, Volume 42, Issue 3-4, pp 220-234

Social Change Movements and the Struggle Over Meaning-Making: A Case Study of Domestic Violence Narratives

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Abstract

Social movement theorists have emphasized the important role of meaning-making for social change movements (e.g., D. A. Snow and R. D. Benford, 1992, In: A. D. Morris & C. M. Mueller (Eds.) Frontiers in social movement theory. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp 133–155; C. M. Mueller, 1992, In: A. D. Morris & C. M. Mueller (Eds.) Frontiers in social movement theory. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp 3–26). Using the domestic violence movement as a case study, this study undertakes a close analysis of advocates’ narratives about the phenomenon of domestic violence. This analysis sheds light on the current status of the movement as a social change movement attempting to promote alternative understandings of domestic violence as a social, rather than individual, problem. Study findings provide some evidence that the domestic violence movement has become increasingly de-politicized by documenting a range of narratives that convey an apolitical, degendered, individual-level analysis of domestic violence.