I think, ideology and framing both matters for facilitating and sustaining collective action. Ideology can be really powerful tool for collective action and political actors or social actors frame that (ideology) and present to people in a particular way. To support my statement, I will focus some of my arguments.
Ideology and framing are connected but are not the same. Ideology is much broader context and describes a set of ideas that are organised in a logical way and explain how the world should be organized. It teaches us a way of relating to reality, identifying problem with the existence and changing existence based on what ideology presents (Oliver & Johnston, 2000). For example, the Marxists see everything through the lens of class. Frames often use ideological frameworks to connect ideas and make something that the public can understand. It is like marketing some of the ideas that one can originally pick from the ideological context and frame them properly and convince the public of its merits. Thus, framing is a popular tool that is used to look at political events and the development of events, and framing this development requires the use of psychological and marketing tools. Framing is done by political actors. Movements arise when leaders can frame the issue in such a way that resonates with people’s emotions (Maltseva, 2018). Framing inspires and legitimizes the activities and campaigns associated with asocial movement organization (Maltseva, 2018). Framing is a powerful device for organizing one’s thinking and one needed to analyze social movements in terms of what frames they use (Breen, 2016).
For a social movement or revolutionary movement to be successful, people need to have grievances, resources, and frames, and all three of them must be in place. Political conflict or social grievances helps to develop the base of social movement. The different types of motivations that drive people to join social movements is vital. Seeing anger, dissatisfaction, changes in social equilibrium, and political opportunity are essential to social movements, and people need the resources to sustain the social movement for an extended period of time. Most importantly, people need a frame that allows the social movement to be mobilized for collective action and to sustain that collective action. Thus, resources alone are not enough. People will not join a movement or be influenced because of material incentives or resources alone. Ideas and ideological motivations are powerful and critical tools with regard to uniting people in collective action. For that reason, social movements need leaders who frame issues and educate people about their shared views.
Benford and Snow (2000) outline the basic framing model. First, we need to have framing efforts of movements. Then the political actors need to frame the issue and find the frame that would resonate the message, and lastly the hazards and vulnerabilities. Thus, the frame is aligned and the collective action can eventually happen. Though frame alignment is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition for mobilization and/or protest (Benford & Snow, 2000, p. 616).
Berntzen and Sandberg (2014) explore diagnostic, prognostic and motivational frames. Diagnostic frame is identifying the problem. Prognostic frame is finding the solution to the problem which we often find as political speeches, policy making or social movements where they focus on what needs to be done, what should be the steps or exact ideas of how this problem could be alleviated. Finally the motivational frame is the reason to act and people can act in different ways (Berntzen and Sandberg, 2014). They argue that even though the motivational frame in the case of anti-Islamic social movement was not really calling for getting involved in armed conflict, but that particular frame allows certain space for interpretation which was used by Anders Behring Breivik (Berntzen and Sandberg, 2014). We can also see the motivational frame in the campaign of banning tobacco use in US in the 70s (Maltseva, 2018).
So to facilitate and sustain collective action, ideology and framing both are really important and powerful tool and there is strong connection between ideologies and framing to make the issue more appealable and logical to the people.
To answer the second part of the question, I think collective action cannot happen in the absence of ideological and/or framing processes because framing mobilize people for collective action. Though sometimes framing fails to connect people’s expectation that eventually discourage people to join collective action, but in most cases ideology and/or framing persuade them to join for collective action. Ideological motivations are really powerful tools what the people are needed most for collective action. For that reason, intellectuals and political actors play an important role. Intellectuals come up with the ideological framework and political actors or social actors frame those ideologies to people in terms of presenting those frames in a particular way (Maltseva, 2018).
Credibility of the frames includes frame consistency, empirical credibility and relative selling which means frame should be realistic. Frame helps to stand out certain issues to make them convincing to the public that produces active mobilization of the people.
For example, if we look at the 1960s civil rights movement in the USA, the grievances was the racial discrimination, segregation and unequal behaviour in economic, political as well as in social sphere (Maltseva, 2018). We see how unbalancing society produced sense of injustice and certain individual actions which lead to subsequent events and the emergence of civil rights movement (Maltseva, 2018). They used different frames for that event. There was a particular powerful message which motivated people to unite for that event (Maltseva, 2018). Diagnostic framing led the cognitive dissonance of reality and also prognostic frame like they need to fight for their rights really worked well for that event (Maltseva, 2018). Changing culture, making new allies, decolonization process and independence movement all over the world had an influence on them. This movement also recognised Supreme Court’s new tone and Rosa Park’s protest and the spontaneous boycott as a triggering event (Maltseva, 2018). Political actors use frame like triggering events in collective action. They also used different strategies like peaceful civil disobedience, boycotts, sit-ins, rallies and confrontation to resist segregation and to send the message as long as possible (Maltseva, 2018). It is not only about people’s active participation but also donating money to the cause. It is not like just being actively on the street but other different ways of communication took place. People saw more broadcasting of the problem of African American population on television. So people can see that media also seems to play very influential role in terms of how they present different social movements and collective action.
People see the use of the theory of non-violence by Martin Luther king Jr. (who was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi). Framing of this theory worked as an important tool in mobilizing people for collective action and fight against racial inequality. He was successful in motivating people about how non-violence theory work and unite them to mitigate the crisis. We can see similar example of non-violence movement in India. In both of these examples, collective action happened in the presence of ideological and/or framing processes.
Another example of framing the collective action is the Egyptian revolution. In that event injustice focuses on economic issues like food prices, inflation and low wages. People see how US and Egyptian media framed that particular event and its influence on government policy ( jhaynes322, 2014). In other words, frames are really useful instrument for collective action though counter framing as well as social networks, trust, and sympathy is also important (Maltseva, 2018). People see that social movement or revolutionary movement always produces a counter movement. In a same way, we can see counter framing which highlight the weaknesses of the opposite frame. We find this in case of right and left wing political activities in Europe these days.
To conclude, I think collective action cannot happen in the absence of ideological and/or framing processes. I showed the example of civil rights movement and the Egyptian revolution where framing worked. In other words, framing is done by political actors and it is an agency driven explanation to show how the collective action is facilitated.