The 2017 Women’s March on Washington: An Analysis of Protest-Sign Messages

Kirsten Weber, Tisha Dejmanee, Flemming Rhode


To identify movement member-generated action frames, 695 protest-sign messages from the January 21, 2017, Women’s March on Washington were analyzed thematically. The analysis revealed that personalized action frames were evident in the organizational framing of the protest on through the diverse and broadly defined “unity principles,” and in five additional action frames that emerged spontaneously at the march: (1) unity, (2) women as powerful agents of resistance, (3) reappropriating pussy and words for the vagina, (4) criticisms of Trump, and (5) defining and critiquing feminism. Implications for social movement research and for the study of collective and personalized action frames are discussed.


feminism, social movement, protest, Women’s March on Washington, action frames, communication

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