Framing theory in social movements is an analytical tool for examining the symbols, slogans, and underlying messages that provide the public with a way to interpret, or frame, a movement resonant with the host culture. The questions I pursue: Looking at how frame resonance varies between movements on the same issue, is there a difference in the movement’s success and failures based on use of different frames? Do frames matter? Using qualitative content analysis as a method and framing theory as an analytical perspective to guide the method, I examine the frames of five movement organizations protesting femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Multiple datasets were triangulated to provide greater qualitative validity, along with a coding strategy that utilized grounded theory to allow for maximum control of coder bias. Organizations using frames with lower cultural resonance did not have success on the scale of the organization that used resonant frames, and in some cases caused conflict between local and international anti-femicide movements operating in Ciudad Juarez.


Femicide, Content Analysis, Social Movements, Social Protest, Framing, Constant Comparison

Author Bio(s)

Chelsea Starr has a BA in Anthropology from UCLA, An MA in Comparative Culture from U.C. Irvine, and a PhD in Social Relations (Sociology) from U.C. Irvine. She is interested in the intersection of social movements and culture. She has been teaching Sociology for 20 years, and is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at Eastern New Mexico University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Dr. Chelsea Starr, Department of Sociology-ENMU Station 19, 1500 S. Ave K, Portales, NM 88130; Email: chelsea.starr@enmu.edu.

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