Social movement rhetoric and the social psychology of collective action: a case study of anti-abortion mobilization

Nick Hopkins, Steve Reicher

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper seeks to contribute toward an integrated approach to social movement mobilization. It does so through considering how a social psychological account of the determination of collective behavior (self-categorization theory) may be applied to the mobilization rhetoric of social movements. More specifically it argues that as people may define themselves and act in terms of social categories, we may usefully conceive of social movement rhetoric as being organized so as to construct social category definitions which allow the activists' preferred course of action to be taken on by others as their own. Our theoretical argument is illustrated through the detailed analysis of category construction in contemporary U.K. anti-abortion argumentation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-286
    Number of pages26
    JournalHuman Relations
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

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