Activists, categories, and markets: Racial diversity and protests against Wal-Mart store openings in America
Coauthor(s): Hayagreeva Rao, Lori Qingyuan Yue.
Identity movements rely on a shared "we-feeling" amongst a community of participants. In turn, such shared identities are possible when movement participants can self-categorize themselves as belonging to one group. We address a debate as to whether community diversity enhances or impedes such protests, and investigate the role of racial diversity since it is a simple, accessible, and visible basis of community diversity and social categorization. We focus on American communities' protests against Wal-Mart's entry from 1998 until 2005 and ask whether racial diversity affects protests after accounting for a community's sense of pride and attachment to their town. We use distance from historical monuments as a proxy of a community's pride and attachment, and after controlling for it, we find that community's racial homogeneity significantly increases protests against Wal-Mart.
Source: Research in the Sociology of Organizations
Rao, Hayagreeva, Lori Qingyuan Yue, and Paul Ingram. "Activists, categories, and markets: Racial diversity and protests against Wal-Mart store openings in America." Research in the Sociology of Organizations 31 (2010): 235-253.