Permanent link for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 33
  • Item
    Sustaining the grassroots: How community organizations mitigate the downsides of collaborating with unions
    (Journal of Urban Affairs, 2021-02-17) Fulton, Brad R.; Doussard, Marc
    Coalitions of community organizations and labor unions have played a central role in the recent expansion of municipal legislation regarding low-wage work. To date, most studies of community-labor coalitions have focused on their successes in meeting policy goals set by organized labor. This paper shifts focus to the challenges community organizations encounter when they participate in union-led campaigns. Analyzing survey data from a national study of community organizations, we show that collaborating with unions can inhibit community organizations’ resource-intensive strategies, local-level organizing, and mobilizing capacity. Using data from fieldwork with community-labor coalitions in Chicago, St. Louis, and Denver, we then explore three strategies community organizations use to mitigate these downsides: shaping campaigns, rationing participation, and not participating. Each strategy has distinct benefits and drawbacks. Regardless of the strategy community organizations adopt, our analysis shows that the experience of participating in union-led campaigns leads community organizations to reexamine their approaches to organizing, movement building, and public policy.
  • Item
    Engaging Differences: How Socially Diverse Organizations Can Mobilize Their Resources More Effectively
    (Social Forces, 2020-09-01) Fulton, Brad R.
    Diversity is a goal for many organizations, yet it is not always connected to improved performance. This study advances diversity-performance research by examining the effect of engaging social differences. The analysis uses data from a national study of organizations containing information on the race, gender, class, and religion of each organization’s leaders as well as information on the type and content of interactions occurring among them. The data also contain multiple measures of organizational output, specifically the organization’s performance in forming alliances, developing strategies, organizing constituents, and mobilizing people. The analysis focuses on organizations with a diverse leadership team, examining the teams’ social interactions to assess whether engaging members’ social differences is associated with better performance. Additionally, qualitative data illustrate how engaging social differences impacts organizational outcomes. The study finds that teams whose members regularly participate in bridging cultural activities and discuss their social differences achieve greater output. Overall, this study indicates that an organization’s ability to realize the performance benefits of having a diverse leadership team is related to how the leaders interact with each other. The findings suggest that diverse organizations can improve their performance by ensuring that their members interact in ways that engage their social differences.
  • Item
    Bridging and Bonding: Disentangling Two Mechanisms Underlying the Diversity–Performance Relationship
    (Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 2020-07-13) Fulton, Brad R.
    Although extensive research has examined whether diversity hinders or improves organizational performance, the aggregate results remain inconclusive. Social bridging theories argue that diverse organizations perform better than homogeneous organizations, while social bonding theories argue that diverse organizations perform worse. When scholars test these competing theories, they often specify bridging and bonding as the inverse of one another. This study instead specifies them as distinct mechanisms and measures them independently using data from a national study of organizations containing information on the race, class, gender, and religion of each organization’s leadership team and the frequency, type, and content of their interactions. The analysis indicates that both bridging and bonding are positively associated with an organization’s performance; however, their respective performance benefits depend on the type of task being performed. The results suggest that social diversity facilitates performance related to accessing external resources and social interaction facilitates performance related to internal coordination.
  • Item
    Survey Data Collection Methods and Discrepancy in the Sociological Study of Religious Congregations
    (Sociology of Religion, 2020-03-30) Adler, Gary J. Jr.; Fulton, Brad R.; Hoegeman, Catherine
    Surveys of religious congregations are a mainstay of sociological research on organized religion in the United States. How accurate, reliable, and comparable are the data generated from the disparate methods used by researchers? We analyze four congregational surveys to show how two components of data collection—sampling design and survey response rate—may contribute to differences in population estimates between the surveys. Results show that in three populations of congregations (all religious traditions, Catholic parishes, and Hispanic Catholic parishes), estimates of key congregational measures, such as head clergy characteristics, congregational size, and Hispanic composition, are susceptible to differences in data collection methods. While differences in sampling design contribute to some of the variation in variable estimates, our unique analysis of survey metadata shows the importance of high response rates for producing accurate estimates for many variables. We conclude with suggestions for improving congregational data collection methods and efforts to compare survey estimates.
  • Item
    Secular Evangelicals: Faith-Based Organizing and Four Modes of Public Religion
    (Sociology of Religion, 2019-11-27) Markofski, Wes; Fulton, Brad R.; Wood, Richard L.
