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The Effect of Branding on the Success or Failure of Nonviolent Mass Movements

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Master's thesis

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The thesis critically analyzes the relationship between a nonviolent mass movements ability to create and manage a favorable image and the movements success or failure. Movements create and manage their brand image through the process of presenting a positive image of the organization and its message to key target audiences and the management of that brand image through discipline and coordination. The study begins by describing the evolution of the theory of nonviolent resistance, from pacifism for moral reasons to a doctrine based around information campaigns targeted at key audiences with the aim of achieving success by removing an opponents support structures through nonviolent mass action. It then describes how commercial advertising theories can be used to describe how mass movements gain and maintain popularity. Two case studies of past nonviolent resistance movements are examined the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The history, branding efforts, results of the branding efforts, and the relationship between the branding efforts and the movements success or failure are examined in both case studies. The research concludes that a connection can be seen between the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and its successful branding and the failure of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the failure of its branding. This research is also meant to make it clear that nonviolent mass movements are large scale informational campaigns, meant to influence the actions of large numbers of people. This study aims to assist future researchers and practitioners desiring to develop a system for the United States to use nonviolent mass movements to further policy objectives by demonstrating the importance of organizational branding and brand management. However, due to the limited scope of the research, the general link between the success or failure of nonviolent mass movements as a whole and the effectiveness of branding efforts cannot be estab

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

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