1st Edition

The Rhetoric of Social Movements Networks, Power, and New Media

Edited By Nathan Crick Copyright 2020
    326 Pages
    by Routledge

    326 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection provides an accessible yet rigorous survey of the rhetorical study of historical and contemporary social movements and promotes the study of relations between strategy, symbolic action, and social assemblage.

    Offering a comprehensive collection of the latest research in the field, The Rhetoric of Social Movements: Networks, Power, and New Media suggests a framework for the study of social movements grounded in a methodology of "slow inquiry" and the interconnectedness of these imminent phenomena. Chapters address the rhetorical tactics that social movements use to gain attention and challenge power; the centrality of traditional and new media in social movements; the operations of power in movement organization, leadership, and local and global networking; and emerging contents and environments for social movements in the twenty-first century. Each chapter is framed by case studies (drawn from movements across the world, ranging from Black Lives Matter and Occupy to Greek anarchism and indigenous land protests) that ground conceptual characteristics of social movements in their continuously unfolding reality, furnishing readers with both practical and theoretical insights.

    The Rhetoric of Social Movements will be of interest to scholars and advanced students of rhetoric, communication, media studies, cultural studies, social protest and activism, and political science.

    1 From Cosmopolis to Cosmopolitics: The Rhetorical Study of Social Movements

    Nathan Crick

    Section 1: Tactics of Rhetorical Advocacy

    2 The Assembling of a March: Rhetorics of the Farm Workers’ 1966 Pilgrimage

    José G. Izaguirre III and Josue David Cisneros

    3 Spatial Activism: The Democratization of Unruly Spaces

    Joshua D Atkinson

    4 Video-Activism and Small-Scale Resistance: The Visual Rhetoric of Youtube Videos by the Greek Anarchist Group Rouvikonas

    Anastasia Veneti and Stamatis Poulakidakos

    5 Strategic Storytelling: "Our Home" Narratives of Occupy Homes

    Amy Pason

    6 Confrontational and Intersectional Rhetoric: Black Lives Matter and the Shutdown of the Hernando De Soto (I-40) Bridge

    Andre E. Johnson

    7 Intersectional Revisionist History: The Rhetoric of Ecuadorian Communist Feminist Nela Martínez Espinosa

    Diana Isabel Martínez

    Section 2: Mobilizing New Media

    8 Memes in Social Movement 2.0: #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory and the Ouster of Conservative Education "Reformers" in Colorado

    Christina R. Foust, PhD and Craig Weathers, MA

    9 Affective Winds, De-Centered Knots of World-Making, and Tracing Force: Thinking Activism in Chinese Protests

    Elizabeth Brunner and Kevin M. DeLuca

    10 Social Movements, Media, and Discourse: Using Social Media to Challenge Racist Policing Practices and Mainstream Media Representations

    Roslyn M. Satchel and Nicole Veronica Bush

    11 Fan-Based Social Movements: The Harry Potter Alliance and the Future of Online Activism

    Ashley Hinck

    Section 3: Power in Networks

    12 Performing Embodied Collectivity: Organizing LGBTQ Activists at Camp Courage

    Erin J. Rand

    13 The Significance of the Radical Flank: The Role of GetEQUAL in the Marriage Equality Movement

    Dana Cloud

    14 Analogical Arguments: Bridging Trans Social Movements and the Civil Rights Movement

    Jessica A. Kurr and Isaac West

    15 Voice Infrastructures and Alternative Imaginaries: Indigenous Social Movements Against Neocolonial Extraction

    Mohan J. Dutta and Ngā Hau

    Section 4: Emerging Contexts

    16 Viral Mythologies: The Movement to Decriminalize HIV

    Jeffrey Bennett

    17 Motherhood & Environmental Justice: Women’s Environmental Communication, Maternity, and the Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

    Christopher Scott Thomas

    18 Food Justice Advocacy Tours: Remapping Rooted, Regenerative Relationships through Denver’s "Planting Just Seeds"

    Constance Gordon, Phaedra C. Pezzullo, and Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish


    Nathan Crick is Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University. His publications include Dewey for a New Age of Fascism: Teaching Democratic Habits (2019), The Keys of Power: The Rhetoric and Politics of Transcendentalism (2017), Rhetorical Public Speaking: Civic Engagement in the Digital Age, 3rd edition (2019), Rhetoric and Power: The Drama of Classical Greece (2015), and Democracy and Rhetoric: John Dewey on the Arts of Becoming (2010).

    "If you hadn’t noticed, social protest is surging, times ripe and desperate for reinvigorated scholarship and teaching concerning the rhetoric of social movements. Nathan Crick has assembled a superb cast of rhetorical theorists and critics, many activists themselves, to reconsider the history of social movement scholarship in rhetorical studies and, through a variety of engaging case studies, explore its theory and praxis on the streets, now and into imagined futures. This excellent volume underscores that rhetoric and social movements, in every sense, matter."Charles E. Morris III, Professor and Chair of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University

    "Premised in assumptions and goals that both locate the rhetorical study of social movements in its disciplinary roots and take such scholarship in critical new direction, this collection is a critical addition to anyone interested in movement, protest, advocacy, or networks. Together, the generative case studies take readers across a range of local, regional, national, and international movements, or events, prompting a pause on the concept of movement and mandating a scholarly project that intervenes in critical social and political moments." – Lisa A. Flores, Associate Professor, University of Colorado