P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 C 2004) Sociological Forum, Vol. 19, No. 3, September 2004 ( The Emergence of Worthy Targets: Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI1 David Cunningham2,3 and Barb Browning2 How do agencies of social control construct understandings of their targets, and how do these constructions shape subsequent outcomes? In the case of the FBI’s counterintelligence programs (COINTELPROs), agents in the field avoided organizational sanctions by using personal characteristics of targets to justify counterintelligence action, particularly in the absence of disruptive political activities by otherwise “worthy” targets. Specifically, agents drew upon predictable deviance narratives to validate official frames produced at the top of the FBI hierarchy, thereby structuring the allocation of counterintelligence action against purported security threats. Our findings point to the importance of considering such intra-organizational negotiations to understand the mechanisms through which interpretive schema connect to the outcomes of contentious political interactions. KEY WORDS: deviance; organization; official frames; social movements. “The selection of a target embodies a judgment of deviance from the dominant political culture.” —Frank Donner, The Age of Surveillance Alongside political opportunities and threats, mobilizing structures, and repertoires of contention, framing processes have emerged as central components of models that seek to understand political contention in a wide range of contexts (McAdam et al., 2001). Most broadly, frames are conceptualized as “schemata of interpretation” that enable individuals to organize 1 An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2001 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA. 2 Department of Sociology, Brandeis University, MS 071, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110. 3 To whom correspondence should be addressed; e-mail: [email protected] 347 C 2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 0884-8971/04/0900-0347/0 P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 348 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning experience and guide action (Snowet al., 1986:464). While in daily life all social actors draw upon frames to engage in the production and maintenance of local meanings, frame analysts have recognized that the strategic process of frame construction and management is central to the mission of social movement organizations seeking to replace “a dominant belief system that legitimizes the status quo with an alternative mobilizing belief system that supports collective action for change” (Gamson et al., 1982:15). In this sense, framing processes provide a mechanism through which individuals can ideologically connect with movement goals and become potential participants in movement actions. While frame alignment processes have commonly been called upon to make sense of how these potential participants come to be linked to movement organizations, recent work has increasingly focused on the interactive and strategic nature of frame construction. Within a contentious climate, frames introduced by movement organizations might compete with those offered by media outlets (Gitlin, 1980; Tarrow, 1998), countermovements (Jasper and Poulson, 1993; Meyer and Staggenborg, 1996), or even their own internal factions (Balser, 1997; Snow and Benford, 2000). Most commonly, however, collective action frames compete with “official frames” offered by state or other power-holding agencies. As John Noakes (2000:659) notes, such official frames are often ignored—viewed as “too universal, too constant, or too derivative to be an interesting factor in the movement equation.” Examining official frames allows us to more clearly view contentious politics as an interactive struggle between power-holders and challengers (Goldstone, 2003; Goodwin and Jasper, 1999) and to better understand the evolution of framing contests between competing interests. The construction and dissemination of these official frames shapes the structure of political opportunities confronted by potential challengers, allowing state agencies to legitimize repressive activity against identified threats to the status quo (Cunningham, 2000; Donner, 1980; Goldstein, 1978) and discourage politicized activity through their influence over public discourse and opinion (Gitlin, 1980). While recent studies (Noakes, 2000; Zuo and Benford, 1995) have examined how these frames are constructed and promoted, we extend this work to analyze how official frames emerging from within policing agencies have tangible consequences for those perceived as challengers to the status quo. Noakes (1998) importantly notes that such power-holding agencies are “active signifying agents engaged in the construction and maintenance of official frames,” and we use the case of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) against the New Left between 1968 and 1971 to show how intraagency processes served to constitute and reproduce these frames as bases for action. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 349 Specifically, our analysis of the FBI demonstrates how official frames are negotiated and acted upon within power-holding organizations. To the extent that they are employed to maintain the political status quo, these official frames contain implicit or explicit narratives of deviance that serve to demonize actors and organizations engaged in counter-hegemonic activities. But these frames, even when explicitly articulated by visible authorities, are not static, nor do they necessarily translate directly into predictable forms of action, repressive or otherwise. The key is that the frames are constructed and negotiated within the repressing agency and shaped by the specific interests and motivations of organizational actors, which in turn are tied to the structure of the organization itself. Focusing on these intra-organizational processes moves us beyond the assumption of a simple relationship between frame construction and subsequent action, thereby strengthening our understanding of how official frames operate to reproduce the status quo. Central to such processes is the construction of deviance narratives within organizations. Studies of institutions whose functions include the formal regulation of deviance have long described the classificatory schemes, or “typifications,” employed by organizational actors to carry out institutionally defined ends (Bowditch, 1993; Frohmann, 1991). These schemes enable workers to routinize their activities to manage outcomes by reducing uncertainty, thereby maximizing their achievement of organizationally defined goals. In the case of policing agencies, such strategies have significant implications both for workers (whose upward mobility within the organization is often a function of their performance) as well as for those consequently targeted as criminal or otherwise deviant (Waegel, 1981). In the following sections, we analyze how such intra-organizational processes played out within the particular case of the FBI’s COINTELPROs. Following Wilson’s (1978) study of the FBI’s investigative mission, we assert that the bureau’s counterintelligence tasks were shaped by the organizational priorities and procedures defined by its central actors, whose established mandates created incentives for agents to successfully carry out this work. The ability to reproduce centrally defined official frames was especially important in counterintelligence work, where, in contrast with criminal investigations that focused on perpetrators of specific criminal acts, agents needed to identify a steady stream of suspects that matched often-nebulous classes of subversive threats. Here, we demonstrate how the hierarchical structure of the bureau created a context where field agents subject to organizational controls were “encouraged” to validate the countersubversive frames constructed by central actors within the FBI. In the absence of political activity (subversive or otherwise) by New Left targets, field agents were able to reproduce the frame by drawing upon observable signals of deviance that could serve as a basis to act against a wide range of New Left adherents. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 350 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning In the next section, we examine the structure of the FBI itself to understand the goals and functioning of its COINTELPROs, and then illustrate the emergence of two central official frames—subversion and hate—that shaped the selection of COINTELPRO targets and actions. Finally, and most important, we demonstrate that the looming threat of organizational sanctions provided incentives for agents in the field to reproduce these official frames. Using the case of the FBI’s counterintelligence activities against the New Left group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), we show how field agents drew upon particular culturally resonant signals of deviance to demonize and subsequently act against SDS members even in the absence of threatening political activity. THE ORGANIZATION OF COINTELPRO Throughout its nearly century-long history, the FBI has engaged in identifying and monitoring potential threats to the political status quo alongside its more visible mandate to investigate federal crimes.4 While the former mission is designed to gather information about a target or suspect (what is generally referred to as intelligence-gathering), it exists alongside what we will refer to here as counterintelligence, or the FBI’s attempts to encourage acts of wrongdoing or restrict targets’ ability to go through with planned actions (Marx, 1988). In many cases, the bureau’s intelligence and counterintelligence missions were symbiotically related; as William C. Sullivan, the architect of many of the FBI’s COINTELPROs through the 1960s, stated, “We might as well not engage in intelligence unless we also engage in counterintelligence. One is the right arm, the other the left. They work together” (Sullivan, 1979:128). The FBI’s counterintelligence activities—explicitly referred to by longtime Director J. Edgar Hoover as attempts to expose, disrupt, misdirect, neutralize, and otherwise discredit its targets—have been prominent throughout most of its history (see Churchill and VanderWall, 1990, 1988; Cunningham, 2000; Goldstein, 1978; Theoharis, 1978), but at no time were such activities more apparent than between 1956 and 1971. During these years, the FBI operated a set of formal COINTELPROs that targeted a wide range of groups and individuals viewed as threatening to the status quo. While the existence of these programs was never made public during these years, they were exposed in 1971 after a group of activists calling themselves the 4 For years, the two major units within the FBI—the General Investigative and Domestic Intelligence Divisions—clearly reflected the bureau’s dual concern with investigation and intelligence. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 351 “Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI” burglarized the bureau’s files and gradually leaked them to various media outlets. Several years later, more than 52,000 pages of COINTELPRO documents were released under the Freedom of Information Act as a result of several lawsuits. These memos provide an ideal data source for examining how social control organizations construct narratives that demonize particular groups and individuals in order to carry out their intended missions. Over the 15-year life of the COINTELPRO, five separate programs were initiated against distinct classes of targets: the Communist Party-USA (begun in 1956), the Socialist Workers Party (in 1961), “White Hate Groups” (1964), “Black Nationalist/Hate Groups” (1967), and the New Left (1968). The function of each of these COINTELPROs remained constant: to “expose, disrupt, and otherwise neutralize” its targets (FBI Memo from Brennan to Sullivan, 5/9/68). In several instances, individual field offices requested permission to discontinue particular COINTELPROs when targeted groups became inactive for extended periods of time, though Hoover always denied such requests and never seriously considered disbanding any programs prior to their public exposure in 1971. During the COINTELPRO era, the FBI consisted of a National Headquarters in Washington, DC, and a set of 59 field offices throughout the country. Each field office was responsible for its surrounding territory, determined largely by the boundaries of federal court districts. Within a field office, each distinct COINTEL program was run by a separate special agent, who reported directly to the office’s special agent in charge (SAC). SACs served as direct links between field office activity and the centralized leadership based at FBI National Headquarters in Washington, DC. Amazingly, J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the bureau throughout the entire COINTELPRO era, had held the top post in the FBI since 1924. While Hoover had personally shaped almost every aspect of the modern FBI, COINTELPRO memos addressed to “Director, FBI” were dealt with by a small number of central actors at National Headquarters (which included Hoover) who were authorized to send memos under this heading. These individuals—we refer to them as the directorate—made final decisions about all counterintelligence actions. The key organizational distinction within the FBI is between the local (field office) and national (headquarters) levels. The vast majority of the bureau’s intelligence information was gathered by agents and informants based at field offices. SACs were thought of as local experts, in touch with the range of political and criminal threats in their territories. Within the framework of the COINTELPRO, SACs were expected to exploit their close connection to “the streets” within their jurisdiction to propose effective counterintelligence activities against broad classes of targets (“Communists,” “New Left P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 352 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning students,” “white hate advocates,” etc.) identified by the directorate at National Headquarters. At the same time, however, the directorate maintained tight controls over field offices, insisting that all communication within the bureau be channeled through headquarters and prohibiting autonomous local action by requiring that all field office activity be authorized ahead of time by a member of the directorate (Cunningham, 2003). Formally, within each COINTEL program, the directorate first identified broad target categories, which in theory served as a guide to identifying particular local threats within each field office’s territory. SACs were expected initially to compile a description of all existing local target groups and Key Activists [“those individuals who are the moving forces behind the [target groups] and on whom we have intensified our investigations” (FBI Memo from Brennan to Sullivan, 5/9/68)] and submit general recommendations for effective counterintelligence activity. The directorate then summarized all of these initial recommendations in a memo to all field offices. SACs were subsequently encouraged to submit specific proposals for neutralizing groups within their division, and these proposals had to be authorized by the bureau before the initiation of any action. Finally, each SAC was responsible for compiling quarterly progress reports summarizing potential and pending actions, as well as any tangible results stemming from past activities. These bureaucratic steps signaled a tension between the directorate’s ostensible valuing of agents’ proximity to political threats within their jurisdictions, and the obtrusive and unobtrusive controls placed on SACs deemed inadequately attentive to particular protest groups (see Cunningham, 2000, 2003). The directorate’s frequent displeasure with field offices who ignored even inactive targets created a dynamic in which local agents sought to identify threats through observable signals of deviance not directly tied to targets’ protest activity. Therefore, while broad target classes (such as the Klan, or Students for a Democratic Society) were only viable threats in particular areas where they were most active, all SACs were aware that a failure to propose counterintelligence actions wherever these groups were present (even in the absence of protest) was grounds for censure by the directorate. This threat of reprimand often was clearly evident in COINTELPRO memos. It was not unusual for the directorate to include warnings in memos to particular SACs: “You will be expected to be aggressive and forceful. A lackadaisical attitude will not be tolerated. Failure on your part to seize the initiative may result in administrative action being taken” (FBI Memo from Director to Boston, 10/28/68). In another typical case, an SAC was instructed to thoroughly review this program in your Division to assure that its objectives are fully known to the Agent to whom it is assigned. The Agent handling it will be expected to pursue it aggressively and with imagination to insure that opportunities P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 353 for neutralizing the New Left, whether it be on or off campus, are not missed. He should seek to develop advance information regarding rallies and similar activities and devise counterintelligence measures where appropriate to negate the plans of the New Left. A lackadaisical attitude toward this program will not be tolerated. Your office will be expected to devote more attention to it in the future (FBI Memo from Director to Denver, 7/31/69). Such reprimands could have serious consequences for agents. At a minimum, unsatisfactory performance reduced opportunities for promotion or attractive assignments, and it was well known that agents could be demoted or transferred to unpopular field offices in remote areas of the country as a result of censure. To avoid such consequences, agents needed to develop COINTELPRO proposals whenever viable threats were identified at the national level. In the absence of threatening local political behavior, there was considerable incentive to employ alternative strategies to identify targets worthy of repression. For our data purposes, a more concrete consequence of the FBI’s emphasis on tight centralized control and exhaustive documentation is that virtually all activity and transfer of information within the COINTELPRO was recorded in memos sent between headquarters and each field office. These memos are available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act, and all of the memos that had been released as of 1977 have been collected on microfilm by Scholarly Resources, Inc. For our analysis here, we draw on more than 6,000 pages of written communication associated with COINTELPRO-New Left, which was active between May, 1968, and April, 1971. Within these pages are 2,143 memos, each representing correspondence between field offices and National Headquarters.5 We are interested in how particular classes of individuals became defined as “worthy” targets by the bureau; in other words, how deviance narratives were constructed by agents in particular field offices to match the official frames generated by the directorate. The key dynamic emerges when targets framed as subversive by the directorate are inactive within local areas. In this case, field office agents learn to avoid censure by identifying “worthy” targets in the absence of political protest through the construction of deviance narratives that connect subversion to visible personal characteristics. In the next section, we discuss the two central official frames developed by the directorate within the 5 Note, however, that, while virtually all COINTELPRO actions were documented within memos, we cannot be certain that the documents released through the Freedom of Information Act include all that constitute the entire population of COINTELPRO memos (though the extensive cross-referencing of actions within different memos make it possible to construct much of the information from missing memos). Additionally, certain information within memos has been censored in the interests of “national security” (see Cunningham, 2000, for a discussion of the significance of potentially missing files, as well as Churchill and VanderWall, 1990, Chap. 1, who deal in detail with the FBI’s criteria for deleting information within documents). P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 354 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning COINTELPRO, and then show how the structure of the FBI itself created a context for particular types of largely unintended outcomes. OFFICIAL FRAMES WITHIN COINTELPRO The fact that the first COINTELPRO targeted the Communist PartyUSA was not surprising. Shortly after the bureau’s founding in 1909, a commitment to anticommunism structured and provided a raison d’etre for its massive intelligence mission. By the 1920s, a young J. Edgar Hoover had played a central role in constructing what was to become a long-standing official frame justifying countersubversive activity on the part of policing agencies. The frame, in its early form, took shape as part of the post-World War I Red Scare. Within this context, Hoover viewed the communist threat as primarily rooted within American institutions, and embodied by conspiracyminded members of domestic leftist organizations beholden to Moscow. The real danger presented by these subversive agents arose from the supposed covert nature of their mission, which was intended to sway the unsuspecting masses away from the virtues of capitalism and toward a collectivistic way of thinking (Noakes, 2000; Powers, 1987; Schmidt, 2000). This view of communism as subversive, inextricably tied to the broader idea of an invisible but omnipresent and global anti-American conspiracy, had tremendous resonance over time. As such, it came to constitute what Snow and Benford (1992) refer to as a “master frame,” or general framework that can be appropriated to provide an interpretation of politicized interactions within a variety of contexts. By the 1950s, in the wake of HUAC hearings, McCarthyism, and blacklistings—all of which employed some form of this master frame to justify rooting out subversive individuals—this idea of “subversiveness” was easily reemployed by the FBI to present “communism” as the unitary stigmatizing characteristic signaling a worthy target. From the FBI’s perspective, subversiveness was signaled by a direct link to communist interests—that is, to known members of the Party—or by a less direct connection to suspicious others, as in the case of individuals targeted because of perceived ties to Party members (or even excessive sympathies for Communist causes or ideas). In 1956, this frame provided an intellectual basis for the formalized, sustained counterintelligence campaign known as COINTELPRO-Communist Party, USA. Though J. Edgar Hoover had stated publicly that Communist Party (CP) membership was in serious decline through the early 1950s, he continued to assert that CP members and sympathizers sought to infiltrate key American institutions, justifying his unrelenting efforts to ensure the bureau’s ability to “minimize the danger of these subversives in our midst” (quoted in Theoharis, 1971:137). P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 355 Officially, the program against the CP was established to utilize a variety of counterintelligence actions “designed to intensify confusion and dissatisfaction among [the Party’s] members . . . to counteract a resurgence of Communist Party influence in the United States” (U.S. Senate, 1976:69–70). While literally thousands of actions were ultimately undertaken through this program, the Communist Party was certainly not the only group targeted as part of the bureau’s countersubversion efforts. The FBI’s focus on anticommunism justified conceiving of an incredibly broad range of political challengers as subversive, extending even to members of the early civil rights movement, most notably the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr. (Garrow, 1981; O’Reilly, 1989).6 The key consequence was that,“communist” became synonymous with “subversive,” and thus served as the unambiguous umbrella term signifying a worthy target. However, identifying subversion simply by its Red tint became more problematic over time. With the censure of Joseph McCarthy and—by the early 1960s—considerable shifts in the ideological and political climate, anticommunist claims began to lose much of their stigmatizing power. In the absence of such a catch-all signal of deviance, the master subversiveness frame needed to be broadened to incorporate distinct classes of threat. The evolution of a later COINTELPRO against white hate groups illustrates this shift quite clearly. When this program was established in 1964, its initial justification was the Klan’s ostensible ties to communism. High-ranking bureau officials argued that the Klan and other white supremacist groups were threats due to the “confusion” likely to result from the Communist Party “increasing its activities in the field of racial matters,” including those related to the KKK (FBI Memo from Tolson to Gale, 7/30/64). Such references to communism soon disappeared from the agents’ dealings with the Klan, however, and were replaced by a more direct recognition that the Klan’s engagement in violence made them a terroristic or lawless “hate”-based threat. Such violent behavior had long been cause for FBI investigation along criminal lines, but the emergence of COINTELPRO-White Hate Groups fostered the creation of a new master frame that would justify the proactive targeting of domestic groups as threats to national security.7 William Keller (1989) focuses on how the political context of the time provided a window of opportunity for Hoover and others within the FBI to 6 The specific connection between King and the Communist Party was Stanley Levison, an SCLC advisor and King confidant who had been a CP member until the mid-1950s. 7 This shift from dealing with Klan activity as illegal, and therefore subject to criminal investigation, to viewing it as subversive, or essentially an intelligence matter, was formalized by the decision in 1964 to transfer Klan matters from the FBI’s General Investigative Division to its Domestic Intelligence Division (see FBI Memo from Gale to Tolson, 7/30/64). This latter branch of the bureau ultimately housed COINTELPRO-White Hate Groups. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 356 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning develop this new, official, hate-based frame. The high-profile media coverage of the killing of three civil rights workers in Mississippi during the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign resulted in pressures from liberal lawmakers to prevent further high-profile violence against civil rights workers in the South. As a more-or-less direct result, broad political support emerged for using whatever means the FBI had at its disposal to control the actions of the Klan and other “white hate” organizations (see also O’Reilly, 1989:167, 199). In Keller’s view, COINTELPRO-White Hate Groups was intended as a discrete program designed to serve such a purpose, though Hoover quickly took advantage of the opening to broaden the general types of threat that could justifiably be targeted proactively through intelligence and COINTELPROs, rather than only reactively through criminal investigations. In this way, the more far-reaching impact of COINTELPRO-White Hate Groups was that it provided the impetus for Hoover to frame hate-based threats themselves as a form of subversion. No longer did a viable counterintelligence target need to be tied to a global conspiracy to break down American values and institutions; the precedent set by COINTELPRO-White Hate Groups justified an official frame predicated on a broadened view of subversiveness that allowed a range of domestic “hate-group” challenges to be viewed as viable threats falling under the purview of the COINTELPRO. This hate-based frame was employed again 3 years later against individuals and organizations tied to the civil rights and black power movements. As discussed above, various members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., had been surveilled and harassed since the 1950s, though such actions were always justified within the bureau’s traditional communist/subversiveness frame. In this sense, the civil rights movement had been characterized within the FBI as threatening to the status quo through its ostensible connections to communist interests, which in the absence of tangible evidence, was justified through a racist assumption that intellectually deficient black activists would be easily manipulable by the presumably more savvy Communist Party (O’Reilly, 1989; Powers, 1987:324). Civil rights activity, therefore, became subversive through its susceptibility to exploitation by established subversive (e.g., communist) threats. The framing of black activists as subversive shifted considerably with the initiation of COINTELPRO-Black Nationalist/Hate Groups in 1967. Consistent with the program’s title, individuals and groups tied to the civil rights and black power movements were now worthy counterintelligence targets through their ostensible engagement in, or advocacy of, “hate” activities. As with the treatment of white hate groups after 1964, no mention was made of communist connections; instead, members of the movement were targeted “to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder” due to their “pernicious background, . . . duplicity, and devious maneuvers” (FBI P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 357 Memo from Director to 23 field offices, 8/25/67). Note the continued role of race in the narrative driving this particular frame. While black activist threats no longer required connections to a larger communist conspiracy, the same assumptions about black susceptibility were at work. Rather than racial deficiencies making black activists easily manipulated by outside agitators, such weaknesses played into their personal motivations for political activity, which inevitably drove their actions in illegal or immoral directions. Such ideas were reproduced by field agents’ characterizations of “Negroes” in reports to the directorate. One agent derided the “animal reactions” of Black Panther Party members with regard to sex (FBI Memo from Director to Boston, 7/9/69), and another SAC similarly felt that the bureau needed to account for the fact that foremost in the militant Negro’s mind are sex and money. The first is often promiscuous and frequently freely shared. White moral standards do not apply among this type of Negro. You don’t embarrass many Negroes by advertising their sexual activity or loose morals. Money is not as freely shared and any Negro organization which attracts the black nationalist revolutionary will fail sooner or later because the members and leaders will as