movements and inhabited institutions: the case of latino student groups
A key insight from research on student activism is that the college environment has a strong influence on how that activism expresses itself. We saw that in Amy Binder and Kate Wood’s study of conservative groups. Daisy Reyes has an article in Sociology of Education that explores this issue with Latino groups and links it to institutional theory:
To comply with ideals of multiculturalism and diversity, postsecondary institutions incorporate Latino students into distinct campus cultures. These cultures influence how students interact with one another, the university community at large, and communities outside of campus, ultimately shaping how students inhabit Latino politics. Drawing on data from 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork with six student organizations and 60 in-depth interviews, I compare Latino student organizations in a liberal arts college, a research university, and a regional public university. Building on inhabited institutional theory, I identify dimensions of campus cultures that work in interaction with students to produce three divergent forms of ethnic political expression: deliberative, divisive, and contentious. Inhabited institutionalism helps explain why Latino politics takes distinct forms in specific academic contexts and suggests that strong collegiate incorporation may paradoxically serve to suppress Latino student engagement in political activism outside the campus gates.
Read the entire article here. Recommended.