How Glitter Bombing Lost its Sparkle: The Emergence and Decline of a Novel Social Movement Tactic
This article explores the case of glitter bombing, a short-lived form of protest in the LGBT rights movement, to understand the mechanisms behind the decline of a novel tactic. To date, little attention has been directed toward tactics that have disappeared from movement repertoires. Using interview data, I find that glitter bombing declined due to many of the same factors that initially provided momentum for its diffusion. First, it was specific to LGBT rights to the degree that the audience of potential adopters was limited. At the same time, the radical nature of glitter bombing meant that adopters were peripheral movement actors who lacked organizational support. Activists dedicated limited resources to gaining media attention and online popularity, often at the cost of other crucial aspects of mobilization. Finally, an increase in repression multiplied these challenges by posing risks to adopters and shifting media coverage away from the tactic's celebratory framing.
Copyright © 2016 Mobilization: An International Quarterly
Robertson, Anya Galli, "How Glitter Bombing Lost its Sparkle: The Emergence and Decline of a Novel Social Movement Tactic" (2016). Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Faculty Publications. 74.