    We present four modes of public religion—secularist, generalist pluralist, particularist pluralist, and exclusivist—and discuss conditions under which white evangelicals employ these different modes. Ethnographic research on white evangelicals participating in multifaith initiatives in Los Angeles, Portland, Boston, and Atlanta indicates that they prefer the secularist mode that avoids religious expression. In addition, the research indicates that when white evangelicals do participate in multifaith contexts where religious expression is encouraged, they prefer the particularist mode that uses faith-specific language rather than the generalist mode that invokes interfaith language. Quantitative data from a national study of community organizing organizations confirms that white evangelicals are more likely to participate in multifaith initiatives that operate in the secularist rather than a religious mode of public engagement. We anticipate that our analytic typology describing four modes of public religion will be valuable for future studies that examine the public engagement of religious actors.
  • Item
    In What Ways do Religious Congregations Address HIV? Examining Predictors of Different Types of Congregational HIV Activities
    (Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 2018-12-03) Williams, Malcolm V.; Derose, Kathryn P.; Haas, Ann; Griffin, Beth Ann; Fulton, Brad R.
    Religious congregations play an important role in HIV prevention and care. However, most research on congregation-based HIV activities has focused on prevention. Using data from a nationally representative survey of U.S. congregations, this study found that 18.6% of congregations were engaged in some type of HIV activity; 8.7% engaged in prevention; 7.6% offered support to people with HIV; 7.4% raised awareness; and 7.6% provided donations for other organizations’ HIV activities. Among congregations that participate in some type of HIV activities, having more educated clergy is associated with higher odds of engaging in support, raising awareness, and giving donations relative to prevention activities. Being a predominantly African-American congregation is associated with lower odds of these other three types of HIV activities compared to prevention activities. Understanding the factors associated with specific types of HIV activities helps inform policy and practice related to congregation-based HIV programming.
  • Item
    Critical Standpoint: Leaders of Color Advancing Racial Equality in Predominantly White Organizations
    (Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 2019-08-30) Fulton, Brad R.; Oyakawa, Michelle; Wood, Richard L.
    Organizations are often core sites for the production and perpetuation of social inequality. Although the U.S. is becoming more racially diverse, organizational elites remain disproportionately white, and this mismatch contributes to increasing racial inequality. This article examines whether and how leaders of color within predominantly white organizations can help their organizations address racial inequality. Our analysis uses data from a national study of politically oriented civic organizations and ethnographic fieldwork within one predominantly white organization. We draw on institutional work research, the outsider-within concept, and insights from critical whiteness theory to explain how leaders of color can use their position and “critical standpoint” to help guide their organization toward advancing racial equality. The qualitative analysis shows how such leaders, when empowered, help their organization address race internally by 1) providing alternatives to white-dominated perspectives, 2) developing tools to educate white members about racial inequality, and 3) identifying and addressing barriers to becoming a more racially diverse organization. The qualitative analysis also shows how leaders of color help their organization address race externally by 1) sharing personal narratives about living in a white-dominated society and 2) brokering collaborations with organizations led by people of color. This research has implications for organizations seeking to promote social equality: Organizational leaders from marginalized status groups can help their organizations address social inequality, if those leaders possess a critical standpoint and sufficient organizational authority.
  • Item
    National Trends in Food Insecurity and Congregation-Based Food Provision between 1998 and 201
    (Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 2019-04-12) Florez, Karen; Fulton, Brad R.; Derose, Kathryn
    Food insecurity has been a persistent problem in the U.S., and yet over the past three decades, federally funded food programs have become more restrictive. Scholars and policymakers have inquired whether the nonprofit sector is increasing its food provision activities to address this unmet need. This study analyzes data from the U.S. Census and a nationally representative survey of religious congregations in the U.S. to examine trends in food insecurity and congregation-based food provision between 1998 and 2012. The objective of the study is to investigate the extent to which congregation-based food provision fluctuated with national food insecurity prevalence for the overall population, and for subgroups vulnerable to this condition. Results show an over-time correspondence between the prevalence of food-insecure households and the prevalence of congregations that provide food. Parallel patterns are observed between food insecurity in disproportionately affected subpopulations (e.g., African-Americans and immigrants) and food provision in the congregations likely to serve those households. These findings indicate that congregations are helping meet the needs of food-insecure households. However, research suggests that congregations and nonprofits are not an adequate substitute for federally funded programs. Policy recommendations include expanding access to federally funded programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to more immigrants and other groups vulnerable to food insecurity, as well as providing more systematic financial or federal support and quality control of congregation-based efforts.
