This pathbreaking book examines the strategies, successes, and challenges of youth advocacy organizations, highlighting the importance of local contexts for these efforts. Working between social movements and the political establishment, these organizations occupy a special niche in American politics and civil society. They use their position to change local agendas for youth and public perceptions of youth, and work to strengthen local community support systems.
Between Movement and Establishment describes how youth advocacy organizations affect change in a fragmented urban policy environment. It considers the different constituencies that organizations target, including public officials and policies, specific service sectors, and community members, and looks at the multiple tactics advocates employ to advance their reform agendas, such as political campaigns, accountability measures, building civic capacity, research, and policy formation. This work further examines the importance of historical, organizational, and political contexts in explaining the strategies, actions, and consequences of advocacy organizations' efforts at the local level, bringing to light what is effective and why.
About the authors
Milbrey W. McLaughlin is David Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University. W. Richard Scott is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Stanford University. Sarah N. Deschenes is Senior Researcher at the Harvard Family Research Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kathryn C. Hopkins is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Anne R. Newman is Assistant Professor of Education at Washington University in St. Louis.
"Drawing on leading-edge organizational and social movement theories, this seminal work illuminates the nitty-gritty, street-level struggles of advocacy groups and community organizations promoting youth development. It sets the standard for scholarship in this area for years to come."
—Dennis Shirley, Boston College
"This study is grounded in the complexities of the real world, and gives close attention to the wider context in which movements seek to make their mark. It makes a much needed connection between organization theory and social-movement scholarship. This is the kind of book that inspires."
—Clarence Stone, George Washington University
"Hats off!! The authors have pulled back the curtain to shine a spotlight on what advocates do to move the dial for and with young people in the places where they live. They have parsed the fledgling field of youth development advocacy into precise pieces and given us a multifaceted view of these organizations contexts, dimensions, targets and tactics. As one who has labored in the space between movement and establishment at the national level for my entire career, I found every chapter absorbing and every frame useful. McLaughlin is dead on when she asserts that the real action is at the local level. This is where discourse, by necessity, sheds its partisan, big-claim cloak and gets concrete and specific. This is where advocacy organizations, especially those with finely honed skills like the three organizations profiled, can deftly define effective counterframes, strategically seize political opportunities, mobilize and empower new constituencies and truly measure the impact of their efforts."
—Karen Pittman, Executive Director, the Forum for Youth Investment