From Game Protection to Wildlife Management: Frame Shifts, Organizational Development, and Field Practices



One enduring question in social movements research is the relationship between cultural representations and organizational structure. In this article, we examine the development of different discursive frames over time, and how such frame shifts affect movement structure and practices. This approach seeks to illuminate the dialectical interplay between the movement community's discursive frame and its practices, and thus expand our understanding of the process of social movement growth and change. Through a close qualitative and historical analysis of a discursive shift within the hunting community of the United States in the 1930s from a focus strictly on game protection to a more expanded discursive frame of wildlife management, we show how this cultural shift led to major changes in both the organizational structure and advocacy goals of this social movement. We conclude with a discussion of how this process can be further studied.