Tweeting in Solidarity: Examining Frame Diffusion and Alignment Processes Among Immigrant-Serving NGOs Before and After Donald Trump’s Travel Ban

Wenlin Liu, Summer Harlow


Social media like Twitter have been widely adopted by advocacy organizations to communicate dissent and mobilize consensus during recent bouts of collective action. Viewing organizational discourse on Twitter as a strategic framing process, this study examines whether and how frames may converge among a diverse group of immigrant-serving organizations after a suddenly imposed grievance, Donald Trump’s travel ban, in January 2017. Topic modeling of tweet content identifies shifts in topics and frames in tweets by Asian, Hispanic, Black, and pan immigrant-serving organizations two months before and after the ban. In addition, a quantitative comparison of the number of shared hashtags and retweeted users also indicates a significant increase after the ban among certain, but not all, types of NGOs. We argue the postban Twitter discourse, hashtag use, and retweet behaviors across the immigrant groups suggest a frame alignment process aimed at communicating solidarity and building cross-group alliances that ultimately can help with intersectional mobilization.


activism, collective action framing, immigration, NGOs, social media

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