mobilization.” American Sociological Review 58.5: 621–636.

                                DOI: 10.2307/2096278Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Drawing on a close analysis of the 1963 civil rights confrontations in Birmingham, Alabama, Morris extends his 1984 emphasis on internal organization and mobilization capacity (cited under Foundational Works) to refute competing accounts that explain movement outcomes through the actions of elite third parties and broader audiences to contentious campaigns.

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                                • Morris, Aldon D. 1999. “A retrospective on the civil rights movement: Political and intellectual landmarks.” Annual Review of Sociology 25:517–539.

                                  DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.25.1.517Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  This review essay outlines the enormous impact of the civil rights movement, as both a strategic model for other movements and an empirical case motivating the theoretical move from social movements as spontaneous and nonrational “collective behavior” to the organized, instrumental political campaigns favored in resource mobilization and political process approaches.

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                                  Foundational Works

                                  As the central case spurring the development of social movement research since the 1970s, considerations of the civil rights movement have long been at the forefront of theoretical advances in the study of political contention. Research drawing directly on the movement has significantly shaped general understandings of how external environments shape mobilization patterns, the internal workings of movements, how movements evolve in interaction with the counter-mobilizations of targets and elites, and the micro and macro impacts of collective action. While each of those areas merits its own subheading, all of this work has benefited from the strong foundation provided by a core set of general studies. The earliest of these is perhaps the most obscure: a treatise by Martin Luther King Jr. (King 1968) advancing a powerful call for relevant social science research, normatively oriented to movement goals and visions. This paper, published the year of his death, offers a credible and engaged research agenda of use to scholars, activists, and officials alike. King’s call was at least partially answered in a first wave of pathbreaking sociological studies of the movement. Emerging in the late 1970s and early 1980s, these works moved beyond classical collective behavior approaches to conceive of social movements as instrumental political expressions whose rise and fall can be understood in terms of strategic and tactical interactions (Piven and Cloward 1977), expanding political opportunities (McAdam 1999), and indigenous organization (Morris 1984). Morris 1984 and McAdam 1999 remain influential foundational works in the resource mobilization and political process traditions that continue to inform social movement research today. Later work in Payne 1995 and Robnett 1997 looks more closely at organizing traditions and modes of leadership within the movement, producing influential insights into gendered and biographically-contingent processes.

                                  • King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1968. The civil rights movement needs the help of social scientists. Journal of Social Issues 24.1: 2–12.

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                                    A scathing indictment of the limitations of 1960s civil rights advances, and particularly whites’ unwillingness to accept fundamental structural changes. Lamenting the inability of social science to illuminate the depth and workings of racism to date, King calls for empirical research centered on understanding and solving concrete problems associated with racial inequity and strife.

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                                    • McAdam, Doug. 1999. Political process and the generation of black insurgency, 1930–1970. 2d ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                      DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226555553.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      A foundational formulation of the now-paradigmatic political process approach, this book focuses on the role of expanding and contracting political opportunities in the emergence and decline of the civil rights movement. First published in 1982, the updated edition includes a new introduction that places dynamic mechanisms at the center of the analysis.

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                                      • Morris, Aldon D. 1984. The origins of the civil rights movement: Black communities organizing for change. New York: Free Press.

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                                        An acclaimed work focused on the power of indigenous organization within the civil rights movement. Morris’s analysis of the movement’s organizational and cultural bases advanced understanding of the case, as well as provided an influential contribution to resource mobilization approaches to social movements.

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                                        • Payne, Charles M. 1995. I’ve got the light of freedom: The organizing tradition and the Mississippi freedom struggle. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                          A rich and soulful account of the development of the civil rights organizing tradition in Mississippi. Payne importantly emphasizes biographical, generational, and gendered processes, and contrasts the power of local grassroots organizing with more conventional emphases on top-down mobilizing campaigns.

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                                          • Piven, Frances Fox, and Richard A. Cloward. 1977. Poor people’s movements: Why they succeed, how they fail. New York: Vintage.

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                                            Focused on the impacts of political action by “lower-class groups,” Piven and Cloward argue forcefully that elites grant concessions in the face of disruption or its threat, rather than in response to formal organizational action. The book includes a detailed examination of the civil rights movement among its four major cases.

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                                            • Robnett, Belinda. 1997. How long? How long?: African-American women in the struggle for civil rights. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                              A work that importantly places women’s roles at the center of familiar accounts of the civil rights movement. Robnett offers a reassessment of activist leadership, focusing on how gender––alongside race, class, and culture more generally––constitutes and shapes its layered character.

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                                              External Environments

                                              Beginning with McAdam 1999, an analysis of how broad socioeconomic dynamics expanded political opportunities for civil rights protest in the 1950s and 1960s, the civil rights movement has provided the central case through which political process theory has developed. Meyer and Minkoff 2004 usefully extend McAdam’s foundational analysis, demonstrating how external environments can shape the expression and impact of civil rights claims in varied ways. Other research has interrogated different dimensions of external environments, focusing on how government responses to civil rights claims have varied according to the shifting orientations of public audiences (Santoro 2008) and the degree of leverage that legislation provides for enforcing compliance (Quadagno 2000). Following McAdam 1999, Haines 1984 and Furuyama and Meyer 2011 emphasize the determinants of elite support, in particular how different kinds of claims and protest modes relate to funding streams and other forms of elite legitimation. In so doing, Haines 1984 also usefully considers the civil rights movement as an organizational field, with elite support for particular protest sectors varying in relation to tactical approaches and the orientations of other sectors in the field. Emblematic of much of the literature on social movement emergence and diffusion, Andrews and Biggs 2006 examines the interplay of internal and external environments, weighing the relative impacts of civil rights organizations’ internal capacity against ecological features of protest sites.

                                              • Andrews, Kenneth T., and Michael Biggs. 2006. The dynamics of protest diffusion: Movement organizations, social networks, and news media in the 1960 sit-ins. American Sociological Review 71.5: 752–777.

