New Directions in the Study of Social Movements: From Causal Explanations to Attribution Processes
After showing why the attribution of protest is a salient question, I will introduce a conceptualization of attribution processes which distinguishes between protest offers and protest reception. Protest offers are performances such as demonstrations, sit-ins, rallies which claim to be considered as protests of a specific social movement. Such claims can be evaluated by two types of protest reception: Validating attribution and attribution based on the observation of differences between protests. The former takes the attribution of demonstrations to a specific social movement as granted, while the latter gives an account that explains, why a certain protest can be understood as a contentious performance of a specific social movement. I will illustrate my theoretical account with examples from the occupy movement.