MOTIVATIONAL FRAMING AND EFFICACY MAINTENANCE: Animal Rights Activists’ Use Of Four Fortifying Strategies


Rachel L. Einwohner, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Purdue University, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907–2059; e-mail:


While a great deal of research has documented the role of perceived efficacy in the decision to participate in collective action, less attention has been paid to these perceptions beyond the onset of protest activity. This article uses qualitative data from fieldwork with members of an animal rights group engaged in four different protest campaigns to examine activists’ sense of their accomplishments in the context of ongoing activism. Despite feeling quite pessimistic about their chances for success in some of the campaigns, these activists strove to evaluate their efforts positively, using a number of “fortifying strategies” to identify and celebrate their successes—even in the face of apparent defeat. These findings suggest that perceived efficacy is necessary not only for initial participation in protest but must also be maintained for longterm activism.