Collective Action Frames, Advocacy Organizations, and Protests Over Same-Sex Marriage

Lauren Copeland, Ariel Hasell, Bruce Bimber


Although new theories of collective action in the contemporary media environment have provided an expanded view of the structure of action, important questions remain. These questions include how action frames flow between advocacy organizations and individuals on social media, especially in cases in which organizations do not initiate collective action. To address this question, we used Granger tests to analyze roughly 800,000 tweets about a competing boycott and buycott campaign that occurred in 2012. We found that the conversation about the campaigns began postbureaucratically (i.e., through citizen networks). Although organizations’ involvement was associated with increased citizen attention to the campaigns, the organizations neither adopted nor influenced citizen frames on the issue. We view this as an illustration of the variable and sometimes unpredictable role of organizations in communication about collective action today.


collective action, social media, same-sex marriage, boycott, political consumerism, Twitter

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