                                                DOI: 10.1177/000312240607100503Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                The authors examine perhaps the most significant campaign of the civil rights movement: the sit-ins that spread across sixty-six southern cities in 1960. Adjudicating among organizational, network, and media effects, they find that activist cadres and newspaper coverage of protest in other cities were especially important in the diffusion of the campaign.

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                                                • Furuyama, Katie, and David S. Meyer. 2011. “Sources of certification and civil rights advocacy organizations: The JACL, the NAACP and crisis of legitimacy.” Mobilization 16.1: 101–116.

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                                                  Focusing on movements’ relationships to external authorities, this paper examines two civil rights organizations to identify the processes through which movements work to be certified by multiple constituencies as legitimate representatives of their respective groups.

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                                                  • Haines, Herbert H. 1984. “Black radicalization and the funding of civil rights 1957–1970.” Social Problems 32.1: 31–43.

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                                                    Considering the civil rights movement as a field comprised of multiple organizations, Haines demonstrates that the factionalization that emerged through the radicalization of particular organizations in the later 1960s did not provoke a simple backlash from elites, but rather an increase in financial support to more moderate groups.

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                                                    • McAdam, Doug. 1999. Political process and the generation of black insurgency, 1930–1970. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                      DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226555553.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      A classic statement on how movements emerge and decline in relation to broad structures of political opportunity. McAdam develops a close analysis of the rise of the civil rights movement to show how expanding political opportunities, conditioned by socioeconomic processes dating back to Reconstruction, facilitated the rise of civil rights protest.

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                                                      • Meyer, David S., and Debra C. Minkoff. 2004. Conceptualizing political opportunity. Social Forces 82.4: 1457–1492.

                                                        DOI: 10.1353/sof.2004.0082Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Responding to widespread criticism about the imprecision of political opportunity analyses, Meyer and Minkoff use the civil rights movement case to demonstrate how the conceptualization of political opportunities benefits from more careful specification of scope, outcome, and intervening mechanisms.

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                                                        • Quadagno, Jill. 2000. Promoting civil rights through the welfare state: How medicare integrated southern hospitals.” Social Problems 47.1: 68–89.

                                                          DOI: 10.2307/3097152Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Focusing on the outcomes of civil rights action, Quadagno explains unevenness in Civil Rights Act compliance by demonstrating how welfare state policy provided leverage to enforce racial desegregation in health care sites. The analysis demonstrates how change associated with civil rights claims occurs in relation to institutional political features.

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                                                          • Santoro, Wayne A. 2008. The civil rights movement and the right to vote: Black protest, segregationist violence and the audience. Social Forces 86.4: 1340–1414.

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                                                            This paper examines the shifting relationship between anti-civil rights violence and federal responsiveness to civil rights protest. Santoro explains the historically contingent association by accounting for the changing orientation of the public audience to segregationist violence between the 1930s and 1960s.

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                                                            Internal Dynamics

                                                            Just as the emergence and trajectory of the civil rights movement was shaped by aspects of the broader political environment, various internal processes played a significant role in its evolution and impact. These internal dynamics have been explored from a variety of perspectives. As predecessors of Andrews and Biggs 2006, cited under External Environments, Morris 1981, and other early studies in the resource mobilization tradition highlighted the role of preexisting organizational infrastructures in the emergence and spread of the 1960 sit-ins and other seminal civil rights campaigns. Other work has challenged the tendency of political process approaches to assume stark divisions between movement challengers and the authorities they target; the Santoro and McGuire 1997 account of institutional activists identifies one role that elides such distinctions. The deliberative process of civil rights organizations both drew from and influenced other democratic traditions in American social movements (Polletta 2004), benefiting from––and in some cases being challenged by––internal diversity among participants (Marx and Useem 1971) as well as shaping the ability of such groups to serve as cultural change agents (Isaac 2008). A growing body of work has emphasized gendered processes within civil rights groups, with Robnett 1996 usefully elucidating distinct forms of women’s leadership and how their presence in those positions impacted the movement. Similarly, McAdam 1992 extends his research on the Mississippi Freedom Summer Campaign––explored in more detail in McAdam 1988 (cited under Micro/Biographical Impacts)––to examine how men and women experienced civil rights activism differently, and how such differences played out in perceived and actual subsequent life choices.

                                                            • Isaac, Larry. 2008. Movement of movements: Culture moves in the long civil rights struggle. Social Forces 87.1: 33–63.

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                                                              Provocatively asking how movements move, Isaac focuses on the work and impact of social movements as “cultural production agents.” Through examples drawn from the long civil rights movement, the paper focuses on various kinds of movement––across space, of emotions and sociocultural conditions, and through memory.

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                                                              • Marx, Gary T., and Michael Useem. 1971. Majority involvement in minority movements: Civil rights, abolition, untouchability. Journal of Social Issues 27.1: 81–104.

                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1971.tb00637.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Marx and Useem address emergent tensions when civil rights and other campaigns bring together activists from “minority” and “dominant” groups. They identify three forms of tension, related to majority-group members’ disproportionate moves into decision-making roles, reluctance to adopt radical stances, and expression of prejudicial or otherwise hostile views.

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                                                                • McAdam, Doug. 1992. Gender as a mediator of activist experience: The case of Freedom Summer. American Journal of Sociology 97.5: 1211–1240.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1086/229900Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Applying insights from a burgeoning literature on differential social movement recruitment to his data on the Mississippi Freedom Summer campaign, McAdam focuses on how gender impacted activists’ recruitment into and experience with social movements as well as the subsequent influence of their participation.

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                                                                  • Morris, Aldon D. 1981. Black southern sit-in movement: An analysis of internal organization. American Sociological Review 46:744–767.

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                                                                    Morris focuses on the 1960 sit-in movement to demonstrate that, far from a spontaneous series of actions, sit-ins emerged through the deployment of indigenous resources through preexisting institutions––including churches, colleges, protest organizations, and leaders––in the black community.

