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Social Problems

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Pamela Anne QuirozNilda Flores-González

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Constructing the Public Good: Social Movements and Cultural Resources

Rhys H. Williams
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3097008 124-144 First published online: 1 February 1995

Abstract

This essay argues for the usefulness of approaching social movement ideology as a set of “cultural resources” that can be understood in many of the same ways as are conventional structural resources. One important type of cultural resource is the rhetorical frame with which movements make public political claims. Using a specific substantive example of a cultural resource — rhetoric about the “public good” — I focus on the linkages between collective action frames and the wider cultural repertoire from which movements adapt their meanings. Three ideal-typical versions of public good rhetoric appear: the covenant; the contract; and the stewardshi