71 Soc. F. 677 (1992-1993)
Frame Disputes within the Nuclear Disarmament Movement

handle is hein.journals/josf71 and id is 693 raw text is: Frame Disputes within the Nuclear
Disarmament Movement*
ROBERT D. BENFORD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Abstract
Social movement organizations (SMOs) devote considerable effort to constructing
particular versions of reality, developing and espousing alternative visions, and attempting
to affect various audiences' interpretations. Conflicts regarding such interpretive matters,
referred to as frame disputes, are ubiquitous within movements. Using a multimethod
strategy, this study analyzes the dynamics of interorganizational frame disputes within the
nuclear disarmament movement, including their organizational and ideological contexts,
conditions conducive to their emergence, patterns observed, and their effects. Three generic
types of disputes are identified and elaborated: diagnostic, prognostic, and frame resonance
disputes. Of the 51 disputes observed, all but two involved SMOs from two or more
different movement factions. More disputes occurred between the movement's most
moderate and radical factions than between other factions. Intramural conflicts were both
detrimental and facilitative of the disarmament movement and its SMOs.
In the most extensive review to date of social movement literature, McAdam,
McCarthy and Zald (1988) conclude that we know little about the dynamics of
collective action past the emergence of a movement (728). Until recently, even
less was known about grievance interpretation and communication processes, the
essence of movement dynamics. Scholars have begun to address this lacuna by
attending to various movement interpretive processes including public discourse
(Gamson 1988; Gamson & Modigliani 1989; Steinberg 1989), frame alignment
(Benford 1987; Snow & Benford 1988,1992; Snow et al. 1986), grievance interpreta-
tion and reality construction (Benford & Hunt 1992; Ferree & Miller 1985; Gusfield
1981; Klandermans 1992; Mauss 1975; Tarrow 1992; Turner & Killian 1987), and
collective identity (Friedman & McAdam 1992; Gamson 1991; Hunt 1991; Hunt &
Benford 1994; Melucci 1980, 1985, 1988, 1989; Pizzorno 1978; Taylor & Whittier
1992).
* This is a revised version of a paper presented at the annual meetings oftheMidwestSociological
SocietyApril6-91989, inSt.Louis.Iamgrateful to ScottA.HuntMichelleHughesMiller David
A. Snow, and two anonymous reviewers for their advice and comments on earlier drafts. Please
direct correspondence to the author at the Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-
Lincoln, 703 Oldfather Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0324.

0 The University of North Carolina Press

Social Forces, March 1993, 71(3):677-701

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