Mobilizing Collective Identity: Frames & Rational
Published online: 15 January 2011
Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
Abstract Mobilization of collective identities is a common tool in election
campaigns and policy debates. Frames that target group identity can mobilize
groups; however it is unclear when these group frames are likely to be successful.
This project explores whether moderators, or factors that limit framing effects, can
help predict whether individuals will respond to group mobilization attempts.
Drawing on the rational choice approach, I assess whether the presence of thresh-
olds (i.e. rules that determines how far the group is from attaining its goal) works as
a moderator of framing effects. Using a voting game laboratory experiment, I
analyze the impact of group frames when distance from a ﬁxed threshold varies and
when we account for differences in group identity strength. The ﬁndings indicate
that the interaction of group identity strength, group frames, and moderators of
frames has an important impact on participation, suggesting that environmental
factors play a signiﬁcant role in group mobilization.
Keywords Frames Á Group identity Á Mobilization Á Voting game Á
Previous versions of this paper were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science
Association, April 3rd–6th, 2008 and the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association,
August 30th–September 2nd, 2007.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11109-010-9155-4)
contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
C. Aroopala (&)
Center for the Study of American Politics, Yale University, 77 Prospect St.,
PO Box 208209, New Haven, CT 06529-8209, USA
Polit Behav (2012) 34:193–224