Professor Charlene Zietsma (York University) will present her work on:A Non-Conflictual Pathway of Change by the Marginalized: Interstitial Positioning and Logic Integration
Place: The Business School, in room 4128
A Non-Conflictual Pathway of Change by the Marginalized: Interstitial Positioning and Logic Integration
Change in highly institutionalized environments is often difficult because it involves unlocking normative, cognitive and regulative mechanisms that maintain current regimes, and it often threatens elite interests. Marginalized actors who desire changes in institutional arrangements may not have the influence to make them happen, and contestation may not be a "safe” strategy. We examine a social enterprise and movement of Japanese housewives seeking to improve the life of Japanese citizens. Guided by a consistent set of core values connected to a marginalized societal logic, the "life logic”, the Seikatsu Club and its associated network of organizations, engaged in continuous innovations in interstitial locations, creating new organizational forms as bridging structures from the periphery to dominant spheres. Such organizational forms, moreover, were different enough that they did not attract much attention or sanction from dominant players, because they operated outside dominant fields. The Seikatsu Club's life logic became the legitimating factor, both internally and externally, for the pursuit of change. More importantly, through those bridging structures, the core values of the Seikatsu Club spilled over into the mainstream political and economic structures, causing reverse adaptation, hence achieving social change without evoking direct contestation. Our study shows how marginalized actors can effect institutional change without contestation and conflict through pragmatic, values-driven action in interstitial spaces.