Defense thesis of Lisa Buchter « Reinventing diversity, Activists interfering with the managerialization of the law» on 17 december 2019

Created: 17 December 2019

Defense committee

Mrs Laure Bereni, directrice de recherche au CNRS, Centre Maurice Halbwachs (ENS-CNRS-EHESS) (reviewer/rapporteure)

Mr Bruce Carruthers, Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University

Mrs Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier, directrice de recherche au CNRS, Centre de sociologie des organisations (CNRS-Sciences Po)

Mrs Ruthanne Huising, Professor of Management and Organizations, Emlyon Business School (reviewer/rapporteure)

Mr Brayden King, Professor of Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Mr Jérôme Pélisse, Professeur des universités, Sciences Po, Centre de sociologie des organisations


A growing body of research analyzes how corporate social responsibility programs are used to absorb and neutralize the social criticisms coming from social and environmental movements and to superficially respond to the ensuing new regulations. If companies have powerful tools to resist changes and blunt the meaning of the law, then we need further research on how social movements develop forms of legal mobilizations to interfere in the endogenous design of organizational policies. While important bodies of social movement literature look at how social movement actors keep denouncing and monitoring symbolic structures exogenously – relying on contentious or disruptive repertoires of actions – I take the case of French diversity programs to explore ways in which social movement actors seek to get involved within the interpretation and the design of these organizational symbolic structures. Relying on a qualitative research design (ethnography, interviews, textual analysis), I study how activists and social movements organizations developed repertoires of actions to seek to change what happened within diversity programs of public and private organizations. Most insider activists and non-profit organizations I studied within this research used forms of prefigurative diversity programs, designing and proposing to organizations new practices to source job applicants, assess them, raise awareness about discrimination, monitor discrimination, or develop more equitable policies, in the hopes that organizations would appropriate or recuperate them.

=> Date : 17 december 2019

=> Lieu :IEP de Paris, salle de réunion, 3ème étage, 199 boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 7e