Framing Matters: Effective Framing and Movement Success

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:30 PM
Room: F206
Oral Presentation
Minyoung MOON , Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
This article examines variations in framing among four different Korean women’s movement campaigns, only two of which succeeded. This study contributes to a more systematic understanding of the impact of framing on legislative outcomes by comparing successful and failed campaigns paired by the same issue area, as well as by overcoming methodological limitations of previous research built on single-case studies. Two cases deal with a family issue: The Abolition Campaign of the Family Headship System (succeeded) and the Revision Campaign of the Healthy Family Act (failed). The other two cases, the Legislative Campaign of the Anti-Sex Trafficking Act (succeeded) and the Revision Campaign for the Special Act on Sexual Violence (failed), are centered on the feminist idea of women’s rights to sexual autonomy. I analyze organizational documents of the Korean Women’s Association United, who led all of these four campaigns, in order to compare the effectiveness of framing in each campaign. My findings suggest that three qualities of frames were common in the successful campaigns. They are articulate frames, empirically credible frames, and de-radicalized frames. The two campaigns with desired outcomes included all three conditions for effective framing while the other two did not. Since these campaigns took place under the same contexts of political opportunity structure and resource mobilization capacity, I argue that my findings highlight the relative significance of framing in movement outcomes.