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2010 - The Law and Society Association Words: 237 words || 
1. Rudes, Danielle. and Morrill, Calvin. "How Resistance Matters in Public Bureaucracies: Collective Moral Identities and the Micro-Politics of Legal and Policy Change among Parole Agents, Social Workers, and Teachers" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Renaissance Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL, May 27, 2010 <Not Available>. 2019-11-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Resistance to workplace authority by subordinated persons is among the most common and documented of organizational dynamics. Although more is known about formally organized, public resistance (such as strikes, protests and other mass mobilizations), a small, but vibrant research industry has emerged to document the forms and patterns of more individualized, tacitly coordinated, and covert forms of resistance, such as sabotage and subversion, in private workplaces. These actions rest on many of the same concerns – about justice, rights, morality, and safety – that inform more visible collective action. Much less is known about the consequences of covert resistance, especially in public bureaucracies that are undergoing dramatic legal and policy changes, and that depend upon front-line workers to implement those changes. Drawing on comparative ethnographic fieldwork, we analyze the patterns and consequences of resistance among parole agents, teachers, and social workers who experienced significant attempted top-down legal and policy changes in their organizations. We find that collective moral identities grounded in occupations as they are embedded in local conditions strongly influence both the patterns of resistance and its consequences for front-line workers, and their relationships to their organizations, clients, public accountability, and the legal and policy changes in question. These findings point toward a political-institutional framework for understanding resistance in public bureaucracies and the conditions under which covert resistance among front-line workers can become overt collective action and reconstruct legal and policy change at the local level.

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