I would like to thank Dan Cress, Christian Smith, David Meyer, Paul Wehr, Alice Fothergill, Suzanne Leahy, Eve Passerini, Pat Gillham, two anonymous reviewers, and Robert Benford for comments on various versions of this paper.
The Process of Cognitive Liberation: Cultural Synapses, Links, and Frame Contradictions in the U.S.-Central America Peace Movement*
Version of Record online: 9 JAN 2007
Volume 67, Issue 4, pages 470–487, October 1997
How to Cite
Nepstad, S. E. (1997), The Process of Cognitive Liberation: Cultural Synapses, Links, and Frame Contradictions in the U.S.-Central America Peace Movement. Sociological Inquiry, 67: 470–487. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.1997.tb00448.x
- Issue online: 9 JAN 2007
- Version of Record online: 9 JAN 2007
Based upon qualitative interviews with thirty-two Central American peace activists, this article elaborates the process of “cognitive liberation” through the application of frame analysis. In addition, I seek to explain the diffusion of this social-psychological state from Central to North America. Attention is given to the role of the church as a common cultural link that functioned as a micro-mobilizing context, which provided missionaries who served as “meso-mobilizing actors.” The term frame contradictions is introduced to specify the condition in which irreconcilable differences between a movement's frame and its opponent's frame are exposed, thereby facilitating frame adoption. I conclude that some type of cultural link is necessary for the development of a common frame that can integrate groups cross-nationally and that can provide agents of mobilization to serve as a synapse through which frames can be transmitted from one country to another.