Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Institutions and OrganizationsA Process View$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Trish Reay, Tammar B. Zilber, Ann Langley, and Haridimos Tsoukas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198843818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843818.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2021

Stories of (and Instead of) Process

Stories of (and Instead of) Process

(p.61) 5 Stories of (and Instead of) Process
Institutions and Organizations

Francesca Polletta

Oxford University Press

Policy makers are well aware that the categories and standards they use to combat inequality are blunt tools, flattening differences within groups and fixing relations in time; they draw on stories of the categories’ past and purpose as a way to justify their use. However, the stories that come naturally are ill-equipped to capture the processual dimensions of inequality. Polletta makes this argument by analyzing two efforts to combat inequality, one in medical research and one in employment. In the first, reformers’ account of racial and ethnic categories as the proud legacy of the civil rights movement and as only temporary ended up legitimating a view of inequalities in health as genetic in origin. In the second, women were able to prove employment discrimination only when they told a story in which their job aspirations were unaffected by their experiences in the labor market. In both cases, familiar stories made it difficult to recognize processes rather than people as the drivers of action, and to recognize that people’s aspirations are shaped by the institutions in which they participate.

Keywords:   equality, policy, employment discrimination, organizations, institutions

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .