Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Andrew Deener; Nancy A. Naples

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Campus Access


Using data generated from participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and organizational archival materials, I seek to complicate the co-optation thesis in the social movement literature, which argues that the goals of indigenous grassroots groups become displaced as they become more professionalized and formalized. Alternatives to the co-optation thesis, I argue, over-determine the influence of state penetration and, therefore, do not fully consider the multi-directional ways in which influence between social movement organizations and the state flows. In contrast to monolithic conceptualizations of the “shadow state,” a parastate apparatus that emerged in the 1980s following welfare state restructuring, this study views the state as comprising multiple agencies, systems, and institutions that, at times, take on contradictory, competing, or corresponding positions. Viewing the state from this standpoint, I extend Trudeau’s (2008) relational and interactional framework of the shadow state by using Smith’s (2005) institutional ethnographic approach and drawing on Armstrong and Bernstein’s (2008) “multi-institutional politics” model. I explore in what ways non-profits can still challenge the state as they, paradoxically, become entangled in state incentives. My study highlights the multiple and overlapping relationships between True Colors—an LGBTQ identity-based, hybrid social service/advocacy organization—and the state in True Colors’ efforts to challenge the multisited nature of heteronormativity. In contrast to over-determined theories of state co-optation and monolithic conceptualizations of the shadow state, I find that True Colors is still able to pursue independent agendas when contracting with state agencies, as it seeks to “queer the state” in multiple directions by targeting multiple state institutions using specified strategies.

Major Advisor

Mary Bernstein