<italic>Dilemmas of Political Representation</italic> examines how urban antipoverty organizations in particular and advocacy organizations in general work as alternative sites of representation for marginalized interests. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, it raises and addresses two interrelated sets of questions about these organizations' efforts, both of which also index broader concerns about the practice of democratic representation. The first set of questions is about how advocates use their representational efforts to articulate and disseminate different constructions of their constituents' interests: What are the different types of constructions that they use? How do they actually fashion these constructions? And how, in the process, do they construct <italic>themselves</italic> as legitimate representatives of the resulting interests? The second set of questions is about the challenges that advocates face as they represent and construct their constituents' interests: What are the sources and contours of these challenges? How do advocates negotiate them? And how, in the process, do their efforts aid and/or limit the struggle for equality in the post-civil rights United States? The dissertation traces how and with what consequences advocates organize their efforts and respond to their challenges through organizing meetings, internal communications, and public actions. In doing so, it advances theoretical discussions about the promise and dilemmas of democratic representation and advocacy on behalf of the urban poor and other marginalized groups.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2014. Major: Political Science. Advisors: Joe Soss, Dara Z. Strolovitch. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 310 pages, appendix p. 299-310.
Forrest, Michael David.
Dilemmas of political representation: antipoverty advocacy in the Post-Civil Rights Era.
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