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Political Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 193–224 | Cite as

Mobilizing Collective Identity: Frames & Rational Individuals

  • Christy Aroopala
Original Paper

Abstract

Mobilization of collective identities is a common tool in election campaigns and policy debates. Frames that target group identity can mobilize groups; however it is unclear when these group frames are likely to be successful. This project explores whether moderators, or factors that limit framing effects, can help predict whether individuals will respond to group mobilization attempts. Drawing on the rational choice approach, I assess whether the presence of thresholds (i.e. rules that determines how far the group is from attaining its goal) works as a moderator of framing effects. Using a voting game laboratory experiment, I analyze the impact of group frames when distance from a fixed threshold varies and when we account for differences in group identity strength. The findings indicate that the interaction of group identity strength, group frames, and moderators of frames has an important impact on participation, suggesting that environmental factors play a significant role in group mobilization.

Keywords

Frames Group identity Mobilization Voting game Threshold effects 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Rick Wilson for generous help with designing and conducting these experiments. I also thank Jamie Druckman for his valuable advice at various stages of the project. This research was made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation (# SES-0318116). Any errors remain my own.

Supplementary material

11109_2010_9155_MOESM1_ESM.doc (294 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 295 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Study of American PoliticsYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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