Which Identity Frames Boost Support for and Mobilization in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement? An Experimental Test

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has organized hundreds of disruptive protests in American cities since 2013 (Garza 2014; Harris 2015; Taylor 2016). The movement has garnered considerable attention from the U.S. media and is well recognized by the U.S. public (Horowitz and Livingston 2016; Neal 2017). Social movement scholars suggest that such robust mobilizations are typically predicated on clear social movement frames (Benford and Snow 2000; Snow et al. 1986). Tillery (2019b) has identified several distinct message frames within the social media communications of BLM activists. In this paper, we use a survey experiment to test the effect of three of these frames-Black Nationalist, Feminist, and LGBTQ+ Rights-on the mobilization of African Americans. We find that exposure to these frames generates differential effects on respondents' willingness to support, trust, canvass, and write representatives about the Black Lives Matter movement. These findings raise new questions about the deployment of intersectional messaging strategies within movements for racial justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-962
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume114
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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