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                                                                    • Polletta, Francesca. 2004. Freedom is an endless meeting: Democracy in American social movements. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                      Engaging heavily with modes of civil rights organizing in Mississippi, Polletta focuses on participatory democratic forms in social movements. The book provides a richly theorized and historicized account of the roots, promise, and challenges associated with bottom-up decision-making.

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                                                                      • Robnett, Belinda. 1996. “African-American women in the civil rights movement, 1954–1965: Gender, leadership, and micromobilization.” American Journal of Sociology 101.6: 1661–1693.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/230870Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        This article makes a dual contribution, to 1) understandings of gendered processes and 2) conceptualizations of leadership in social movements. Drawing on the case of women in the civil rights movement, Robnett conceptualizes and highlights the intermediate “bridge” layer that provided primary spaces for women’s leadership.

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                                                                        • Santoro, Wayne A., and G. M. McGuire. 1997. Social movement insiders: The impact of institutional activists on affirmative action and comparable worth policies. Social Problems 44.4: 503–519.

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                                                                          Conceptualizing the role of “institutional activists” who operate through bureaucratic channels from their positions inside government agencies, this paper demonstrates how such insiders can––to differing degrees––impact the outcomes of civil rights campaigns.

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                                                                          Responses and Countermovements

                                                                          As with all organized challenges to the status quo, civil rights protest has engendered a range of responses, many of them hostile, from authorities and countermovements. Research on these responses has contributed to sociological understandings of movement-countermovement dynamics and interactive approaches to social movements generally. Traditionally, studies have focused on the federal government, a primary target of movement demands. Santoro 2008 (cited under External Environments), provides a clear example of that approach, with Irons 2006 more fully elucidating how intra-state negotiations can complicate those responses. Engaging with research on state repression, Cunningham 2004 examines how federal agencies have policed civil rights activists as threats to national security, through both overt and underhanded covert means. Davenport, et al. 2011 similarly focuses on repressive dynamics, building on a robust literature on protest policing to show how police have responded more intensively to civil rights and other protests involving African Americans. As another constituency often targeted by boycotts and other civil rights campaigns, the business community’s responses have frequently shaped the contours and outcomes of civil rights contention. Cramer 1963 provides a foundational account of how the reactions of business leaders mattered, with Luders 2006 extending such work to theorize the logic of economic elite response within an opportunity structure framework. Haines 1984 (cited under External Environments) examines another aspect of economic elite response, focusing on how different modes of civil rights protest impact relationships with institutional funding sources. Other research (Andrews 2002; Cunningham and Phillips 2007; Vander Zanden 1960) has focused on the mobilization of nonstate countermovements. In the civil rights case, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) provides perhaps the best-known example of such civic responses. Vander Zanden 1960 delivers an early account of how the rise of the civil rights–era KKK relates to societal strains. Though that approach has been heavily critiqued in the intervening decades, it provides an important foundation to understand more recent work on countermovements focused on the dynamics of threat and competition (Cunningham and Phillips 2007).

                                                                          • Andrews, Kenneth T. 2002. Movement-countermovement dynamics and the emergence of new institutions: The case of “white flight” schools in Mississippi. Social Forces 80.3: 911–936.

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                                                                            Conceptualizing the growth of private academies in Mississippi around 1970 as a countermovement strategy to avoid desegregated schools, Andrews shows how these academies emerged where civil rights forces had the capacity to spur meaningful desegregation and where members of the white community possessed sufficient resources to resist civil rights advances.

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                                                                            • Cramer, M. Richard. 1963. “School desegregation and new industry: The southern community leaders’ viewpoint.” Social Forces 41:384–389.

                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2573284Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              An interesting early example of research concerned with the interrelationship between the economic interests of southern community leaders and their willingness to advance or otherwise abide civil rights reforms, and school desegregation mandates in particular.

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                                                                              • Cunningham, David. 2004. There’s something happening here: The new left, the Klan, and FBI counterintelligence. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                The federal government, through the FBI’s counterintelligence program, engaged in covert “dirty tricks” to neutralize, harass, and discredit civil rights and other activists during the 1950s and 1960s. This book analyzes thousands of FBI memos to uncover the organizational logic of state repression.

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                                                                                • Cunningham, David, and Benjamin T. Phillips. 2007. “Contexts for mobilization: Spatial settings and Klan presence in North Carolina, 1964–1966.” American Journal of Sociology 113.3: 781–814.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1086/521843Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  As the most widespread militant response to civil rights reform, the KKK reemerged in the 1960s as a mass movement across the South. Focusing on North Carolina, the site of the civil rights–era KKK’s largest successes, this article extends conventional ethnic competition and racial threat explanations to examine the spatial dynamics of KKK mobilization.

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                                                                                  • Davenport, Christian, Sarah A. Soule, and David A. Armstrong II. 2011. “Protesting while black: The differential policing of American activism, 1960 to 1990.” American Sociological Review 76.1: 152–178.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0003122410395370Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    In an analysis with implications well beyond civil rights protest, Davenport and his colleagues find that, for many years between 1960 and 1990, police were significantly more likely to be present, make arrests, and/or use force in response to events involving African Americans.

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                                                                                    • Irons, Jenny. 2006. “Who rules the social control of protest? Variability in the state-countermovement relationship.” Mobilization 11.2: 165–180.

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                                                                                      In a rare and important examination of the relationship between states and countermovements, Irons examines the case of the anti-civil rights Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission and demonstrates how such countermovement organizations can vary in their orientations to institutional political elites.

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                                                                                      • Luders, Joseph E. 2006. The economics of movement success: Business responses to civil rights mobilization. American Journal of Sociology 111.4: 963–998.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/498632Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Building from well-established formulations of political opportunity structure, Luders conceptualizes how an economic opportunity structure that captures elites’ vulnerability to costs associated with both civil rights disruption and their own concession predicts business leaders’ receptivity to civil rights demands.

