Toward a Typology of Critical Nonprofit Studies: A Literature Review

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This review examines scholarship in key nonprofit journals over four decades. Its purpose is to (a) analyze the extent, nature, and contribution of critical nonprofit scholarship and its trajectory over time and (b) call on scholars, research institutions, and journals in the field to engage the kinds of insights these increasingly marginalized approaches bring, providing space for them to join, challenge, and shape the research conversation. Findings show only 4% of articles published within the period examined adopt critical approaches, with great variability in the ways articles exemplify core tenets of critical scholarship, and a general dampening of critical work over time. This conservatism may result from the rejection of less understood philosophies and methodologies of critical inquiry in favor of more mainstream (positivistic) models of social science. Our primary contribution is to advance a typology explicating the pluralism inherent in critical approaches to nonprofit studies, and their strengths and limitations.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly |  

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