Critical Applications of Heterogeneity Theories to Power in Nonprofit Human Services Organizations

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. The field of nonprofit studies often assumes that efforts of actors in the nonprofit landscape are beneficial, especially when considering nonprofit human service organizations. However, there are both theoretical and empirical reasons for scholars to adopt a more critical lens when examining these organizations. Taking nonprofit human services organizations as a common setting, the article uses a critical lens to apply classic, “mainstream” theories of the role of heterogeneity in nonprofit sector formation and illuminate risks often neglected in nonprofit human services research. In this way, the article demonstrates that classic social science theories of heterogeneity already offer us the tools we need to critically question dominant assumptions about nonprofit human services provision and challenges the reader to consider why we so rarely use these well-known theoretical frameworks in a critical manner. The article concludes by inviting scholars to utilize additional critical theoretical perspectives in future studies of nonprofit human services.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly |  

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