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8 Andrews - White Flight Schools in Mississippi 911...

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“White Flight” Schools in Mississippi © The University of North Carolina Press Social Forces , March 2002, 80(3):911-936 Movement–Countermovement Dynamics and the Emergence of New Institutions: The Case of “White Flight” Schools in Mississippi* K ENNETH T. A NDREWS , Harvard University Abstract This article examines the foundation of private segregationist academies that emerged throughout the U.S. South in the wake of court-ordered desegregation. I focus on the state of Mississippi where private academies grew dramatically from 1969 to 1971. I provide an analytic history of civil-rights and school-desegregation conflicts in Mississippi, and I use OLS models to examine county-level variation in local support for private academies during this period. My analysis shows that the formation of academies occurs as a response to desegregation (1) when there is a credible threat that desegregation will be implemented (implicitly signaling the “success” of the movement); (2) when blacks have the organizational capacity to make claims and voice protest within newly desegregated schools; and (3) when whites have the organizational capacity to resist desegregation. These three specifications extend models of racial competition that have been used to explain white countermobilization. I argue that the establishment of academies was a countermovement strategy that flowed out of the prior history of organized white resistance to the civil-rights movement. In other words, whites were not only responding to court intervention and the proportion of African Americans in their community, but to the social movement mobilization of that community. Students of social movements, public policy, and political conflict have all at- tempted to analyze the dynamics of countermobilization. Under what conditions * This research was supported by a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant (SBER-9625597). Jenny Irons, Melanie Peele, and Robyn Ryle compiled much of the data on private school enrollments reported here. I benefited from comments on this manuscript by Michael Biggs, Irene Bloemraad, Melissa Bolyard, Mariko Chang, Christian Davenport, Lisa Handler, Anna Linders, Peter Marsden, Ziad Munson, Shuva Paul, Kurt Schock, Michael Schwartz, Alex Trillo, Mary Vogel, Charlie Zicari, and Bob Zussman. Direct correspondence to Kenneth Andrews, Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138. E - mail: [email protected]
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912 / Social Forces 80:3, March 2002 do groups mobilize against new policies? The implementation of school desegre- gation in the 1970s is a classic case of a policy that met popular resistance in many communities throughout the U.S. In this article, I examine the pattern of white resistance to school desegregation in Mississippi. Resistance took a distinctive form — the emergence of a system of segregationist private academies.
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