An Institutional Approach to Collective Action: Evidence from Faith-Based Latino Mobilization in the 2006 Immigrant Rights Protests

Source: Marion Coddou, Social Problems, First published online: December 9, 2015
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From the abstract:
This article proposes an institutional approach to political engagement that reorients inquiry from individual characteristics and social capital to organizational contexts and the institutional practices that shape how members interpret political opportunities. Using data from the 2006 Pew Changing Faiths Survey, I draw from the case of faith-based Latino mobilization into the 2006 immigrant rights protests to show that the impact of organizational participation on protest depends on institutional practices that define, focus, and direct member interests. I apply this argument to two relevant types of institutionally defined social capital: ethnic and religious. In the case of ethnic social capital, I find that ethnic church attendance amplified Hispanic national origin differences in protest rates in a manner consistent with differential treatment under U.S. immigration policy. In the case of religious social capital, I find that active religious involvement only increased the likelihood of protest when churches institutionally supported protest. Together, these findings suggest that a key mechanism linking nonpolitical organizations to protest is their ability to define and direct collective interest through institutional practices.