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Title page for ETD etd-12022015-173617

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wold, Christopher Aaron
Author's Email Address christopher.a.wold@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-12022015-173617
Title Social Movement-Corporate Coalitions: How divisions between corporations within an industry present opportunities for environmental social movements
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David Hess Committee Chair
Joshua Murray Committee Member
  • social movement-corporate coalitions
  • social movements
  • environmental sociology
  • industrial opportunity structure
  • energy efficiency
Date of Defense 2015-08-15
Availability unrestricted
In this study I investigate coalitions between advocacy organizations and corporations with respect to the government regulation of appliance and equipment energy consumption. In general, corporations tend to oppose government regulation because it may require appliance and equipment manufacturers to redesign their products and modify their manufacturing process. In contrast, energy efficiency advocates, who are part of the broader environmental movement, typically support government regulation because it can lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy production. Advocates and corporations engaged in government regulation leads to unequal power relations because the corporations have greater research and expertise resources to influence the policy process. This study examines the ways in which advocacy organizations leverage divisions between corporations on opposing sides of the regulatory process to bring about change. They do so by forming strategic alliances, called social movement-corporate coalitions, with selected corporations or industry segments that can stand to benefit from increased regulation. This study investigates the formation of alliances between advocacy organizations and corporations to develop a contribution to the literature on social movement theory by expanding the current theory of the industrial opportunity structure.
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