By implication, movements as well as the institutions and counter-movements they oppose, are engaged most fundamentally in struggles over meaning. (Stewart, Smith, and Denton, Persuasion and Social Movements, Prospect Heights, IL, 1994.) The social scientists and historians who view movement struggles rhetorically tend to join with self-styled rhetoricians in focusing on the dynamics of meaning-making: how movement actors choose from among the available means of persuasion; how these rhetorical resources change over time; how conflicts between opposing forces get played out symbolically; how symbolically reconstituted realities function to achieve other goals; how they also impel and constrain subsequent rhetorical choices. (Jasper, The Art of Moral Protest, Chicago, 1997)


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