quickly seek power over and steal from each other as they will from Caucasians. The temptation to seize power and thus get control of the money and the other perquisites of leadership will always be strong, and thus offers a continuing opportunity to sow seeds of distrust and suspicion (FBI Memo from San Francisco to Director, 4/3/68). These assumptions, reflecting the pervasive culture of racism within the Bureau,8 provided a context within which political organization by nonwhites effectively constituted subversion, and race could thereby serve as a key variable defining “worthy” targets. By 1968, the FBI faced a more complex challenge with the explosion of disruptive political activity on college and university campuses, most visibly the week-long takeover of several buildings on the Columbia University campus that April. While the conflict at Columbia had involved several campus groups, the actions were primarily attributed to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which had been steadily growing as the central, nationwide, campus-based organization dealing with issues related to poverty, the military-industrial complex, and, most significantly, the Vietnam War. By this point, SDS had ballooned to more than100,000 members in more than 300 chapters (Sale, 1973:664), and on May 9, 1968, the FBI targeted the New Left by initiating its fifth and final COINTELPRO. The directorate’s conception of what actually constituted “the New Left” was somewhat nebulous, but the program’s initial memo defined those who “urge revolution 8 See Churchill and VanderWall (1988, 1990); O’Reilly (1989, 1994); and Blackstock (1975) for detailed examination—with supporting evidence from COINTELPRO files—of the Bureau’s racist views of, and actions against, black targets. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 358 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning in America and call for the defeat of the United States in Vietnam” from primarily campus-based locales as targets to be “neutralized” (FBI Memo from Brennan to Sullivan, 5/9/68). SDS quickly became the central target of COINTELPRO-New Left, though the program itself straddled the line between the two official countersubversive frames that the FBI had utilized to this point. While not a hate group per se, by this point SDS engaged in confrontational political activities that, in some cases, advanced militant and even revolutionary goals. In this sense, the New Left fit with the “hate” template established in 1964 and used to justify actions against so-called white hate and black nationalist/hate groups. However, by the late 1960s certain New Left factions overtly worked toward anticapitalist goals and employed socialist rhetoric to justify particular actions, which fit with the more traditional, conspiracy-based subversive frame employed against the Communist Party. In the FBI’s official characterization of SDS, they prominently note the group’s affinity with the Communist Party, quoting the CP’s General Secretary as describing SDS as a part of the “responsible left [that we have] going for us” and an SDS spokesman as stating that “there are some Communists in SDS and they are welcome.”9 COINTELPRO-New Left, as the final and most fully-developed FBI COINTELPRO, clearly represents the transition in the official countersubversion frame employed by the bureau. Despite the fact that an organization such as SDS had documentable sympathies and connections to communist interests, its worthiness as a target was not justified through its attachment to a broad global leftist conspiracy, but was instead based on the immediate threat posed by its disruptive actions. From the FBI’s perspective, such a politicized threat justified a response that moved well beyond the investigation of violent or illegal activities engaged in by New Left adherents. Indeed, COINTELPRO-New Left was intended as a vehicle to eradicate the very existence of New Left action and ideology (Cunningham, 2000). However, identifying the frames constructed within the bureau is not sufficient to understand how such ideals led to particular outcomes against targets of counterintelligence actions. In the next section, we more explicitly examine how the structure of the bureau itself created a basis for field agents to employ ideas implicit within particular frames to initiate COINTELPRO actions. 9 This description of SDS was attached as an Appendix to each of the several hundred COINTELPRO-New Left memos dealing with the group. The latter claim refers to SDS’s then-controversial, early-1960s decision not to exclude CP members from its meetings and organization. Note also that, in several cases, agents expressly contrast SDS with the Communist Party to demonstrate the “unique” problems that the New Left posed from a counterintelligence perspective (see, for example, FBI Memo from Philadelphia to Director, 5/29/68). P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 359 ACTING AGAINST “WORTHY” TARGETS What consequences did these official frames have for those who were targeted within the COINTELPROs? We focus on two intra-organizational dynamics through which particular individuals and groups were repressed by the FBI. First, assumptions implicit within the hate-based frame led agents to target a much broader range of activists than those exhibiting illegal or otherwise violent political behavior. In the case of the program against “Black Nationalist-Hate Groups,” racist assumptions about black activists’ predilection for violence and criminal behavior made anyone active within the civil rights movement “worthy” of harassment and neutralization under COINTELPRO. As discussed above, the key issue here was the assumption of susceptibility; race itself became a signal of the potential for, on the one hand, manipulation by communist conspiracists, or, under the “hate” frame, a lack of self-control that would dissuade an individual from violent or disruptive political behavior.10 Class-based assumptions similarly allowed for the initiation of actions against even inactive Klan adherents under COINTELPRO-White Hate Groups. In this case, bureau agents frequently presented these Klan members as lacking the self-control required to avoid violent activities and therefore susceptible to subversive behavior at any point.11 But racist or other types of assumptions by agents were not the primary motor generating consistent action against the broad range of COINTELPRO targets. Instead, it is important to understand that the official frames developed by the directorate had significant implications for agents in the field. We have already seen how organizational control by the directorate was designed to yield a steady flow of COINTELPRO proposals, even in locations lacking consistent disruptive activity by targeted groups. In this context, field agents drew upon these deviance narratives centered on race or class to suggest that particular individuals were susceptible to subversive action and therefore worthy targets of COINTELPRO actions. This dynamic was perhaps clearest in the case of the New Left. As adherents 10 As an anonymous reviewer has pointed out, this conception of race as a “signal” of subversive behavior turns the usual conception of deviance on its head. Rather than behaviors being interpreted as deviant (or not) in part based on, say, the race of their perpetrators, race here becomes the primary signal of a predilection for certain types of deviant behavior. Within the unique organizational context of the FBI, race effectively became a highly salient proxy for subversion. We develop this argument in more detail below. 