Metaphors of Protest: A Classification of Motivations for Collective Action

Martijn van Zomeren*, Russell Spears

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)
    8 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This article proposes a classification of motivations for collective action based in three of Tetlock's (2002) metaphors of social functionalism (i.e., people as intuitive economists, politicians, and theologians). We use these metaphors to map individual- and group-based motivations for collective action from the literature onto the distinction between individuals who are strongly or weakly identified with their social group. We conclude that low identifiers can be best understood as intuitive economists (supported by both early and recent work on collective action), whereas high identifiers can be best thought of as intuitive politicians or theologians (as recent work on social identity has started to explore). Interestingly, our classification reveals a remarkable lack of attention for the intuitive theologian's motivation for collective action. We therefore develop new hypotheses for future research, and derive recommendations for policy and practice from our analysis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)661-679
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Social Issues
    Volume65
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • SOCIAL IDENTITY
    • IN-GROUP
    • RESOURCE MOBILIZATION
    • RELATIVE DEPRIVATION
    • GROUP IDENTIFICATION
    • POWER RELATIONS
    • MORAL IDENTITY
    • STRATEGIC SIDE
    • OUT-GROUP
    • PARTICIPATION

    Cite this