Conceptualising organisational cultural lag: Marriage equality and Australian sport

Keith Parry, Ryan Storr, Emma Kavanagh, Eric Anderson

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This article develops a theoretical framework to understand how sexuality can be institutionalised through debates about marriage equality. We first examine 13 Australian sporting organisations concerning their support for marriage equality and sexual minority inclusion before showing they drew cultural capital from supporting episodes of equality exogenous to their organisation, while failing to promote internal inclusion. We use online content analysis alongside the identification of institutional speech acts within policy to analyse results through three conceptual lenses: Ahmed’s institutional diversity work, Ogburn’s cultural lag, and Evan’s organisational lag, from which we propose a hybrid – organisational cultural lag – as a theoretical tool within social movement theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-1008
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Australia
  • cultural lag
  • discrimination
  • organisational culture
  • sexuality
  • social movements
  • sport

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