I think

I think

I think, ideology and framing both matters for facilitating and sustaining collective action. Ideology can be really powerful tool in driving collective action and political actors or social actors frame that (ideology) and present to people in a particular way. To support my statement, I will focus some arguments regarding this.
Ideology and framing are connected but not the same. Ideology is much broader context. Ideology is a set of ideas that are organised in a logical way explaining how the world should be organised. It teaches us a way of relating to reality, identifying problem with the existence and may be changing this existence based on what ideology presents (Oliver and Johnston, 2000). For example, the Marxists see everything through the lens of class. Nationalism as a concept does not exist for Marxism because they see it as a manipulation by the bourgeoisie of the working class. Marxist’s view is that, nationalism is used to divide people, to segregate people and it weaken the working class movement. Frames are often using this ideological framework to connect ideas and make something that is sellable to the public. It is like marketing some of the ideas that one can originally pick from the ideological context and frame them properly and sell them to the public. So framing is a very popular tool to look at political events, development of events and to frame this development using psychological and marketing tools. Framing is done by political actors. Movements arise when leaders can frame the issue in such a way that resonates with people’s emotions (week 5, October 16, 2018, p. 6). Framing inspire and legitimate the activities and campaigns of a social movement organization (week 5, October 16, 2018, p. 10). Framing is a powerful device for organizing one’s thinking and one needed to analyze social movements in terms of what frames they were using (William Gamson, Boston College, Framing, Social Movement Theory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JP4fQry3Us).
For a social movement or revolutionary movement to be successful, we need to have grievances, resources and frames, all three of them in place. Political conflict or social grievances helps to develop the foundation of social movement. The different types of motivations that drive people to join social movement is important. We see anger, dissatisfaction, changes in social equilibrium and political opportunity matters a lot. And then they need the resources so that they can use them to sustain the social movement for a longer time. And most importantly, they need the frame to allow the social movement to mobilize for collective action and to sustain that collective action. So resources alone are not enough. People will not join or influenced only because of material incentive or resources. Ideas and ideological motivations are becoming really powerful tools of keeping people for revolutionary movement and collective action. For that reason, we need leadership, we need people who are framing, educating and sharing the views.
Robert D. Benford and David Snow in their article “Framing Process and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment” showed the basic framing model (Benford and Snow, 2000). First, we need to have framing efforts of movements. Then the political actors need to frame the issue and find the frame that would resonate the message. And lastly hazard and vulnerabilities. So the frame being aligned and eventually the collective action happened. Though frame alignment is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition for mobilization and/or protest (Benford and Snow, 2000).
In Berntzen and Sandberg article, we see diagnostic, prognostic and motivational frame. Diagnostic frame is identifying the problem. Prognostic frame is finding the solution to the problem which we often find as political speeches, policy making or social movements where they focus on what needs to be done, what should be the steps or exact ideas of how this problem could be alleviated. And finally the motivational frame, the reason to act and people can act in different ways (Berntzen and Sandberg, 2014, p. 761). In this article, they argued that even though the motivational frame in the case of anti-Islamic social movement was not really calling for getting involved in armed conflict, but that particular frame allows certain space for interpretation. And that interpretation was used by Anders Behring Breivik (Berntzen and Sandberg, 2014). We can also see the motivational frame in the campaign of banning tobacco use in US in the 70s (Professor Maltseva, week 5, October 16).
So to facilitate and sustain collective action, I think ideology and framing both are really important and powerful tool and there should be strong connection linking between ideologies and framing to make the issue more appealable and logical to the people.
To answer the second part of the question, I think collective action cannot happen in the absence of ideological and/or framing processes because framing mobilize people for collective action. Though in sometimes framing fails to connect people’s expectation and eventually people do not joint in collective action, but in most cases we see how ideology and/or framing persuade them to join for collective action. Because ideological motivations are really powerful tools what the people are needed most for collective action. For that reason, intellectuals and political actors play an important role in this regard. Intellectuals come up with the ideological framework and political actors or social actors frame those ideologies to us in terms of presenting those frames in a particular way (Professor Maltseva, week 5, 16 October, 2018).
There should be credibility of the frames which includes frame consistency, empirical credibility and relative selling. That means frame should be realistic and to stand out certain issues to make them sell to the public. As a result, that produces active mobilization of the people.
For example, if we look at the 1960s civil rights movement in the USA, the grievances was the racial discrimination, segregation and unequal treatment in economic, political and social sphere. We see how unbalancing society produced sense of injustice and certain individual actions. And those individual actions then lead to subsequent events and the emergence of civil rights movement. They used different frames. There was a particular powerful message: “I have a dream….that one day this great nation shall live up to it’s creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” (Professor Maltseva, lecture 5, October 16, 2018). Diagnostic framing led the cognitive dissonance of reality and also prognostic frame like they need to fight for their rights. It also recognised changing culture as well as new allies. The decolonization process and independence movement all around the world has an influence on them. This movement also recognised Supreme Court’s new tone and Rosa Park’s protest and the spontaneous boycott as a triggering event. Triggering events often use as frames by political actors in collective action. They also used different strategies like peaceful civil disobedience, boycotts, sit-ins, rallies and confrontation to resist segregation and to send the message as long as possible (Professor Maltseva, week 5). It is not only about people’s active participation but also donating money to the cause. It is not like just being actively on the street but other different ways of communication took place. We saw more broadcasting of the problem of African American population on television. So we can see that media also seems to play very influential role in terms of how they present different social movements and collective action.
We see the use of the theory of non-violence by Martin Luther king Jr. (who was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi). Framing of this theory worked as an important tool in mobilizing people for collective action and fight against racial inequality. He was successful in motivating people about how non-violence theory work and unite them to mitigate the crisis. We can see similar example of non-violence movement in India. In both of these examples, collective action happened in the presence of ideological and/or framing processes.
We find another example of framing the collective action in the Egyptian revolution. In that event injustice focuses on economic issues like food prices, inflation and low wages. We see how US and Egyptian media framed that event and see that both the Egyptian and US government policy did influence media coverage of that particular event (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJfQavHLfsg).
In other words, frames are really useful instrument for collective action though there is also importance of counter framing, social networks and trust and sympathy among communities. We see that social movement or revolutionary movement always produces a counter movement. In a same way, we can see counter framing which highlight the weaknesses of the opposite frame. We find this in case of right and left wing political movements in Europe these days.
To summarize, I argued here that collective action cannot happen in the absence of ideological and/or framing processes. I showed the example of civil rights movement and the Egyptian revolution where framing worked. In other words, framing is done by political actors and it is an agency driven explanation to show how the collective action is facilitated.


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