This article examines social shareholder advocacy and socially responsible investing (SRI) to better understand the marketization of activism and the intersection of business and social justice. We use archival, interview, and participant observation data to explore how social shareholder activism has increasingly come to be practiced for profit. We show how the movement's history in social justice activism of the 1960s and 1970s continues to shape the practice today, even while it is increasingly commodified, marketized, and shaped by the ideals and practices of business and finance. Shareholder activists and other SRI advocates have created a new market and a hybrid form of investing that melds social and environmental concerns with financial profit. However, as the fundamental principles of capital accumulation remain unaltered, these practitioners find themselves pulled and pushed between the competing logics of activist ideals and investment finance.
institutional logics, responsible investing, shareholder activism, social movements
© The Author(s) 2015
King, Leslie and Gish, Elisabeth, "Marketizing Social Change: Social Shareholder Activism and Responsible Investing" (2015). Sociology: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.