  • Item
    The economic practices of U.S. congregations: A review of current research and future opportunities
    (Social Compass, 2019-06-04) Mundey, Peter; King, David; Fulton, Brad R.
    Religious congregations in the US receive substantially more philanthropic contributions than any other category of organizations, yet little research has investigated how congregations receive, manage, and spend these donations. Although the economic practice of religious giving has been researched extensively, most of this research has focused on individuals or households, seeking to explain why people give to religious organizations. Relatively little research has examined the recipients of religious giving to determine how giving works within and affects these organizations. This review examines studies in the field of congregational finances, assesses available sources of data on congregations’ economic practices, and concludes with recommendations for new avenues of research in this field.
  • Item
    Representative Group Styles: How Ally Immigrant Rights Organizations Promote Immigrant Involvement
    (Social Problems, 2019-08-21) Yukich, Grace; Fulton, Brad R.; Wood, Richard L.
    Why are some organizations more successful than others at involving socially diverse groups of people? Previous research emphasizes the role representative leaders play in recruiting diverse constituencies. This study extends that research by analyzing how an organization’s group style—its customs that shape everyday interactions—influences constituent involvement by either bridging or reinforcing social divides. Our multi-method approach examines ally immigrant rights organizations to assess the relationship between their group styles and their ability to involve immigrants. Ethnographic data reveal that divergent levels of immigrant involvement in two organizations can be explained by differences in the organizations’ group styles—specifically, differences in their religious, class-based, and linguistic practices. Original survey data from a national sample of ally organizations demonstrate the generalizability of our findings. Our analysis shows how having an immigrant-friendly group style can promote immigrant involvement, indicating that an organization’s style is associated with its social composition. Having representative leaders from immigrant groups, though positively associated with immigrant involvement, is insufficient for sustaining immigrant involvement; group style can moderate the effect of having representative leaders. This research suggests that organizations seeking to recruit and retain a diverse social base could benefit from cultivating a representative group style.
  • Item
    Organizing Together: Benefits and Drawbacks of Community-Labor Coalitions for Community Organizations
    (Social Service Review, 2020-03) Doussard, Marc; Fulton, Brad R.
    Community-labor coalitions unite grassroots community organizations and hierarchical labor unions with the promise of increasing the effectiveness of each. Little is known, however, about whether and how community organizations benefit from such partnerships. We analyze survey data from the National Study of Community Organizing Organizations and field data from community-labor coalitions in Chicago to identify benefits and drawbacks for community organizations collaborating with unions. We find that community organizations that have unions as members generate more media attention, possess a broader tactical repertoire, and are more likely to mount state-level advocacy campaigns. Those benefits, however, come at the expense of grassroots mobilizing and result in less neighborhood-level organizing, fewer volunteers, and smaller turnouts at protest actions, all of which are vital to community organizing. Understanding these benefits and drawbacks can help advocates adjust strategy, tactics, and goals to ensure the long-term viability of community-labor coalitions.
  • Item
    Stoichiometry of nitrogen, phosphorus, and silica loads in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River basin reveals spatial and temporal patterns in risk for cyanobacterial blooms
    (Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2019) Royer, Todd
    Ratios of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and dissolved silica (DSi) influence how algal communities respond to nutrient loading, and DSi limitation can facilitate cyanobacterial dominance. The indicator of coastal eutrophication potential (ICEP), described previously by other researchers, predicts production by diatoms vs. nonsiliceous taxa based on deviation of nutrient loads from the Redfield ratio of 106C:16 N:20Si (N-ICEP) or 106C:1P:20Si (P-ICEP). The ICEP was calculated for the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River basin, and four subbasins: the Ohio-Tennessee, Missouri, Upper Mississippi, and Arkansas-Red basins from 1979 to 2015. The P-ICEP indicated a stoichiometric imbalance that favored cyanobacteria for all but the Arkansas-Red subbasin. The N-ICEP indicated conditions favorable for cyanobacteria in the Upper Mississippi, Ohio-Tennessee, and the northern Gulf of Mexico. Agriculture is the predominant land use in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio-Tennessee subbasins and these subbasins controlled the stoichiometry of the nutrients delivered to the northern Gulf of Mexico. The imbalance in N, P, and DSi inputs to the Gulf was greatest during spring and early summer, and in most years transitioned to favoring diatoms by August or September. Comparing the 1980–1994 and 2001–2015 periods, there was a significant increase in the P-ICEP for the Upper Mississippi, Ohio-Tennessee, and Missouri subbasins that appeared to arise mainly from increased P loading to surface waters in the those basins. The ICEP revealed patterns in stoichiometry of N, P, and DSi loads among the major tributaries to the Mississippi River, and an increasing risk of cyanobacterial blooms for inland waters in much of the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River basin.