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                                                                                        • Vander Zanden, James W. 1960. The Klan revival. American Journal of Sociology 65.5: 456–462.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/222749Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          A foundational effort to explain the rise of the civil rights–era KKK. VanderZanden’s study examines the occupational distribution of more than 150 Klan members, rooting their affiliation in then-current collective behavior theories of social strain.

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                                                                                          Macro Political Impacts

                                                                                          Research on the political consequences of social movements has grown tremendously over the past decade, with the civil rights movement providing a core case through which to understand such impacts (Amenta, et al. 2010). Traditionally centered on straightforward political effects like voting rates and access to desegregated schools, much of the recent work on civil rights movement consequences now extends to a range of other short- and long-run impacts, including the provision of municipal services (Button and Scher 1979), the passage and enforcement of hate crime legislation (McVeigh, et al. 2006), and the development, revitalization, or decline of parallel movement sectors (Isaac and Christiansen 2002; Minkoff 1997; Wood 1972). Andrews 1997 is emblematic of work that seeks to examine the multifaceted impacts of the civil rights movement, an agenda that he further develops in his related 2004 book (cited under US Civil Rights Movement). Other strains of the literature, represented here in Stahura 1986, focus on the broader economic and demographic consequences of the movement.

                                                                                          • Amenta, Edwin, Neal Caren, Elizabeth Chiarello, and Yang Su. 2010. The political consequences of social movements. Annual Review of Sociology 36.1: 287–307.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-120029Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            A comprehensive state-of-the-art overview and assessment of research in a growing field focused on movement outcomes and consequences. The review makes clear the centrality of the civil rights movement case in the development of general theoretical conceptualizations of movement consequences.

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                                                                                            • Andrews, Kenneth T. 1997. The impacts of social movements on the political process: The civil rights movement and black electoral politics in Mississippi. American Sociological Review 62.5: 800–819.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2657361Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Examines the impact of local civil rights movements on a range of political outcomes. Andrews’s focus on the multiple ways that movements can impact the political process, as well as how movement infrastructures provide a foundation for sustained longer-run consequences, makes this paper a foundational statement on social movement impacts generally.

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                                                                                              • Button, James, and Richard Scher. 1979. Impact of the civil rights movement: Perceptions of black municipal service changes. Social Science Quarterly 60.3: 497–510.

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                                                                                                An early study of how the civil rights movement––to varying degrees––affected public policy, and by extension the lives of African Americans in the South. Button and Scher interviewed residents of six Florida communities to examine how civil rights changes shaped perceptions of municipal service provision.

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                                                                                                • Isaac, Larry, and Lars Christiansen. 2002. How the civil rights movement revitalized labor militancy. American Sociological Review 67.5: 722–746.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/3088915Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Focusing on the trajectory of the labor movement from 1948 to 1981 and the role played by direct and indirect inter-movement relations, Isaac and Christiansen demonstrate how the civil rights movement’s impacts extended to other movement sectors.

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                                                                                                  • McVeigh, Rory, Carl Neblett, and Sarah Shafiq. 2006. Explaining social movement outcomes: multiorganizational fields and hate crime reporting. Mobilization 11.1: 23–49.

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                                                                                                    Focuses on the role played by civil rights organizations in hate crime reporting, reflected in both the passage of legislation against hate crime and the subsequent likelihood of reporting such crimes.

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                                                                                                    • Minkoff, Debra C. 1997. The sequencing of social movements. American Sociological Review 62.5: 779–799.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/2657360Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Extending conventional conceptions of protest cycles, Minkoff uses the civil rights case to show how the movement’s impact on the subsequent development of the contemporary feminist movement was conditioned by the organizational density of civil rights forces and the responsiveness of elites to movement demands.

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                                                                                                      • Stahura, John M. 1986. Suburban development, black suburbanization and the civil rights movement since World War II. American Sociological Review 51.1: 131–144.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/2095482Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Demonstrates how the “changing civil rights climate,” conditioned by the progression of the civil rights movement, had broad impacts on the patterning of black suburbanization in the postwar decades.

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                                                                                                        • Wood, James R. 1972. Unanticipated consequences of organizational coalitions: Ecumenical cooperation and civil rights policy. Social Forces 50.4: 512–521.

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                                                                                                          Complicating typical formulations focused on how movement coalitions provide infusions of resources and personnel, Wood shows how civil rights involvement led to a loss of funding and membership in a coalition of religious denominations, as constituencies with strong ties to the South withdrew support.

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                                                                                                          Micro/Biographical Impacts

                                                                                                          Research on the impacts of civil rights activism on individuals has followed two main paths. First, a longstanding line of studies has examined the biographical consequences of civil rights protest participation. Fendrich 1977, on how 1960s activism shaped later political engagement, is illustrative of this tradition, while McAdam 1988, on the complex effects of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer campaign on its participants, remains the field’s most influential work. In a later paper, McAdam 1992 (cited under Internal Dynamics) focused on how gender mediated activist experiences and their longer-run biographical impacts, and subsequent papers Sherkat and Blocker 1994 and Sherkat and Blocker 1997 have extended such questions to show how prior activism can shape a range of nonpolitical orientations as well. A second strain of this literature emphasizes how memories of civil rights protest shape political orientations and engagement. In this vein, Harris 2006 examines the relationship between collective memories and collective action, demonstrating how “political entrepreneurs” mobilize memories of salient events to spur participation. In a pair of important studies (Griffin 2004; Griffin and Bollen 2009), Larry J. Griffin draws on national survey data to explain how and why the civil rights movement is remembered differently across generations, regions, and racial groups, as well as how those memories relate to contemporary attitudes and orientations to race.

                                                                                                          • Fendrich, James M. 1977. Keeping the faith or pursuing the good life: Study of consequences of participation in the civil rights movement. American Sociological Review 42.1: 144–157.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2117736Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            The best-known of Fendrich’s several early studies of the biographical trajectories of civil rights activists. Drawing on a survey of one hundred participants in a particular campaign, the paper demonstrates how activist participation, social location, and ideological commitment relate to subsequent continuity and change in activists’ commitment to protest politics.

