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Meaning Making in Protest Situations

thesis
posted on 2015-04-22, 00:00 authored by Justin Van Ness
This article draws from active participant ethnographic fieldwork with a new religious movement and a microsociological perspective to better understand bystander recruitment. Specifically, I shift focus from the individual to the situation to explore dynamic influences on bystanders' assessments of protest situations organized around two issues: attempts to 'reclaim' the clitoris in order to liberate women's sexuality and their use of the swastika inside the Star of David as their group's religious symbol. Integrating cultural sociology and social psychology, I demonstrate processes of meaning-making that occur as bystanders enter protest situations and that mediate their engagement with the protests: (1) spatial dynamics as they mediate emotions and cognitions; (2) the presence of potentially polluting symbols; and (3) the consequences of emotional inconsistencies. Results not only extend our understanding of bystander recruitment, especially unexpected variation, but also demonstrate the value of an analytic shift away from the individual toward the protest situation and processes of meaning-making.

History

Date Modified

2017-06-05

Research Director(s)

Erika Summers-Effler

Committee Members

Mary Ellen Konieczny Terry McDonnell Kraig Beyerlein

Degree

  • Master of Arts

Degree Level

  • Master's Thesis

Language

  • English

Alternate Identifier

etd-04222015-091642

Publisher

University of Notre Dame

Program Name

  • Sociology

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