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New Article by Drew Halfmann and Michael P. Young on Grotesque Images and Social Movements

The article examines the uses and effects of grotesque imagery in the antislavery and antiabortion movements and considers implications for theories of movement framing and mobilization.

Grotesque images can produce strong emotions that may increase the resonance of movement frames and provide physiological "evidence" of immorality. Such images may also produce confusion and ambiguity that deeply engages readers or viewers and potentially breaks frames. But grotesque images can also be counterproductive for activists. They can cause readers or viewers to turn away in disgust and their use can taint activists as prurient, irrational, uncivil or manipulative. Finally, the effects of grotesque images are likely to vary across audiences, social contexts and the skill of the activists that deploy them.

Drew Halfmann and Michael P. Young. 2010. "War Pictures: The Grotesque as a Mobilizing Tactic". Mobilization: An International Quarterly, 15(1):1-24.

The paper is available here: http://mobilization.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,1,6;journal,1,41;linkingpublicationresults,1:119834,1

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