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                                                                                                            • Griffin, Larry J. 2004. “Generations and collective memory revisited: Race, region, and memory of civil rights.” American Sociological Review 69.4: 544–557.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/000312240406900404Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Building on Mannheim’s classic theory of generational identity, Griffin uses nationally-representative survey data to show how cohort-specific racial differences in civil rights memory are explained by a regional effect related to the degree to which whites directly experienced key aspects of the civil rights movement.

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                                                                                                              • Griffin, Larry J., and Kenneth A. Bollen. 2009. What do these memories do? Civil rights remembrance and racial attitudes. American Sociological Review 74.4: 594–614.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/000312240907400405Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                The authors engage with the core question of “how memories matter,” by demonstrating that remembrances of the civil rights movement influence contemporary racial attitudes and racial policy positions.

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                                                                                                                • Harris, Fredrick C. 2006. It takes a tragedy to arouse them: Collective memory and collective action during the civil rights movement. Social Movement Studies 5.1: 19–43.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/14742830600621159Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Focusing on how collective memories of events impacted black civil rights activism, Harris demonstrates that memories matter in uneven ways based on how they are collectively remembered and how such recollections are appropriated by “political entrepreneurs.”

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                                                                                                                  • McAdam, Doug. 1988. Freedom summer. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                    In his classic analysis of social movement participation and its consequences, McAdam looks at participants in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer campaign to understand how individuals engage in high-risk activism and how such experiences shape later biographical trajectories. This rich account is accessible both to undergraduates and practitioners.

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                                                                                                                    • Sherkat, Darren E., and T. Jean Blocker. 1994. Political development of sixties activists. Social Forces 72.3: 821–842.

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                                                                                                                      Using panel data on 1965 high school graduates, this paper examines how class, gender, and a variety of socialization and orientation characteristics relate to subsequent participation in civil rights, antiwar, and/or campus protest.

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                                                                                                                      • Sherkat, Darren E., and T. Jean Blocker. 1997. Explaining the political and personal consequences of protest. Social Forces 75.3: 1049–1070.

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                                                                                                                        Examines both the short- and long-run impacts of “run-of-the-mill” participation in 1960s civil rights, antiwar, and/or campus protest. Sherkat and Blocker find that political participation has significant effects on subsequent political and religious orientations, educational attainment, and occupational and family statuses.

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                                                                                                                        Other Social Movements, Issues, and Constituencies

                                                                                                                        While the majority of sociological scholarship on civil rights focuses on the American civil rights movement, research has also engaged with a number of other movements centered on similar claims. This section draws together sources on several such movements, focused on civil rights in Northern Ireland, gay and lesbian rights, women’s suffrage, global justice, and neighborhood-based rights. Articles on the US gay and lesbian civil rights movement discuss how identity (Bernstein 1997) and state initiatives (Werum and Winders 2001) were deployed strategically to achieve movement goals. In a similar vein, Armstrong and Crage 2006 analyze how and why certain core memories of the movement have been institutionalized. The most visible non–US civil rights case in the literature focuses on Northern Ireland, with influential work centered on the benefits and challenges of transnational networks and shifts in prevailing movement messages over time (Bosi 2006). Gotham 1999 also evaluates the message of a movement, concentrating on the local dynamics of an urban anti-expressway campaign. McCammon 2003 outlines the conditions under which tactical change occurred in the women’s suffrage movement, and Smith 2008 focuses the broad exploration of Blau and Moncada 2009 (cited under Citizenship and Rights Claims) of evolving conceptions of human rights to examine the contours of the global justice movement in the 21st century. Though much of this research does not explicitly interrogate how the specific claims and goals of these movements relate to civil rights, a common orientation to expanding social and political rights for historically marginalized groups enables analysts to include each case under a broad civil rights umbrella. Taken together, these sources highlight continuity in tactics, frames, and memories of movements across geographic boundaries, demonstrating how civil rights movements often draw upon successes and failures of the past.

                                                                                                                        • Armstrong, Elizabeth, and Suzanna Crage. 2006. “Movements and memory: The making of the Stonewall myth.” American Sociological Review 71.5: 724–751.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/000312240607100502Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          This article examines how the 1969 Stonewall riots became central to collective memories of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement. Focusing on the constructed nature of memory, Armstrong and Crage root the centrality of Stonewall in the capacity of activists to commemorate and institutionalize the event’s role in resonant ways.

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                                                                                                                          • Bernstein, Mary. 1997. Celebration and suppression: The strategic uses of identity by the lesbian and gay movement. American Journal of Sociology 103.3: 531–565.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/231250Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Bernstein advances a theoretical model that explains the conditions under which identity movements strategically deploy identities that celebrate or suppress differences from the majority. Analyzing four cases within the gay and lesbian rights movement, Bernstein suggests how the approach also can be applied to other rights-based movements.

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                                                                                                                            • Bosi, Lorenzo. 2006. The dynamics of social movement development: Northern Ireland’s civil rights movement in the 1960s. Mobilization 11.1: 81–100.

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                                                                                                                              The best-known of Bosi’s writings on Northern Ireland’s civil rights movement, this article evaluates how changing political contexts shaped corresponding shifts in movement frames over time, from an inclusive reformist mobilizing message in the 1960s to a more exclusivist nationalist message in the 1970s.

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                                                                                                                              • Gotham, Kevin Fox. 1999. “Political opportunity, community identity, and the emergence of a local anti-expressway movement.” Social Problems 46.3: 332–354.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/3097104Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Using the case of an anti-expressway movement in Kansas City, Gotham analyzes the intersections of urban space, strategic framing, and mobilization techniques to explain how locality matters in neighborhood civil rights coalitions. This article would be of particular interest to urban sociologists or those interested in community-based identity and organization.

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                                                                                                                                • McCammon, Holly J. 2003. “Out of the parlors and into the streets”: The changing tactical repertoire of the U.S. women’s suffrage movements. Social Forces 81.3: 787–818.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1353/sof.2003.0037Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Focusing on a well-known case of mobilization around a core citizenship right––the expansion of voting access to women in the early twentieth-century United States––McCammon examines the conditions under which tactical innovation and change occurs within social movements.