  • Item
    Utility approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of consumer confidence reports
    (Utilities Policy, 2019-06) Evans, Jessica; Carpenter, Adam
    The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 require community water systems in the United States to send consumers Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs). CCRs contain information on detected contaminants and required educational information about drinking water. The authors of this study developed a survey to evaluate how utilities track consumer feedback, understanding, and the role of the CCR in shaping consumer perceptions about water quality. Responses from this survey indicate it is common for utilities to indirectly track the effectiveness of their CCRs, but few utilities indicated directly evaluating consumer understanding or the effect of CCRs on consumer perceptions.
  • Item
    Introduction: Exorcising America’s Demons, Building Ethical Democracy
    (University of Chicago Press, 2015) Wood, Richard L.; Fulton, Brad R.
    Three demons bedevil American society today. The fi rst is obvious: We suffer levels of economic inequality not witnessed in the hundred years since the Gilded Age, with stagnant or falling wages for the large majority of American families. The second is often misdiagnosed: Political pundits decry the polarization within national political discourse and institutions, but the real problem is not generic “polarization.” In the context of such high economic inequality, polarization is to be expected, for its absence would simply represent acquiescence to stagnant wages and the resultant decline in the quality of family life. Rather, the real problem results from strategic polarization from above, that is, from the manipulation of political sentiment and democratic institutions to produce paralysis within national democratic institutions. Thus the second demon is policy paralysis: our national political institutions’ inability to foster any shared prosperity or good society in the American future— their failure, in the context of strategic polarization from above, to effectively address a broad variety of crucial realities undermining a shared American future. Those issues include economic inequality and stagnant family wages, the underclass status of a large immigrant sector, the ballooning national debt, the corrosive influence of unregulated money on elections, and the unsustainable rise of health care costs despite recent policy reforms.
  • Item
    National Study of Community Organizing Organizations
    (Duke University, 2011) Fulton, Brad R.; Wood, Richard L.
    The organizations in the National Study of Community Organizing Organizations (NSCOO) are located throughout the country and share a similar structure and mission. They operate as community-based organizations that bring together individuals from their member institutions to address social, economic, and political issues that affect poor, low-income, and middle-class sectors of U.S. society. Each organization has a board of directors consisting of representatives from its member institutions, which include religious congregations, nonprofit organizations, schools, unions, and other civic associations. The board members function as the organization’s core leaders and meet together on a regular basis to lead the organization. These commonalities enable the analyses to hold the organizations’ form relatively constant, while allowing their social composition, internal dynamics, and organizational outcomes to vary.
  • Item
    Achieving and Leveraging Diversity through Faith-Based Organizing
    (New York University Press, 2017-06) Fulton, Brad R.; Wood, Richard L.
    After a perceived hiatus of several decades-"perceived" for reasons dis­cussed below-religious progressives have reappeared in the public eye in recent years. Though mostly very marginal players in the Occupy Wall Street movement that made inequality a prominent public issue in American life by framing it as a struggle between "the one percent and the ninety-nine percent; religious progressives have been prominent participants in the subsequent debates over house foreclosures, bank­ing reform, racial inequities in law enforcement and sentencing, and comprehensive immigration reform (Sanati 2010; Waters 2010; Wood and Fulton 2015). Even before the Great Recession, religious progressives had been among the crucial sectors articulating why access to healthcare was a fundamental moral issue (Wood 2007). Their advocacy helped lead to renewal of the State Children's Health Insurance Program that was twice vetoed by President George W. Bush before being signed by President Barack Obama; their subsequent moral advocacy was crucial to the passage of national healthcare reform in 2009-and particularly to its inclusion of significant subsidies for healthcare for the poor and lower middle class (Parsons 2010; Pear 2009).
  • Item
    Black Churches and HIV/AIDS: Factors Influencing Congregations’ Responsiveness to Social Issues
    (Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2011-09) Fulton, Brad R.
