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Contending Stories: Narrative in Social Movements

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Abstract

Study of stories and storytelling in social movements can contribute to our understanding of recruitment that takes place outside formal movement organizations; social movement organizations' ability to withstand strategic setbacks; and movements' impacts on mainstream politics. This paper draws on several cases to illuminate the yields of such study and to provide alternatives to the overbroad, uncritical, and astructural understandings of narrative evident in some recent writings. It also urges attention to the role of literary devices in sociological analyses of collective action.

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Polletta, F. Contending Stories: Narrative in Social Movements. Qualitative Sociology 21, 419–446 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023332410633

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