Chapter

Illustrating the Perspective

Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam

in A Theory of Fields

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199859948
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199951178 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199859948.003.0005
Illustrating the Perspective

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This chapter uses two detailed examples from political sociology/social movements and economic sociology to illustrate the usefulness of the framework developed. The examples chosen are political contention over race in the United States from 1932 to 1980; and the rise and fall of the mortgage securitization industry from 1969 to 2011. The former is an iconic case familiar to students of American politics, social movement scholarship, and American history. The latter story concerns the industry that was at the core of the financial meltdown in the United States in 2007–2009. The purpose of this comparison is not a theory testing exercise but instead a lesson in how the theoretical concepts of the strategic action field approach can inform large and important changes in the major fields of society that at first glance seem to have little to do with each other.

Keywords: race; mortgage securitization industry; strategic action field; economic sociology; American politics

Chapter.  23821 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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