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A Theory of Fields$
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Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199859948

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199859948.001.0001

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Illustrating the Perspective

Illustrating the Perspective

Contention over Race in the United States, 1932–1980 and the Rise and Fall of the Mortgage Securitization Industry, 1969–2011

(p.114) 5 Illustrating the Perspective
A Theory of Fields

Neil Fligstein

Doug McAdam

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses two detailed examples from political sociology/social movements and economic sociology to illustrate the usefulness of the framework developed. The examples chosen are political contention over race in the United States from 1932 to 1980; and the rise and fall of the mortgage securitization industry from 1969 to 2011. The former is an iconic case familiar to students of American politics, social movement scholarship, and American history. The latter story concerns the industry that was at the core of the financial meltdown in the United States in 2007–2009. The purpose of this comparison is not a theory testing exercise but instead a lesson in how the theoretical concepts of the strategic action field approach can inform large and important changes in the major fields of society that at first glance seem to have little to do with each other.

Keywords:   race, mortgage securitization industry, strategic action field, economic sociology, American politics

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