American Sociological Association

Measuring Resonance and Dissonance in Social Movement Frames With Affect Control Theory

We present a methodological innovation for analyzing archival data that involves the framing strategies from the failed 1980 Iowa Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). First, we conducted an archival analysis that suggested that pro-ERA groups used “frame resonance,” a strategy prominent in the social movement literature where activists align issues with ideologies. Meanwhile, anti-ERA groups used what we coin here as “frame dissonance” by depicting how passing the ERA clashed with ideologies. Next, we used affect control theory (ACT)’s Interact computer program to simulate how constituents likely responded to frames, given the distinct ideologies that existed during the time period. The simulations triangulated the archival analysis by (a) confirming our categorization of framing strategies as either resonance or dissonance and (b) identifying frame dissonance as potentially better for mobilizing than frame resonance. Our study demonstrates the value of Interact for triangulating archival analyses and adds a new framing strategy to the social movement literature.


stef m. shuster, Celeste Campos-Castillo





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