Invoking practical magic: New social movements, hidden populations, and the public screen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


This essay explores the relationships between mass media and new social movements with hidden populations. The Neo-Pagan Movement and the film Practical Magic are examined to identify possible relationships between media and movements' identity constructions. Using the concept of polysemy I argue that social movement scholars need to consider the active interpretation and incorporation of media by social movement actors, not only the interpretation and incorporation of the movement by the media. Previous studies primarily examine what the culture industry does to social movements. This study explores what members of movements can do with texts provided by the culture industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-354
Number of pages24
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006



  • Hidden populations
  • Media
  • Neo-Pagan movement
  • New social movements
  • Polysemy
  • Public screen
  • Witches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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