Social Change Movements and the Struggle Over Meaning-Making: A Case Study of Domestic Violence Narratives

Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 601 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.
American Journal of Community Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 10/2008; 42(3-4):220-34. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-008-9199-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Social movement theorists have emphasized the important role of meaning-making for social change movements (e.g., D. A. Snow and R. D. Benford, 1992, In: A. D. Morris & C. M. Mueller (Eds.) Frontiers in social movement theory. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp 133-155; C. M. Mueller, 1992, In: A. D. Morris & C. M. Mueller (Eds.) Frontiers in social movement theory. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp 3-26). Using the domestic violence movement as a case study, this study undertakes a close analysis of advocates' narratives about the phenomenon of domestic violence. This analysis sheds light on the current status of the movement as a social change movement attempting to promote alternative understandings of domestic violence as a social, rather than individual, problem. Study findings provide some evidence that the domestic violence movement has become increasingly de-politicized by documenting a range of narratives that convey an apolitical, degendered, individual-level analysis of domestic violence.

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