This article argues that an important contribution that political communication can offer social movement studies is a more variegated understanding of social movement audiences and their role in social movement strategy and processes. Specifically, the article introduces a coarse typology of social movement audiences and discusses the importance of understanding differences in the goals of these audiences and what kinds of influence, from messaging or other forms of pressure, may be important to affect different audiences in movements’ favors. The article also examines the ways in which audiences are active, shaping what messages they are exposed to, consume, believe, and act upon. The call of the article is to bring a concern for audiences into social movement studies in the hopes of wedding these more media and communication-focused concerns with the kinds of structural and material influences social movement studies is so accomplished in investigating.
- communication studies
- Social movements
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences