Monro, Surya (2006) Ordering sexuality: new institutionalism and equalities work in local government. In: British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 21st - 23rd April 2006, Harrogate, UK. (Unpublished)

Recent statutory and policy changes have raised the profile of lesbian, gay and bisexual equalities initiatives within the local government
arena. These initiatives are increasingly developed and delivered via interagency partnerships, which order sexualities work in particular
ways. Sexualities equalities work in local government has historically been the site of controversy and of fluid, sometimes difficult
insider/outsider relationships. These dynamics have now changed, given a more hospitable environment in at least some localities, and a
normalisation of equalities work in this field nationally. However, sexualities equalities initiatives continue to highlight the divergences and
tensions associated with community engagement and organisational cultural change in a sensitive area of work. This paper applies
concepts from the sociological branch of new institutionalism to the field of sexualities equalities partnership work in local government,
drawing on findings from a large empirical project. Notions of norms, ritual, templates and isomorphism all have purchase in this
value-laden field, providing insight into the organisational dynamics associated with interagency and partnership working. The paper
introduces the notion of institutional hybridisation as a means of understanding the collaborative, and sometimes conflicting and unstable,
processes associated with governance in the field of sexualities equalities work.

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