From Freedom Rides to Justice Rides: Analogizing Social Movement Rhetoric in a Post-Identity America

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

Central States Communication Association Conference

Conference Location

Minneapolis, MN


This presentation explores the rhetorical strategies, specifically the use of analogy, used in the rhetoric of the Created Equal organization. Created Equal, an anti-abortion activist organization, argues that it is a social movement in the vein of the Civil Rights Movement. The rhetoric employed by the organization is remarkable in its pedestrian attempt to veil its religious ideology, as well as its attempt to closely associate itself with the traditional Civil Rights agenda. Specifically, the tactics, images, and promotional material used and produced by the organization both explicitly and implicitly equivocate their commitments to stopping abortion to the demands of the civil rights movement for equality. As increasing numbers of movements attempt such an analogy it seems evident that movements in a “post-identity” America must rely on these older, successful, identity-based movements. Practical and theoretical implications are drawn.



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