The Politics of Framing and the Framing of Politics

The framing of a message establishes its context, and the context is the message.

O Society

by Thomas Klikauer and Nadine Campbell edited by O Society May 21, 2020

We know how a frame works in picture framing, how to make one using carpentry, and we also know the frame in which a picture is placed can influence how we see a picture. Well, virtually the same thing applies to politics.

The way in which politics is framed can influence how we perceive politics. Social scientists have known about this for a long time. A simple example shows how framing works:

Group 1 is told crime is like a lurking predator which is increasing in number in neighborhoods.

Group 2 is told crime is like a virus infection which is increasing in number in neighborhoods.

If crime is a predator, the natural response is to hunt it down. The first group accordingly opts for stronger law enforcement. On the other hand, if crime is a virus…

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