11 To illustrate the conception of Klansmen as susceptible to hate-type activities even in the absence of violent behavior, one FBI insider described the “typical Klansman” as “ignorant, prejudiced, hungry for power, frustrated, brutal, convinced that he is persecuted, and highly responsive to pseudo-dramatic oaths and rituals. He is commonly credited with a low-average or below-average intelligence. He has an obsessive interest in firearms” (quoted in Overstreet and Overstreet, 1969:307). P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 360 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning of SDS and other antiwar or countercultural groupings were primarily white and middle-class, field agents targeted individuals based on their religious affiliation or perceived sexual orientation. In an environment where field agents had considerable incentive to justify counterintelligence actions even in the absence of political activity by identified targets, such characteristics served as primary determinants of “worthy” targets. The fact that most members of the New Left looked a lot like FBI agents themselves (in terms of demographic makeup at least)12 made it difficult to explain deviant behaviors as resulting from observable characteristics perceived as deficient. This created difficulties in defining the New Left itself, as well as in constructing a deviance narrative that could explain why so many of the nation’s college students seemed sympathetic to the ideas of prominent New Left organizations such as SDS. To reconcile the latter issue, the directorate began suggesting that only the small cadre of leaders at the center of New Left organizations was actually deviant; other members were “deceived” into following these leaders. This lesson was clearly stated in dozens of bureau memos emphasizing that New Left students, irrespective of their level of support on campus, “do not and will never represent the student body” (see, for example, FBI Memo from Newark to Director, 6/11/68; Sacramento to Director, 5/31/68). The bureau’s position here was perhaps best illustrated by another memo from the Newark field office, which, in response to a 10-student sit-in at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey in May, 1970, proposed to send the institute’s president a reprint of an anti-New Left article, attaching the following warning: “It begins with 10 like a deadly spore and soon the whole campus is infected with an incurable affliction. Don’t give in to a vocal minority that wants agitation for agitation [sic] sake” (FBI Memo to Director, 5/26/70). Explaining away the New Left’s popular appeal (which, in fact, never constituted a majority opinion in any broad sense) was one thing, but bureau agents still needed to develop a viable deviance narrative around the small group of central actors who were “infecting” the masses. As we have 12 The most significant demographic distinction between FBI agents and New Leftists was, of course, age. The “generation gap” was left in full effect in this case, with agents frequently struggling to understand the values motivating New Left adherents. Often, this cultural gap played out in terms of outright derision of countercultural styles (the Newark SAC described a New Left publication as “a type of filth that could only originate in a depraved mind. . . . The experimental literature . . . contained 79 obscene terms referring to incest, sexuality, and biology, four dozen ‘cuss’ words and a dozen instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain” [FBI Memo to Director, 5/23/69]) or clumsy attempts to interpret New Leftist ideals (as when the Philadelphia SAC weighed in with the observation that “the emergence of the New Left on the American Scene has produced a new phenomenon—a yen for magic. Some leaders of the New Left, its followers, the Hippies and the Yippies, wear beads and amulets. . . . Selfproclaimed yogis have established a following in the New Left movement. Their incantations are a reminder of the chant of the witch doctor.” [FBI Memo to Director, 11/21/68]). We thank an anonymous reviewer for pointing out the importance of age here. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 361 seen above, Hoover and other members of the directorate defined classes of targets, but SACs had to look out into their local worlds and base their COINTELPRO proposals on observed signals of subversion. When particular New Left organizations were politically active, subversive behavior was obvious, but in the absence of activity, SACs needed to latch onto characteristics of targets to match the directorate’s view that these targets were in fact deviant. We see two characteristics emerge: Jewishness and homosexuality. The former characteristic was never developed in considerable depth, but was often used to explain the “spoiled” and “non-conformist” tendencies of various affluent college students. In a list of “criteria to identify New Left organizations and members,” the New York field office prominently included the fact that “a disproportionate number [of New Left adherents come] from a Jewish liberal background” (FBI Memo from New York to Director, 5/28/68). Used to greater effect was the bureau’s tendency to associate sexual “perversity” with radical political behavior. While there were some attempts to link New Left leaders with criminalized sexual acts such as child molestation (see FBI Memo from New York below), by far the most common strategy focused on homosexuality. Since some members of SDS were known to have engaged in homosexual practices, the FBI strategically implied that the entire leadership was gay even though this was obviously not true. The distinction was not important to FBI agents interested in “outing” members of SDS in order to make the whole group appear deviant, with homosexuality’s stigmatizing effect resonating with public attitudes of the time. Essentially, the FBI made use of the mainstream conception of homosexuality-as-pathology to paint male members of SDS as inferior, subordinate, retrograde, and primitive (Foucault, 1997; Rich, 1981).13 13 Any discussion of homosexuality within the New Left would be incomplete without dealing with the Weather Underground’s attempts to “smash monogamy” within political collectives in 1969 and beyond. Weatherman first emerged as a faction of SDS during the 1969 SDS National Convention, which was marred by internal conflicts and led to the splintering of the organization into multiple competing subgroups. One set of SDSers roughly aligned around a densely-worded essay calling for direct action against U.S. imperialism (titled, after the Bob Dylan lyric, “You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows”) broke away from what remained of the organization and began a campaign to “Bring the War Home” through direct action. The ideas advocated by Weatherman never developed a mass following, but 200 or so adherents retreated into collectives and later went underground to pursue their goals. Within the collectives, there was considerable emphasis on developing total dedication to the struggle, creating a context for sexual experimentation, including both male and female homosexual groupings (Collier and Horowitz, 1982; Grathwohl, 1976; Jacobs, 1997). While the FBI did seek to neutralize the Weather Underground through the COINTELPRO, they were not well-equipped to deal with this new type of target. Because agents didn’t have sufficient knowledge of Weatherman’ practices, and because they could easily zero in on their tangible illegal, violent, and “terroristic” Weather actions (including a series of bombings of “Establishment” sites), they made no effort to exploit these “deviant” sexual practices. