University of Connecticut

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Dissertation Defense Of Jordan McMillan

Thursday, July 22, 2021
11:30am – 1:30pm


Risk and Framing in Health Social Movements Jordan McMillan University of Connecticut Department of Sociology

Dissertation Defense Thursday, July 22, 2021 11:30am-1:30pm Via Webex Committee Members: Dr. Mary Bernstein (Chair) Dr. Jeremy Pais Dr. Ruth Braunstein Dr. Blair Johnson ABSTRACT Fake news, crisis actors, and Facebook algorithms: The U.S. is currently preoccupied with how various social actors influence public perception of current events. These actors frame social issues and respond to them in processes that are not totally distinct––a frame used by the media or other actors is a response to current events, but are also constructed as a framework for understanding future events. In the post-industrial era, risk is a key paradigm for framing and understanding social phenomena. Risk is something that can be emphasized to mobilize people or downplayed to alleviate heightened fear. Though risk is not always directly associated with concrete hazards, especially in its presentation to the public, a visible rise in a particular threat might encourage public debates about risk and responses from social movement actors. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the framing-risk tension to understand how concrete hazards affect the use of risk framing in health social movements. Using the Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) public health movement, I examine how risk is constructed by GVP organizations and what contextual factors affect the use of risk. I will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to answer the following questions: How do GVP organizations use risk in the framing of their key issues? Do the risk framing processes used by the GVP movement vary by organization type? What contextual factors affect the use of risk, and does this vary over time?


Dr. Mary Bernstein ( for WebEx link

Sociology Department (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn Master Calendar

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