“the Fight for the Soul of Nigeria”: Framing Strategies of the #Bringbackourgirls Movement

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 12:54
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Temitope ORIOLA, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada
The kidnap of 276 girls at Government Secondary School Chibok, Borno state, Nigeria on 14 April, 2014 by Jama’atu Ahlis Suna Lidda’awati Wal Jihad or Boko Haram had the unintended consequence of raising consciousness among a relatively privileged class of Nigerian women. The incident and attendant inertia by the Nigerian state led to the formation of the #Bringbackourgirls organization by a group of highly educated women. Although there has been significant media coverage accorded the activities and goals of the organization, its operational micro-mechanics and framing strategies remain unexplored in scholarly literature. Scholarly attention has been focused on examining the tactics and mode of operation of Boko Haram. The aim is to fill the gap in the burgeoning literature.  This paper is based on data garnered through participant observation at the daily “sit-out” of the #Bringbackourgirls organization as well as interviews with activists during field work in Abuja, Nigeria in summer 2015. Primary data is complemented by secondary data — publicity and strategy-related materials published by the group. The paper analyzes the operational dynamics and framing strategies of the #Bringbackourgirls movement.

The findings demonstrate three major master frames in the movement: The human/women’s rights frame, failed state frame, and the injustice frame. The paper explicates how changes in Nigeria’s political process has led to evolution from violent antagonism towards the movement to tolerance and accommodation of the movement by the state.