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] 362 PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning The bureau, predictably, tried hard to connect such “deviant” personal behavior with an attraction to New Leftist political ideology. The New York field office made considerable efforts, including sending fake teletype messages, to link the Gay Liberation Front to the Venceremos Brigade, which sent American radicals to Cuba to cut sugarcane (see FBI Memo from New York to Director, 5/18/70). This field office also later informed university officials about a New Leftist faculty member’s “sexual liaison with his stepdaughter (Age 13)” (FBI Memo from Director to New York, 11/13/70) and distributed a leaflet “interject[ing] a little ‘black humor” into the New Left’s “studied seriousness . . . of the fight for homosexual rights” (FBI Memo from New York to Director, 7/24/70). In Philadelphia, agents “neutralized” a leading member of the CP youth by publicizing his homosexual activities (FBI Memo from Philadelphia to Director, 5/29/68). New Left women were dealt with in terms of their sexual behavior as well, through gendered stereotypes that viewed any taint to a woman’s chastity as deviant.14 The demonization of women due to the open expression of their sexuality played out in a variety of interesting ways, from an anonymous letter to the Los Angeles school board calling for a teacher’s ouster in part because of her apparent penchant for wearing “mini–mini skirts” (FBI Memo from Houston to Director, 6/25/68), to another anonymous letter focusing on an SDS member’s sexual activities and recently-contracted case of gonorrhea (FBI Memo from Detroit to Director, 10/29/69), to an almost-singular focus on SDS National Officer Bernardine Dohrn’s (later perhaps the most prominent member of the Weather Underground) flashy clothing and celebrity-like social—and, presumably, sexual—life. But the FBI’s handling of Dave Dellinger was the clearest case of defining sexual behavior as “perverse” and therefore a valid and effective attribute for use in discrediting a target involved in organized protest activity. Dellinger had long been known by the FBI for being active in leftist causes, and by the late-1960s was a leader of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (commonly known as “the Mobe,” but referred to by the FBI as the NMC). The directorate had evidence that he had been arrested in 1949 for what they labeled a “homosexual encounter in a men’s room,” and, within a month of the establishment of COINTELPRO-New Left, the directorate was prodding the Newark field office for information 14 The other consistent theme regarding female targets of COINTELPRO-New Left actions played upon their role as daughters, and more specifically the idea that they were easily manipulable by their parents, especially their fathers. This idea played out through a series of anonymous letters sent to fathers, encouraging them to convince their daughters to leave SDS (see, for example, FBI Memos from Detroit to Director, 4/18/69, 11/26/69, and 10/29/69; Director to all field offices, 7/5/68; Jacksonville to Director, 4/17/70; Director to Washington Field Office, 4/11/69). P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 363 about Dellinger, who was living in the Newark area at the time (see FBI Memo from Director to Newark, 6/10/68). On the same day as the directorate’s request, the SAC in the Newark office responded with a proposal to provide an FBI-approved source at the New York Daily News with publishable information about Dellinger’s 1949 arrest. Within the text of the proposal, the SAC clearly spelled out its overall function (and limits), recognizing that “while, unfortunately, standards of morality among some of the New Left movement are rejected as anachronistic, it may serve as a deterrent to some otherwise naive youths to know of the perversion of the Pied Piper of Protestors for Peace [i.e., Dellinger]” (FBI Memo from Newark to Director, 6/10/68). A few months later, the New York office began a campaign to discredit Dellinger, with a major focus again on the “perversity” of his sexual orientation (agents were apparently not dissuaded by the fact that Dellinger was by this time married with several children). On January 21, 1969, the SAC in the New York office proposed that the field office mail an anonymous “newsletter” to New Left individuals and organizations ridiculing the NMC generally, but with a special focus on Dellinger’s physical presence—at a demonstration speech, he looked “pale and more fairy-like than ever” and “chirped” in his “usual high-pitched voice.” The newsletter also included an illustration of Dellinger putting “a finger in his mouth and suck[ing] it reflectively.” This proposal was authorized 3 days later, as was a follow-up “ridicule-type” newsletter designed to encourage Dellinger’s removal from NMC leadership and focusing on Dellinger “fluttering his pinkies like a bird ready for flight” (see FBI Memo from New York to Director, 6/18/69; Director to New York, 6/24/69). But the most blatant attempt to “expose” Dellinger’s sexual orientation came in February, 1969, when the New York office proposed to anonymously distribute a leaflet designed to “ridicule” Dellinger and provoke a conflict between the NMC and the group CO-AIM (the Coalition for an Anti-Imperialist Movement). This leaflet depicted a “Pick the Fag Contest,” with a photo of Dave Dellinger as one of the choices (the others were photos of New Left luminaries Che Guevara, Mark Rudd, and Herbert Marcuse). The “official rules” instructed the reader to “simply pick the faggot from the following photos. Print your choice on the entry blank at the bottom of this page and pop it into the mail. YOU COULD EASILY WIN!” “Colossal prizes” included a trip to Hanoi, a weekend in a “genuine fire-damaged Columbia University dormitory,” and “500 rolls of red toilet tissue, each sheet bearing the picture of Chairman Mao in living color.” This proposal was carried out, and the New York office followed it up a full 4 months later by sending in 40 “contest entries,” each bearing the name and address of an P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 364 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning individual active in the New Left. The majority of these entries contained Dellinger’s name, and the goal here, according to the New York SAC, was to ensure that he was in fact the “winner” of the contest (FBI Memo from New York to Director, 6/30/69). This campaign to exploit the sexually deviant nature of particular groups underscores the point that agents needed to make use of notable characteristics of individuals to “explain” engagement in radical political activity. From the FBI’s perspective, adherence to the ideas of groups that were ideologically opposed to conventional values could stem from ignorance resulting from members’ racial or class status, or, in the absence of such marginalized characteristics, their engagement in some personal form of deviance, such as homosexuality. Publicizing the ideas and behaviors of these members made these groups somehow different from other, nonsubversive organizations. To the extent that emphasis on these deviant characteristics resonated with publicly accepted stigmatizing conventions, such efforts presumably furthered the bureau’s overall mission of discrediting its targets. Within the bureau itself, however, the emergence of these deviance narratives again created a basis for identifying worthy targets, even in the absence of specific protest activity. DISCUSSION In the preceding sections, we have described a process through which classes of individuals became targeted for repressive activity by the FBI. This process was complex, in the sense that it involved the transition from the ostensible repression of targets for their subversive activity to the later initiation of actions based directly on proxies for such subversion, namely personal characteristics. The process was also fundamentally organizational, in