Social movement scholars have become increasingly interested in the role of stories in contentious politics. Stories may facilitate the mobilization of protestors or strengthen the resonance of movement claims within public discourse and institutional politics. This book examines the role of narratives in building collective identity – a vital element in activists’ continued commitment. While often claimed important, the connection between narratives and movement identity has received little attention in empirical research so far. The book analyses and compares the role of narratives in building collective identity in the Global Justice Movement (GJM), a movement known for its diversity of groups and political perspectives. The book compares three national constellations of the Global Justice Movement in Europe (Italy, Germany, and Poland) drawing on a rich pool of original data.
List of Abbreviations/ List of Figures and Tables/ Introduction: Narrating the Global Justice Movement in Europe/ 1. Movement Identity, Narrative and Memory/ 2. Differences in Narrating the GJM/ 3. The Shared GJM Narrative/ 4. The GJM Narrative and Movement Identity/ Conclusion: Narrative Identity and Movement Continuity/ Acknowledgments/ Appendix A: Interviews and Focus Groups with GJM Activists/ Appendix B: Selection of GJM Documents/ Bibliography/ Cited GJM Documents
In this important contribution to the literature, Daphi draws on original and rich cross-national data to explore the relationship between memory, narratives and collective identity in one of the most influential movements of recent years, the Global Justice Movement. Full of nuanced insights on collective meaning making and analysis about narratives of becoming and belonging, it is a compelling read.
In this deeply researched and compellingly theorized book, Priska Daphi shows that becoming part of a movement is learning to tell the movement’s story. The global justice movement was able to forge solidarity across strikingly different national contexts, Daphi demonstrates, by recounting the movement’s own history. Synthesizing theories of collective identity, narrative, and group memory, Becoming a Movement contributes powerfully to our understanding of the cultural dimensions of mobilization.
Priska Daphi shows how narratives help define activists‘ realities. Her engaging book offers a deep understanding of identity construction by comparing movement stories in several national contexts. This thoughtful analysis provides penetrating insights into a core movement mechanism: collective identity construction. Daphi’s book is a groundbreaking study that will be welcomed by all engaged researchers pondering the role of narratives, identity, and the cultural realities of activism.
Priska Daphi is Head of Research Group Conflict & Social Movements, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) and Research Fellow at Goethe University Frankfurt