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SOCI 386 (5)

movements and media as interacting systems gamson.docx

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McGill University
Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 386
Marcos Ancelovici

Movements and Media as Interacting Systems (Gamson) Power and Dependency Relations - Movements generally much more dependent on media - Needs of each are a competitive symbiosis: the movements need media for mobilization, validation, and scope enlargement, while the media need movements for drama, conflict and action - However, movements are not the media’s only source of these things Power dependency theory - 2 components of power: 1) value, 2) need - Relative power of actors is determined by the ratio of their value to their need - Movements rarely have much power- are the most in need but have least access to media services Framing - Movements and media are engaged in a constant struggle over framing - Journalists serve as gatekeepers deciding which frames will be heard- this gatekeeping is influenced by powerful actors in the media - Movement disadvantages in the struggle over meaning reflect cultural obstacles as well as handicaps in access and resources - Movements often view media as representing the dominant cultural codes which they seek to challenge- media as both a target and a medium of communication Effects of movements on media coverage- 3 elements of interest to movement actors: 1) Standing - Extent to which the group is being taken seriously by being given extensive media coverage 2) Preferred framing - Prominence of group’s frame 3) Movement sympathy - Extent to which media portrays movement sympathetically Hypothesis 1: the greater the resources, professionalization, organization and coordination of a movement, the greater its standing and preferred framing will be because these movements will be more able to provide and package info in wa
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