the sense that it was set in place by the directorate’s labeling of particular groups as targets based on an interpretive framework that defined subversion as tied to communist ideology or “hate” activities. To avoid organizational sanctions, each SAC had to demonstrate the worthiness of these targets at the local level, either through the targets’ actions or other observable signals of deviance. As both the directorate’s official frames and the stereotypes employed by agents to signal worthiness often had considerable resonance among the American public, exploiting these signals of deviance and subversiveness held considerable strategic value. Even if there is no truth in the assumption that, say, homosexuality creates a susceptibility to engage in subversive political activity, creating a public image that SDS leaders were gay certainly had some stigmatizing effect and potentially inhibited these groups’ ability P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 365 to mobilize a broad range of adherents.15 Further, given the fact that social control agencies are often attracted to the broad-brush logic described here (through which even peripheral adherents and sympathizers could be tainted as “deviant-by-association” with movement leaders), the impact of these repressive acts spreads well beyond their particular targets. The prevalence of this dynamic breaks down any straightforward assumption that only the most central or active members of social movement organizations are vulnerable to repression or stigmatization, or that efforts to apply such stigma directly result from targets’ political activism. In the extreme, repressive responses by bureaucratic policing organizations become effectively dissociated from precipitating acts of protest, which may serve to create a broader chilling effect where sympathizers fear that even token public displays of support may have real consequences. While civil liberties advocates frequently cite anecdotal evidence to argue that the nature of police behavior ensures these sorts of chilling effects, our findings here provide more systematic insight into how and why such effects may result from counter-subversive efforts. Beyond the tangible impact of the FBI’s counterintelligence actions, we can focus on the significance of the process itself within the bureau. The dilemma often faced by SACs—how to construct local narratives that validate the directorate’s claim of targets’ deviance—is analogous to social psychological conceptions of cognitive dissonance (Brem and Cohen, 1962; Festinger, 1957), which posit that incompatible cognitive elements produce a psychologically uncomfortable feeling of dissonance and result in efforts to strategically reconcile competing stimuli. In the case of the FBI, the official frames advanced by the directorate—most significantly the idea that subversive threats take the form of “deadly spores” insidiously infecting the masses from within mainstream institutions—demanded that SACs propose counterintelligence actions even against suspect individuals and organizations that appeared benign in particular local areas. Agents in those areas needed to develop a strategy to handle inconsistencies between what they were told and what they witnessed taking place. The common strategy (as noted above) involved formulating a deviance narrative that made use of observable 15 The resonance of the stigma associated with characteristics exploited within the COINTELPRO extended to internal movement dynamics as well. One well-known example is that of Bayard Rustin, a central figure in the civil rights struggle from the 1930s through the 1960s and beyond. While Rustin at times had considerable influence on movement leaders, including A. Phillip Randolph and Martin Luther King Jr., he was frequently marginalized from the movement’s center due to his homosexuality (see Branch, 1988; D’Emilio, 2003; Kates and Singer, 2002). While Rustin’s sexual behaviors were distasteful to some within the movement, King himself pragmatically feared that public exposure of Rustin’s lifestyle could cause a backlash against the movement as a whole. Such fears were precisely what the FBI sought to exacerbate through the COINTELPRO proposals discussed above, and the more general association of individual behaviors with the subversive potential of entire organization was remarkably similar to the process by which FBI agents constructed worthy targets. P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 18:46 366 Style file version June 4th, 2002 Cunningham and Browning characteristics to signal the potential for subversive political activity. In this case, agents’ efforts to reconcile their observations with the directorate’s assertions were driven by organizationally produced incentives. Achieving status (or escaping reprimand) motivated agents to develop durable strategies that allowed them to recognize subversion even in the absence of political activity. Indeed, similar processes involving workers’ selective and strategic employment of information to yield organizationally desired outcomes have been found in other institutions, from local police investigative units to school discipline offices (Bowditch, 1993; Waegel, 1981). Such cases—where workers construct and draw upon typifications of settings within which individuals engage in criminal or otherwise deviant behaviors—emerge within bureaucratic organizations that view the achievement of valued ends as a given product of workers’ efforts and abilities. Organizational demands generate incentives to reproduce the ideals flowing from above or—in settings where workers have considerable discretion in the field ( as do beat officers or school disciplinary officials)—to maintain the steady flow of completed cases (arrests, suspensions, etc.) that demonstrates capable performance and facilitates workers’ advancement within the organization. Most generally, our perspective here takes seriously Noakes’s (2000) call to examine the construction of official frames produced by power-holding bodies. Using the case of the FBI, we show how central actors within the bureau produced and promoted a distinct theory of subversion that was employed against perceived communist threats over the bulk of the twentieth century. We also demonstrate how a distinct, hate-based frame emerged in the mid-1960s and provided the FBI with the autonomy to target domestic groups as subversive threats to national security. Significantly, we move beyond a description of these official frames to demonstrate how their consequences are tied to organizational processes. In the case of COINTELPRO, tangible repressive acts were a result of a negotiated process through which agents in the field drew upon particular deviance narratives to validate the official frames generated at the top of the FBI hierarchy. Our findings point to the importance of considering such intra-organizational negotiations to understand the mechanisms through which interpretive schema have observable connections to the outcomes of contentious political interactions. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank the participants in the session of the 2001 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA, at which this P1: JLS Sociological Forum [sofo] PP1332-sofo-493904 September 21, 2004 Official Frames and Deviance Narratives Within the FBI 18:46 Style file version June 4th, 2002 367 paper was first presented. We are grateful as well to the late Rachel Rosenfeld for suggesting that we pursue the topic, and Cheryl Kingma-Kiekhofer, Kirsten Moe, Anastasia Norton, Ben Phillips, Laura Regis, three anonymous reviewers, and Sociological Forum editor Robert Max Jackson for their useful comments on the previous version. 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