Symbolic Action: Nationalist Opposition and Regime Response

  • Kenneth C. Farmer
Part of the Studies in Contemporary History book series (SICH, volume 4)


Symbolic action is action the effect of which is other than the manifest, instrumental goal of such action. An election, when there is only one candidate, is an example; another is the conduct of a trial the purpose of which is not to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused, but to set an example or publicly to discredit the defendant and others like him. Similarly, an appeal or a petition by a dissident to an official instance when there is no hope of redress is an action intended not to obtain remedy, but graphically to confront officials with the contradiction between articulated and actual policy.


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  1. 45.
    Ivan Dzyuba, Internationalism or Russification? 3rd Edition. ( New York: Monad Press, 1974 ), p. 14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers bv, The Hague 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Farmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Marquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA

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