Cross-Movement coalition formation: Bridging the labor-environment divide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Relations between the labor and environmental movements exist within a complex web of clashing interests, electoral politics, and attempts to form enduring blue-green coalitions. Unions and other labor organizations are often portrayed as solely interested in economic growth. Environmental organizations are often seen as solely interested in preserving the natural world at the expense of economic growth, thus creating a direct conflict between the interests of labor and environmental organizations. Despite these perceived differences, efforts to bridge the divide between the two movements are increasingly common. This article examines the formation of a collective identity shared by workers and environmentalists participating in the coalition. I develop this argument through an ethnographic analysis of the formation of a blue-green coalition, the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, using in-depth interviews, observations, and content analyses. I demonstrate how coalition leaders and bridge brokers work to bridge and consolidate the identities of labor and environmental groups to campaign for environmental health regulatory changes in Massachusetts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-239
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Inquiry
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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