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                                                                                                                                  • Smith, Jackie. 2008. Social movements for global democracy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                    Smith’s book focuses on how transnational networks of “democratic globalizers” have advanced claims centered on new and reinterpreted visions of human rights, as well as developed global alliances with a range of nongovernmental organizations and international bodies.

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                                                                                                                                    • Werum, Regina, and Bill Winders. 2001. Who’s “in” and who’s “out”: State fragmentation and the struggle over gay rights, 1974–1999. Social Problems 48.3: 386–410.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1525/sp.2001.48.3.386Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Challenging prevailing distinctions between movement insiders and outsiders and the dynamics of countermovements, Werum and Winders ask how––and to what effect––gay rights proponents and their adversaries used state judicial and legislative institutions versus popular support (i.e., ballot initiatives) to further their goals.

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                                                                                                                                      Reference to a Particular Historical Era

                                                                                                                                      The majority of sources in this section reference a “post-civil rights era,” alluding to the state of racial politics following the momentous changes wrought by the civil rights movement, in particular the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Note that, while there is no literature focused explicitly on the “pre-civil rights era,” much of the work on that period––though generally beyond the scope of this entry––relates to historical struggles over suffrage, the organization of race relations under Reconstruction, Jim Crow–era segregation, and demographic shifts associated most pronouncedly with the Great Migration. Along those lines, McCammon 2003 (cited under Other Social Movements, Issues, and Constituencies) provides an example of mobilizations around suffrage issues, and Walters, et al. 1997 discusses the expansive racial inequities that resulted from denying civil rights protections following Reconstruction. Following Wilson 1978, a consistent theme in one strain of this postcivil rights literature has involved the untangling of the differential effects of racial discrimination and economic shifts on African American life chances since the 1970s. Other work focuses on the changing dynamics of discrimination since the fall of Jim Crow, alternately labeled “color-blind” (Bonilla-Silva 2013) and “new” (Quillian 2006) racism. Interrogating these forms from another perspective, Dudas 2005 examines how conservative framings of policies intended to remediate racial disadvantage as involving the provision of “special” (rather than “equal”) rights represents and also propels a politics of resentment. Both Gullickson 2005 and Rockquemore 2002 examine changing intraracial stratification patterns since the 1970s, focusing respectively on skin tone and biracial identity. Lloyd 2012 locates predominant post–civil rights era changes within their contemporary urban context, relating regional patterns of development to racial experience in Atlanta and elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                      • Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2013. Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                                                                                                                        Bonilla-Silva draws together here much of his related work on how “color-blind” racism justifies racial inequality and reproduces white supremacy in the post–civil rights era. This accessible text is appropriate for undergraduates and graduate students alike, with the latest editions incorporating an interesting chapter on Obama’s election victories.

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                                                                                                                                        • Dudas, Jeffrey R. 2005. In the name of equal rights: “Special” rights and the politics of resentment in post-civil rights America. Law and Society Review 39.4: 723–757.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5893.2005.00243.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          This article examines contemporary conservative legal activism grounded in rhetoric that frames civil rights as “special” rights, which, according to Dudas, expresses, propels, and shapes resentment over the political participation of marginalized populations. An important consideration of the backlash against civil rights legislation.

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                                                                                                                                          • Gullickson, Aaron. 2005. The significance of color declines: A re-analysis of skin tone differentials in post-civil rights America. Social Forces 84.1: 157–180.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1353/sof.2005.0099Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Responding to studies that assert how skin tone variation within the United States remains predictive of status outcomes, Gullickson argues that this effect has declined generationally, as intraracial stratification declines in younger cohorts. This analysis provides a close assessment of changing racial differentiation patterns since the 1960s.

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                                                                                                                                            • Lloyd, Richard. 2012. “Urbanization and the Southern United States.” Annual Review of Sociology 38:483–506.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-071811-145540Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              This review article focuses on how southern states’ comparatively late urban development and population growth shapes race relations, immigration patterns, and political and economic structures. A useful general assessment of post–civil rights regional change, best demonstrated by Lloyd’s focus on the African American experience in Atlanta.

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                                                                                                                                              • Quillian, Lincoln. 2006. New approaches to understanding racial prejudice and discrimination. Annual Review of Sociology 32.1: 299–328.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.32.061604.123132Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                This review essay outlines research on shifting forms of discrimination in the post–civil rights era. Quillian assesses promising methodological approaches to capturing “new prejudice” and “new racism,” and calls for increased attention to work on implicit prejudice developed primarily by psychologists.

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                                                                                                                                                • Rockquemore, Kerry Ann. 2002. Negotiating the color line: The gendered process of racial identity construction among black/white biracial women. Gender & Society 16.4: 485–503.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/0891243202016004005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Rockquemore analyzes how gender shapes identity construction for biracial men and women vis-à-vis marriage, education, and socioeconomic status. Framed as a negotiation of racial identities in post–civil rights America, this article highlights the gendered dynamics of intraracial stratification.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Walters, Pamela Barnhouse, David R. James, and Holly J. McCammon. 1997. “Citizenship and public schools: Accounting for racial inequality in education in the pre- and post-disenfranchisement South.” American Sociological Review 62.1: 34–52.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2657451Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    Focusing on the expansive impact of the denial of civil and political rights, this article demonstrates how the disenfranchisement of African Americans in the US South around the turn of the twentieth century exacerbated overall racial inequities in educational opportunities.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Wilson, William Julius. 1978. The declining significance of race: Blacks and changing American institutions. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                                      This classic and controversial text argues that both racial discrimination and class position affect the life chances of African Americans, with post–civil rights era political and economic shifts increasing the significance of class (relative to race) as a determinant of mobility patterns.

