Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Roelfs, David John

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Schroeder, Ryan

Committee Member

Schroeder, Ryan

Committee Member

Dawson-Edwards, Cherie


Social movements--Kentucky--Louisville; Social action--Kentucky--Louisville; Organizational behavior--Kentucky--Louisville


This study investigates the early development process of a restorative justice social movement organization in Louisville, KY. Utilizing social movement and organizational frameworks, this case study seeks to expand knowledge on the early developmental period for small, locally founded social movement organizations. Results from this study confirm claims in the literature about the critical nature of an organization’s structure, networks, and strategy. The analysis also discovers an unexplored strategy for organizational development, i.e. preemptive co-optation. Restorative Justice Louisville deliberatively sought co-optation by the institution they were attempting to change, the juvenile justice system, from early in their development. Due to this strategy, they were able to quickly develop and build legitimacy with those in the justice system. While bearing in mind the organization is still young, these findings raise questions about the benefits of such a strategy and the implications for other social movement organizations.

Included in

Sociology Commons