How Can Bourdieu's Theory of Capital Benefit the Understanding of Advocacy NGOs? Theoretical Framework and Empirical Illustration

Itay Greenspan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article offers a Bourdieu-inspired organizational analysis of advocacy nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Pierre Bourdieu's writings provide valuable propositions for understanding nonprofit advocacy resources that go beyond commonly analyzed economic, human, or social resources. The article describes the relational, accumulative, and transferable nature of Bourdieu's forms of capital, and connects them to advocacy NGOs. By examining the forms of capital at the disposal of advocacy NGOs involved in the conflict between the State of Israel and the Negev Bedouin, the article empirically illustrates the applicability of Bourdieu's ideas for the analysis of advocacy resources. The questions addressed are "How are NGOs using the various forms of capital to influence public perceptions and access decision-making forums?" and "What are the implications for nonprofit advocacy research?" Bourdieu's theory could help nonprofit scholars better understand the prospect and limits of nonprofit advocacy within policy fields.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)99-120
Number of pages22
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Negev Bedouin
  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • advocacy NGOs
  • cultural capital
  • resources

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