Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Thanks to Science and Politics for pointing me to the post at Mixed Memory on framing analysis. Chris, at Mixed Memory says wearily: "This is all ground I've covered before, but what the hell? I'll cover it again." Maybe if we all repeat it at regular intervals more people will absorb it.
So frame analysis will consist of three stages ...

1.) Discovering the mental frames that people already have. If you don't do this, you won't know what information you should highlight or add, or what information you should de-emphasize.

2.) Developing an understanding of what it is you want to communicate. What do you want to make more salient in people's mental frames, and what do you want to add to their knowledge?

3.) Framing your speech and writing in such a way that it accomplishes the goals from 2) given 1).
Let's be clear that framing is not just marketing or just manipulation. It is: finding out what people are thinking and figuring out what you want to add. Note that you can only add, you can't take away. To make the great conversation meaningful, you have to understand the other speaker and you have to have something to add.

Note also step 3. I used to hate writing papers. I guess I still do. Once I've figured something out, I want to move on. But educating myself is a drop in the bucket compared to sharing ideas with others. I have to put my viewpoint out there to continue the conversation.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

I have to agree with you, Mary Ann. I have since learned that our ports have been run by foreign businesses since the 60s when the Democrats were in power and a German company is currently running those ports. Obviously, no one paid attention when this practice was begun. I'm not a xenophobe but I can't help but feel that something as crucial to our national security as port security should be handled by Americans. Just my take.