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How Civic Action WorksFighting for Housing in Los Angeles$
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Paul Lichterman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691177519

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691177519.001.0001

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Why Follow the Style, Not Just the Organization?

Why Follow the Style, Not Just the Organization?

(p.128) 5 Why Follow the Style, Not Just the Organization?
How Civic Action Works

Paul Lichterman

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates how different scene styles inhabit different spaces of a coalition. Following scene style presents a new angle on what makes or breaks a coalition. Indeed, disagreements over style can weaken a coalition. Sparks flew as a clash of styles at two Housing Justice (HJ) coordinating committee meetings. After those episodes, the HJ coalition fractured as several HJ ally organizations withdrew their representatives and energies from the coalition's work. Field evidence suggests that these decisions emerged from an ongoing commitment to a style of action — in this case, a community of identity. The chapter argues that HJ advocates had a different kind of disagreement about framing from what the entrepreneurial model highlights. A close look at several dramatic HJ meetings shows that advocates' deeper clash was over what framing is for to begin with.

Keywords:   scene styles, coalitions, Housing Justice, ally organizations, community of identity, Housing Justice advocates, framing

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