Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

First Committee Member

Richard J. Jensen

Number of Pages



This essay proposed a framework for social movement analysis that extends postmodern deconstructive techniques to a form of reconstruction which transcends the exploration of how language can say many different things simultaneously. By assessing the rhetoric of a movement, the leaders' view of conflict, pattern of expressing conflict, and the dynamic of identity in the escalation of conflict are revealed. James R. Andrews! (1980) method was utilized which concentrates on the leaders' manipulation of language, the "move" of a movement, in determining a conflicts directionality. Case studies analyzed the movements which led to the 1980 Miami Riot and the 1992 Los Angeles Riot, and a recent movement which transpired in New York City surrounding the police shooting of Amadou Diallo. Conclusions indicate that in the postmodern era a social movement leader's utmost priority should not be to defeat the opposition's arguments but to coordinate the management of meanings construed so that constructive ends may result.


Analysis; Approach; Centered; Leader; Movement; Reconstructive; Social; Transcendent

Controlled Subject

Social psychology; Social sciences--Research; Rhetoric

File Format


File Size

5591.04 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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