    The ambivalent response of many black churches to current social issues has caused some scholars to question the centrality of black churches within African‐American communities. Using a nationally representative sample of black congregations, this study engages the debate about the institutional centrality of black churches by focusing on their response to HIV/AIDS. Although many congregational studies treat black churches as a monolithic whole, this analysis identifies heterogeneity among black churches that shapes their responsiveness to social issues. Contrary to prior claims, a congregation's liberal‐conservative ideological orientation does not significantly affect its likelihood of having an HIV/AIDS program. Beyond assessing churches’ internal characteristics, this study uses institutional theory to analyze churches as open systems that can be influenced by their surrounding environment. It demonstrates that externally engaged congregations are significantly more likely to have a program. These results indicate that black churches maintain institutional centrality by engaging their external environment.
  • Item
    Interfaith Community Organizing Emerging Theological and Organizational Challenges
    (International Journal of Public Theology, 2012-01) Fulton, Brad R.; Wood, Richard L.
    Interfaith work in the United States takes diverse forms: from grass-roots collaboration on projects such as feeding the homeless, to locally-sponsored interfaith dialogues, collaborations sponsored by national denominational bodies and shared work on federal ‘faith-based initiatives’. This article profiles the characteristics and dynamics of a particular type of interfaith work, done under the rubric of ‘broad-based’, ‘faith-based’ or ‘congregation-based’ community organizing. For reasons detailed below, we term this form of interfaith and religious-secular collaboration ‘institution-based community organizing’. By drawing on results from a national survey of all local institution-based community organizations active in the United States in 2011, this article documents the significance of the field, its broadly interfaith profile, how it incorporates religious practices into organizing, and the opportunities and challenges that religious diversity presents to its practitioners and to North American society
  • Item
    The Role of Bridging Cultural Practices in Racially and Socioeconomically Diverse Civic Organizations
    (American Sociological Review, 2014-06) Braunstein, Ruth; Fulton, Brad R.; Wood, Richard L.
    Organizations can benefit from being internally diverse, but they may also face significant challenges arising from such diversity. Potential benefits include increased organizational innovation, legitimacy, and strategic capacity; challenges include threats to organizational stability, efficacy, and survival. In this article, we analyze the dynamics of internal diversity within a field of politically oriented civic organizations. We find that “bridging cultural practices” serve as a key mechanism through which racially and socioeconomically diverse organizations navigate challenges generated by internal differences. Drawing on data from extended ethnographic fieldwork within one local faith-based community organizing coalition, we describe how particular prayer practices are used to bridge differences within group settings marked by diversity. Furthermore, using data from a national study of all faith-based community organizing coalitions in the United States, we find that a coalition’s prayer practices are associated with its objective level of racial and socioeconomic diversity and its subjective perception of challenges arising from such diversity. Our multi-method analysis supports the argument that diverse coalitions use bridging prayer practices to navigate organizational challenges arising from racial and socioeconomic diversity, and we argue that bridging cultural practices may play a similar role within other kinds of diverse organizations.
  • Item
    Predictors of the Existence of Congregational HIV Programs: Similarities and Differences Compared with other Health Programs
    (American Journal of Health Promotion, 2015-07) Williams, Malcolm V.; Haas, Ann; Griffin, Beth Ann; Fulton, Brad R.; Kanouse, David E.; Bogart, Laura M.; Derose, Kathryn Pitkin
    Purpose: Identify and compare predictors of the existence of congregational human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other health programs. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: United States. Subjects: A nationally representative sample of 1506 U.S. congregations surveyed in the National Congregations Study (2006–2007). Measures: Key informants at each congregation completed in-person and telephone interviews on congregational HIV and other health programs and various congregation characteristics (response rate = 78%). County-level HIV prevalence and population health data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 2007 County Health Rankings were linked to the congregational data. Analysis: Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess factors that predict congregational health programs relative to no health programs; and of HIV programs relative to other health activities. Results: Most congregations (57.5%) had at least one health-related program; many fewer (5.7%) had an HIV program. Predictors of health vs. HIV programs differed. The number of adults in the congregation was a key predictor of health programs, while having an official statement welcoming gay persons was a significant predictor of HIV programs (p < .05). Other significant characteristics varied by size of congregation and type of program (HIV vs. other health). Conclusion: Organizations interested in partnering with congregations to promote health or prevent HIV should consider congregational size as well as other factors that predict involvement. Results of this study can inform policy interventions to increase the capacity of religious congregations to address HIV and health.