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                                                                                                                                                      Arenas of Governance

                                                                                                                                                      The sections that follow focus on how civil rights claims intersect with diverse governmental organizations and policies, highlighting legislative, institutional, and legal venues that have, at different times, reproduced the discriminatory status quo as well as institutionalized civil rights advances. The collected sources range from classroom-friendly general texts to case-based analyses of how state institutions have engaged with structural discrimination. A separate section focuses on the diverse impacts of specific civil rights policy and legislation. Taken together, these sources demonstrate the array of means through which arenas of governance intersect with both the denial and the implementation of civil rights claims.

                                                                                                                                                      Foundational Texts

                                                                                                                                                      The texts in this section provide thorough overviews of the passage, implications, and impacts of civil rights legislation. A significant stream of influential research has focused on watershed Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation in the 1960s and 1970s, with Burstein 1998 providing a comprehensive historical analysis of the struggle to pass EEO. More recently, this work has been complemented and––in important ways––complicated in Dobbin 2009, which demonstrates how corporate personnel were central actors in the development and passage of EEO legislation. Massey and Denton 1993 engages with the implications of fair housing legislation, in particular how, despite the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, pronounced residential segregation has persisted, especially for African Americans. Finally, Omi and Winant 1994 develop an influential general theory of racial formation to trace historically how racial categories have been constructed by social, economic, and political forces. Taken together, this scholarship provides an accessible overview to the wide-ranging implications of civil rights legislation and ideology.

                                                                                                                                                      • Burstein, Paul. 1998. Discrimination, jobs, and politics: The struggle for equal employment opportunity in the United States since the New Deal. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                                        A precursor to Dobbin 2009, this book focuses on the historical, legal, and social context of the passage of equal employment legislation in 1964 and 1972. Burstein marshals a range of qualitative and quantitative data to explain the sequencing and impacts of these civil rights laws.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Dobbin, Frank. 2009. Inventing equal opportunity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                          This book traces the central role corporate personnel played in devising equal employment programs and subsequently determining how related legislation has been put into practice. Dobbin’s account complicates traditional understandings of current equal opportunity workplace practices as a straightforward legacy of the civil rights movement and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Massey, Douglas S., and Denton, Nancy A. 1993. American apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                            This seminal study focuses on persistent racial segregation in American cities, relating the persistence of spatially concentrated poverty among African Americans to these segregated residential patterns. Massey and Denton additionally provide a strong policy-centered critique of the limited impacts of civil rights–era fair housing legislation.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. 1994. Racial formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. 2d ed. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                              This foundational source on racial formation theory analyzes how ideas about race are constructed and changed. Omi and Winant provide an overview of contemporary racial theory, and demonstrate how racial formation processes have shaped the trajectory of racial politics in the United States. The 1994 edition elaborates on the authors’ general theoretical framework.

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                                                                                                                                                              Legislative and Institutional

                                                                                                                                                              This section brings together research that engages with the implications of institutional responses to structural discrimination at the heart of a range of civil rights claims. Sources focus on inequities associated with housing (Roscigno, et al. 2009), education (Rivkin 1994), employment (Blankenship 1993), and labor union policy (Frymer 2004), demonstrating how historical discrimination as well as institutional responses to longstanding patterns affect people’s lives and opportunities. The implications of state civil rights responses are broad, complex, and often unintended, with sources in this section highlighting how unanticipated consequences can emerge through interactions across institutions (Frymer 2004) and find expression in electoral outcomes (Brooks 2000).

                                                                                                                                                              • Blankenship, Kim M. 1993. Bringing gender and race in: U.S. employment discrimination policy. Gender & Society 7.2: 204–226.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/089124393007002004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Blankenship highlights the challenge of implementing a bifurcated discrimination policy intended to address both racial and gender based discrimination, and the unequal consequences this has for women and men generally, as well as men of color versus white men. A helpful source for those interested in the intersectional dynamics of discrimination legislation.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Brooks, Clem. 2000. Civil rights liberalism and the suppression of a Republican political realignment in the United States, 1972 to 1996. American Sociological Review 65.4: 483–505.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2657379Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This article evaluates the implications of one of the largest public opinion changes in the last thirty years: America’s increasingly progressive attitudes on civil rights for African Americans, women, and gays and lesbians. Brooks concentrates on the political effects of such trends, relating them to presidential voting patterns.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Frymer, Paul. 2004. Race, labor, and the twentieth-century American state. Politics & Society 32.4: 475–509.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0032329204269980Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Frymer focuses on the federal government’s role in promoting civil rights and integration in labor unions, through the creation of new agencies and expanded federal court powers rather than through labor law reform. The article provides a useful discussion of the unintended consequences of state policies.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Rivkin, Steven G. 1994. Residential segregation and school integration. Sociology of Education 67.4: 279–292.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/2112817Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      This study evaluates patterns of residential segregation and school integration between 1968 and 1988. Rivkin demonstrates how enduring school segregation relates to continued residential segregation by race. An important assessment of how a particular civil rights policy effort has failed to achieve long-term change.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Roscigno, Vincent, Diana Karafin, and Griff Tester. 2009. The complexities and processes of racial housing discrimination. Social Problems 56.1: 49–69.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1525/sp.2009.56.1.49Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        This article documents and analyzes the disparate practices that result in exclusionary and nonexclusionary housing discrimination. As many of these practices are not visible through traditional audit studies, the analysis here yields a more complete portrait of differential vulnerabilities associated with the roles played by landlords, neighbors, realtors, banks, and mortgage companies.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Legal

