Variations in diagnostic and prognostic framing in the EZLN movement



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The Zapatista movement of southern Mexico has received little analytical attention focused on the myriad of writings issued by the movement. To help fill this gap, this study uses David Snow and Robert Benford?s concept of framing as a theoretical basis, and performs a systematic and discursive analysis of the communiqu?s issued by the Zapatista movement in order to understand how the movement framed itself over its thirteen-year existence. Communiqu?s were coded by noting evocations of the diagnostic frames of corrupt government, violent government, and neoliberal government and in terms of prognostic framing, general democracy, small-scale democracy, and revolutionary frames. This research concludes that the prognostic frame of general democracy was very high in the initial years of the movement, and shifted towards the small-scale democracy frame after the election of Vicente Fox in 2000. The diagnostic frames dealt with in this research showed a slight downward trend as Mexico democratized, but there is significant inter-year variation in the prevalence diagnostic frames that seems to be related to specific acts of government repression, or other government actions. This research also concludes that a portion of the EZLN?s success and long existence can be attributed to the movement?s ability to modify its diagnostic and prognostic frames to match the changing political and societal context that the movement existed in.