What effect does strategic frame adaptation have on movement continuation and popularity? Using a comprehensive online dataset from three North American cities, we show how SlutWalk’s continuous strategic adaptation of frames in response to criticisms and changing political and social climates has influenced its popularity over the past three years. SlutWalk’s initial “Shame-Blame” and “Slut Celebration” frames conveyed powerful messages that catalyzed protests and generated outrage mostly from young feminists during its formative phase. However, meanings of the term “slut” varied widely across racial, cultural, and generational contexts, causing the “Slut Celebration” frame to be problematic for some micro-cohorts of feminists and leading to a decline in protest participation after initial enthusiasm waned. The campaign responded to the criticisms by minimizing the use of the word “slut” and emphasizing the more transnationally resonant “Shame-Blame” and “Pro-sex, Pro-consent frames,” resulting in increased participation and continued prominence of the SlutWalk across North America.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 2014, San Francisco, CA. We thank Patrick Coy and five anonymous reviewers for their extensive comments on the manuscript, and Jo Reger for her help with the initial conceptualization of the project.
Maginot, K.B. and Chaudhuri, S. (2015), "“No Shaming This Slut”:
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