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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the use of narrative to understand the dynamics of social movements. More specifically, it examines how the strategic use of storytelling can shed light on the distinctly cultural obstacles that activists face in effecting change. After discussing the main approach to culture in movements, that of collective action framing, the article considers how a study of storytelling can help to account for the cultural and institutional constraints activists face in trying to develop persuasive messages. It then evaluates activists’ variable success in using stories as a persuasive tool and argues that the conditions of reception for narratives are unevenly distributed. Studying the structure of this unevenness, the article asserts, needs to be a part of cultural sociology.

Keywords: social movements, Narrative, storytelling, activists, culture, collective action framing, cultural sociology

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