Harder Better Faster Stronger: Institutional Effort in a Web Based US Environmental Movement

14/03/2012 to 15/03/2012
8th New Institutionalism Workshop
Institutional entrepreneurship research in social movements has portrayed an hypermusculated view of the entrepreneurs abilities in the production of new frames for
mobilization. In this article we adopt a “middle ground of agency” in social movement entrepreneurship to stress not only the complexity, but also the difficulty of the
operations involved in the creation of new frames. We develop two crucial concepts from the recent and practice-centered “institutional work” perspective: diffusion and effort. We show how the micro practices in the diffusion of a new frame lead to effortful situations were disagreement often appeared going beyond the macro perspective on the level of impact in laws and industrial standards and the meso level focused on the mobilization factors of activists. However, other practices carried by the entrepreneurs, like the creation and management of a broad web-based structure and social media community, seem to need comparatively less effort in dealing with disagreement. With the case study of the Plastic Pollution Coalition (a US web-based movement focused in the fight against plastic pollution) we also add some notes to the empirical question of the impact of web-based technologies in social movements: in this case, the creation of an online organizational structure supports the diffusion of a new frame but do not promote the necessary disagreement in dialogue for diffusion.
Barcelona, España
Itziar Castello, David Barberá-Tomás