Between Social Cause and Industrial Commodity: How Commercial Actors Gain Legitimacy from Movement Challenge
Date: March 27, 2014
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Room 245
This study examines how a social movement and commercial firms interacted in the development of a market for a renewable energy product. Drawing on ethnographic and archival data on the commercial biodiesel industry and the grassroots biodiesel movement, the findings show how movement members challenged the commercial industry to adopt sustainable production and governance practices. The findings demonstrate how the commercial industry’s response – revising the definition of legitimate production, assimilating movement organizations, and formally adopting the movement’s grievances – turned the movement from an ideologically motivated challenger into a collaborator. The paper shows that despite having conflicting goals, the movement and the commercial industry collaborated because they possessed different but complementary types of legitimacy necessary for building a robust market.
For more information, please contact Linda Foster at: linda.foster [at] mcgill.ca.