This megablog compiles some of the highlights of blog responses to the readings on framing and standing for the week of February 29th. I thought Vic’s approach last week was awesome, so I’m going to emulate it here, right down to the inclusion of a cartoon…
What Benford & Snow May Think About Framing Occupy –gaboosh/Gabi
- The concept of the 99% attempts to act as a frame that encompasses a huge number of people, but because it’s vague the movement hasn’t seen as much attribution-related “rancorous conflict” Benford and Snow might have predicted.
- Occupy as a “prefigurative movement” that attempts to enact change not just through messages or framing, but also through the form of its existence. Suggests problems in achieving this may affect frame resonance.
- Credibility of frame elements doesn’t necessarily have to hold empirically or universally, but rather to a specific set of individuals. Mentions Mooney’s recent book, The Republican Brain as making a similar point.
Framing: a cliché? –pamamom/Pamela
- Drawing on Benford’s An Insider’s Critique of the Social Movement Framing Perspective, asks whether the concept of framing has become overused by scholars.
- Benford’s main argument: “the field is lacking a sociology of movement framing processes, but has an abundance of frame names.”
- Framing as a way to take into consideration the role of emotion in social movements; in stark contrast to the economic analysis of resource mobilization.
- Concludes in agreement with Benford: “Framing, however cliche, is an aspect of social movements that must continue to be analyzed, in the way that Bedford suggests: More analyzing how as opposed to naming the framings.”
Book Report: Shaping Abortion Discourse –huansun/Huan
- Shaping Abortion Discourse offers a comparative study of the framing of abortion discourse by both journalists and other actors in newspaper articles in the US and Germany across a three-decade timespan. The book is divided into two parts.
- In the first part, the authors articulate the concept of a discursive opportunity structure–a theoretical model that seeks to explain differences in framing strategies within a larger cultural or social context.
- They employ concepts of standing (whether or not actors have a voice in the public sphere) and framing (the relative influence/power of a voice) at the level of both article and utterance.
- In the second part, they evaluate discursive quality within the context of four models of democracy: Representative Liberal, Participatory Liberal, Discursive, and Constructionist/Feminist.
- While the first part is persuasive, Huan offers some criticism of the second part: For example, using only a single case study to generalize a country’s democratic model is problematic at best.
- Huan leaves us with the question of how today’s digital media, which has eroded the power of traditional media institutions, challenges their theoretical framework. Is the metaphor of a stadium for the public sphere—a metaphor they draw heavily on in describing different arenas of discourse—even useful today?
(Yes, I wrote a blog this week in addition to compiling the megablog. What can I say, I have a background in linguistics and am fascinated by frame analysis.)
- Describes an 2010 article by George Lakoff on the relationship between framing, language, messaging, and cognition. In it he emphasizes the importance of considering bi-conceptuals—people who hold multiple, conflicting frames—when evaluating frames.
- Contends that a larger corporate frame underlies the FrameWorks Institute’s presentation, while a traditional hierarchy of expertise grounds Benford and Snow’s article.
- Draws on another article by Lakoff that directly responds to Frank Luntz on framing Republican vocabulary (one of our readings for this week); he contends that while Luntz frames the situation as one of panic and emergency, he is actually trying to activate specific, detrimental responses from progressives. This is a trap of frames within frames.
It Is All About Communication –khkern/Kelly
- The readings this week evoke Castell’s contention that politics is communication; at the base of it all is winning over people’s minds.
- Looks at the way the case of the Rutgers student who recently committed suicide after his roommate posted a video of him with another man online, has been used by the gay rights movement to draw attention to hate crimes and inspire action.
- As more information about the case emerges, the accuracy of some details is disputed—does this affect how it is or can be used in framing?
- Finally, “do movements with more resources frame their issues more effectively?”
Framing = Propaganda? –dpales/David
- The FrameWorks Institute’s approach represents no more than client recruitment in a nonprofit, “true believer” format.
- Highlights the continuity between how we use the concept of framing today and mechanisms of advertising and propaganda in the past, drawing specifically on cigarette advertising in the mid-twentieth century as a case study.
- Argues we should consider the role that the polemic nature of movements with “highly defined boundaries” plays in the choice and construction of discursive strategies.
Elitism vs Pluralism vs *** –numeroteca/Pablo
- Revisiting Sampedro’s article from last week, offers diagrams of the interactions of power, mass media, social movements, and communities within the frameworks of elitism and pluralism.
- Offers a third diagram to explore a new model for the contemporary world, in which social movements have become active media agents.