                                                                                                                                                                        The sources in this section explore the intersections of law and civil rights, by demonstrating 1) how legal institutions can serve as venues for change as well as for reactionary backlash, and 2) how legal processes and the actions of nonstate institutions interact to shape the implementation of civil rights policy. Barkan 1984 and Borinski 1958 both examine the implications of efforts by southern US courts to undermine civil rights agendas and thereby maintain white supremacy. Edelman, et al. 2001 and Sutton and Dobbin 1996 consider workplace dynamics, as instances of cases where extra-legal bodies interact with, and in the process alter, the de facto workings of civil rights law. Finally, Nielsen, et al. 2010 describes the failure of courtroom procedures to properly compensate victims of employment discrimination. Taken together, these articles highlight the multiple dimensions of law and their uneven, and often significantly limited, ability to maintain civil rights protections and reverse historical modes of discrimination.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Barkan, Steven E. 1984. Legal control of the southern civil rights movement. American Sociological Review 49.4: 552–565.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2095468Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Highlighting the multivalent character of white resistance, Barkan shows how white adversaries countered civil rights organizing through both legal and violent means. Results demonstrate that legal opposition in the absence of violence was most effective in undermining southern civil rights campaigns.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Borinski, Ernst. 1958. The litigation curve and the litigation filibuster in civil rights cases: A study of conflict between legally commanded and socio-culturally accepted changes in the negro-white caste order in the southern community. Social Forces 37.2: 142–147.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2572797Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Borinski develops a theory of conflict to understand how “progressive litigation” can be used to reduce tensions associated with a gap between legally imposed civil rights rulings and prevailing white attitudes. Written shortly after the historic Brown ruling, this piece anticipates later research on how socio-legal processes can resolve contentious legal mandates.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Edelman, Lauren B., Sally Riggs Fuller, and Iona Mara-Drita. 2001. Diversity rhetoric and the managerialization of law. American Journal of Sociology 106.6: 1589–1641.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1086/321303Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Focusing on the “managerialization of law,” Edelman and colleagues demonstrate how diversity rhetoric emerging within managerial circles distances itself from civil rights law while expanding definitions of diversity beyond legally protected categories. This article is of significance to those interested in how legal concepts can be reshaped by discourse in nonlegal fields.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Nielsen, Laura Beth, Robert L. Nelson, and Ryon Lancaster. 2010. Individual justice or collective legal mobilization? Employment discrimination litigation in the post-civil rights United States. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 7.2: 175–201.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-1461.2010.01175.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                This analysis of employment discrimination lawsuits concludes that such cases effectively function to retain legal jurisdiction over workplace claims, though the overwhelming likelihood of individual (versus collective) filings does little to remedy the problem of employment discrimination or create social change.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Sutton, John R., and Frank Dobbin. 1996. The two faces of governance: Responses to legal uncertainty in US firms, 1955 to 1985. American Sociological Review 61.5: 794–811.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2096454Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sutton and Dobbin analyze grievance processes for nonunionized workers employed by for-profit firms to understand the rise of “legalization” practices vis-à-vis the nexus of the government’s policies intended to protect workers and corporate desires to maintain profit and professionalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Impacts of Specific Civil Rights Legislation

                                                                                                                                                                                  This section brings together sources that analyze the process and impact of civil rights legislation, focused primarily on the challenges of implementing legislative mandates. Much of the most influential work in this literature focuses on the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. Burstein 1993 represents an early influential effort to investigate processes associated with government enforcement of civil rights legislation and, by extension, the ability of the state to act on social policy generally. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which barred employment discrimination in the United States, has been the subject of a robust literature focused variously on longitudinal trends in race and sex workplace segregation (Tomaskovic-Devey, et al. 2006), how the gender and race provisions of the legislation intersect (Deitch 1993), and the determinants of state enforcement capacity (Pedriana and Stryker 2004). Kelly and Dobbin 1999 and Edelman 1992 both focus on the organizational processes that mediate civil rights legislation and its ultimate adoption by workplaces. These organizational entities––often personnel or human resource departments––are not passive receptors of civil rights policy, but rather shape the meanings and practice of these laws.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Burstein, Paul. 1993. Explaining state action and the expansion of civil rights: The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Research in Political Sociology 6:117–137.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Generalizing from the landmark Civil Rights Act case, Burstein argues that evaluations of state action must go beyond attention to the enactment of legislation to additionally account for agenda-setting processes and the arraying of alternative policy proposals.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Deitch, Cynthia. 1993. Gender, race, and class politics and the inclusion of women in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Gender & Society 7.2: 183–203.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/089124393007002003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Deitch traces congressional debate on the inclusion of gender in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to elaborate on the complex intersections of gender, race, and class in social policy processes. The article represents an early and rare effort to develop an intersectional approach to multi-pronged civil rights policy efforts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edelman, Lauren B. 1992. “Legal ambiguity and symbolic structures organizational mediation of civil rights law.” American Journal of Sociology 97.6: 1531–1576.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/229939Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        In an article that lays the groundwork for a string of influential related work (e.g., Edelman, et al. 2001; cited under Legal), Edelman argues that latitude in how organizations signal their compliance with civil rights legislation enables those organizations to mediate the societal impact of legal measures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kelly, Erin, and Frank Dobbin. 1999. Civil rights law at work: Sex discrimination and the rise of maternity leave policies. American Journal of Sociology 105.2: 455–492.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/210317Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          This article focuses on the high rate of maternity leave program adoption prior to the passage of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. The authors refute conventional explanations rooted in market forces to show how a prior administrative ruling shaped in surprisingly powerful ways employer response to maternity leave claims.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pedriana, Nicholas, and Robin Stryker. 2004. The strength of a weak agency: Enforcement of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the expansion of state capacity, 1965–1971. American Journal of Sociology 110.3: 709–760.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/422588Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Civil rights law prohibited workplace discrimination without providing significant resources to the EEOC as its enforcing agency. Despite this lack of baseline capacity, the EEOC aggressively enforced this section of the law. The authors draw on legal and social movement dynamics to construct a more expansive conception of state capacity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald, Kevin Stainback, Tiffany Taylor, Catherine Zimmer, Corre Robinson, and Tricia McTague. 2006. Documenting desegregation: Segregation in American workplaces by race, ethnicity, and sex, 1966–2003. American Sociological Review 71.4: 565–588.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/000312240607100403Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Traces the long-run impact of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The authors find that workplace segregation declined for all racial and ethnic groups until 1980, while sex segregation has continued to decline in subsequent decades.

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