ACT UP: A network’s resistance through constitutive rhetoric


  • Franklin Nii Amankwah Yartey University of Dubuque



ACT UP, Resistance Performance, Alternative Media, Constitutive Rhetoric


This paper examines the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a non-governmental organization within the larger HIV/AIDS movement. ACT UP is examined through the lens of new social movement network theory (Atkinson, 2009). Using constitutive rhetoric (Charland, 1987), the narrative capacities of the rhetorical strategies that appear to be embodied on ACT UP’s Web site are reviewed. The impact that ACT UP has on health and social policy globally has wide reaching ramifications, making the current investigation into its rhetorical strategies viable and important. The findings suggest ACT UP employs constitutive rhetoric to affect a viable narrative capacity in its network.

Author Biography

Franklin Nii Amankwah Yartey, University of Dubuque

Franklin Nii Amankwah Yartey, Ph.D. (Bowling Green University), is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa. Yartey held graduate teaching and research assistantships at Indiana State University and Bowling Green University. His research focuses on Digital Media & Globalization/Social Media, with a secondary focus on Intercultural Communication. His research interests also include online microfinance and its impact on third world women, health communication, media ethics, and globalization. He has presented papers at many academic conferences. Yartey has won several academic awards, including the National Communication Association’s Doctoral Honors Seminar and a Dissertation Fellowship at Bowling Green State University. He has also been elected to Who is Who in American Colleges & Universities.


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How to Cite

Yartey, F. N. A. (2015). ACT UP: A network’s resistance through constitutive rhetoric. First Monday, 20(2).