Tag Archives: Framing

Threat and Mobilization or Perception and Action

By Aliza Luft

Adrien Nemoz was 21 years old when his friends told him in horror that a stained-glass portrait of Marshal Pétain, the French Vichy regime’s authoritarian leader, was hanging in a chapel across the Fourvière Basilica. A tall, imposing Church overlooking Lyon, the Fourvière was seen by many as the moral center of the city. For Nemoz and his peers, it was unconscionable that a tribute to Pétain would hang in this holy place. After all, only several months earlier Pétain had agreed to an armistice with Hitler, resulting in the Nazi occupation of half of France. Something had to be done.

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The Rashomon Effect in Three Headlines/Stories

We are familiar with framing effects, and aware that different news media use headlines and content to frame stories differently.  Christian Davenport recently explored the issue in some depth in his 2010 book.  Over the weekend a very nice illustration of this problem unfolded with respect to the Standing Rock (Sioux) Tribe’s #NoDAPL protests against the North Dakota Access Pipe Line being built by Energy Transfer Partners with the support of the US Army Corps of Engineers North Dakota.

Writing for the Associated Press, James MacPherson (@MacPhersonJA) used the “balanced and objective” passive voice construction so prized by the Western news outlets that grew dominant during the mid 20th Century.  Here is an image of his story published by ABC News.


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Informing Activists: How do I talk about my cause?

David Snow

How do I talk about my cause?

Recommended Readings:


Snow, David A., E. Burke Rochford, Steven K. Worden and Robert D. Benford. 1986. “Frame Alignment Processes, Micromobilization, and Movement Participation.” American Sociological Review 51(4):464-81.


Snow, David A. 2004. “Framing Processes, Ideology, and Discursive Fields.” Pp. 380-412 in The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, edited by D. A. Snow, S. A. Soule and H. Kriesi. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher.

David Snow, Robert Benford, Holly McCammon, Lyndi Hewitt, and Scott Fitzgerald. 2014. The Emergence, Development, and Future of the Framing Perspective: 25+ Years Since “Frame Alignment”. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 19(1):23-46


Gustav Brown. 2014. Does Framing Matter? Institutional Constraints on Framing in Two Cases of Intrastate Violence. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 19(2):143-164.

We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Informing Activists

Protestors and their Targets

By William A. Gamson

When I think about the distinction between members and challengers, I think of the differences in the adversarial relationship with the target of change. Challengers necessarily have an adversarial relationship with their target who does not recognize them as a legitimate spokesperson for some constituency. Members have a more ambivalent and mixed relationship. Representatives of the target are willing to sit down with them and discuss issues but it remains to be seen whether this leads to genuine change or is simply an attempt at cooptation. The task, for analysts, is to do justice to the variable nature of this relationship and to its changes over time. Continue reading

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From Science to Justice: What Explains Framing Shifts in Climate Activism?

By Jennifer Hadden

Climate activism seems to be everywhere: from the wheat fields of Nebraska, to the halls of the United Nations, to university campuses all over the world. The massive People’s Climate March in November, 2014 brought more than 300,000 people to the streets of New York. Big events are also being planned for the next UN climate meeting in Paris, along with continued pressure in capitals, universities, cities, and corporations all over the world.

Hadden post, photo1

Source: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque Available at: http://www.thenation.com/article/178242/occupy-climate-justice#


In my recent book on international climate activism, I argue that one of the big developments in climate activism has been a shift in the way that activists are framing the climate issue. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Global Climate Movement

Text as Data: A Call to Standardize Access and Training

Text as Fist

By Laura K. Nelson

Data come in all shapes and sizes, but in the past ten years we have seen huge leaps in the amount of data readily available in the form of unstructured or semi-structured text. This presents both opportunities and challenges for social science researchers, including social movements scholars.

Two sources of text-as-data have long been staples in social movements research: newspapers and organizational literature. Newspapers have been used as the basis for event counts (e.g., here, here, and here), as a measurement of movement frames, and as a movement outcome (e.g., here and here). Organizational literature is often used to show that the way social movements themselves express ideas is critical to their success (e.g. here, here, and here). Continue reading


Filed under Essay Dialogues, Social Movement Data

Mass Violence, Ethnic Competition, and Social Movement Scholarship

For some time social scientists that study mass violence, right wing and repressive social movements, and interethnic and interracial competition have analyzed similar collective phenomena using quite different theoretical frameworks. Inattention to theoretical overlaps across these subfields has not prevented scholars within them from generating robust findings and insights, but it has hampered efforts toward the development of a broader synthetic research agenda on social movements, violence, and social control. This inattention is particularly important given the recent movement of scholarship on mass violence and racial/ethnic competition toward meso- and micro-levels of analysis, placing them squarely within the territory of social movement scholarship (Collins 2008; Cunningham 2012, 2013; Karstedt 2013; King 2004; Owens et al. 2013; Tilly 2003).

My research addresses these issues by focusing on the role of collective action in constructing, defending, or transforming structures of racial, ethnic, and political inequality. Specifically, I focus on the mobilization of social control efforts by nominal power holders against disadvantaged groups, and seek to extend macro-level theories of interethnic competition and group threat by specifying the meso-level mechanisms that mobilize or demobilize adherents across divergent social environments. Continue reading

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Filed under Emerging Stars in Social Movement Research, Essay Dialogues