Arenas of social movement outcomes: accounting for political, cultural, and social outcomes of three land-use social movements
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The study of social movement outcomes has started to resurface within social movement literature. This resurfacing of the study of the ultimate dependent variable has led to a stronger conceptualization of outcomes as well as better measures of outcomes. In this dissertation, I offer suggestions for how to further strengthen the conceptualization and operationalization of social movement outcomes by providing an analytical framework that views social movement outcomes as three overlapping arenas: political, cultural, and social. I use three cases of smart growth social movements to demonstrate the usefulness of the framework for the study of social movement outcomes. Following a recent program of study within social movement outcomes, the data is analyzed using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (Ragin 1987). By conceptualizing these arenas as overlapping and influencing one another, social movement outcomes are not seen as occurring all at once at one point in time nor are they seen as resulting in a categorical outcome of success or failure. This conceptualization allows researchers to examine a multitude of outcomes, which will help at parsing apart how some causal factors relate to specific arenas of outcomes. Furthermore, this conceptual framework also offers insight into how gains in one arena may help or hinder gains in another arena.