American Sociological Association

The Organizational Trace of an Insurgent Moment

The relationship between social movements and formal organizations has long been a concern to scholars of collective action. Many have argued that social movement organizations (SMOs) provide resources that facilitate movement emergence, while others have highlighted the ways in which SMOs institutionalize or coopt movement goals. Through an examination of the relationship between Occupy Wall Street and the field of SMOs in New York City, this article illustrates a third possibility: that a moment of insurgency becomes a more enduring movement in part through the changes it induces in the relations among the SMOs in its orbit.