Ubiquity and Legitimacy: Disentangling Diffusion and Institutionalization

Jeannette A. Colyvas*, Stefan Jonsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations

Abstract

Diffusion and institutionalization are of prime sociological importance, as both processes unfold at the intersections of relations and structures, as well as persistence and change. Yet they are often confounded, leading to theoretical and methodological biases that hinder the development of generalizable arguments. We look at diffusion and institutionalization distinctively, each as both a process and an outcome in terms of three dimensions: the objects that flow or stick; the subjects who adopt or influence; and the social settings through which an innovation travels. We offer examples to flesh out these dimensions, and formulate testable propositions from our analytic framework that could lead to further theoretical refinement and progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-53
Number of pages27
JournalSociological Theory
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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