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Frame Alignment

posted 10 Jan 2011, 10:47 by Jess Maher   [ updated 10 Jan 2011, 10:53 ]

frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation — that is, a collection of anecdotes and stereotypes—that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events.[1][page needed] In simpler terms, people have, through their lifetimes, built series of mental emotional filters. They use these filters to make sense of the world. The choices they then make are influenced by theirframe or emotional filters. 

Framing, a term used in media studiessociology and psychology, refers to the social construction of a social phenomenon bymass media sources or specific political or social movements or organizations. It is an inevitable process of selective influence over the individual's perception of the meanings attributed to words or phrases. A frame defines the packaging of an element of rhetoric in such a way as to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others.

Frame-alignment comes in four forms,: frame bridging, frame amplification, frame extension and frame transformation.

  1. Frame bridging involves the "linkage of two or more ideologically congruent but structurally unconnected frames regarding a particular issue or problem" (Snow et al., 1986, p. 467). It involves the linkage of a movement to "unmobilized [sic] sentiment pools or public opinion preference clusters" (p. 467) of people who share similar views or grievances but who lack an organizational base.
  2. Frame amplification refers to "the clarification and invigoration of an interpretive frame that bears on a particular issue, problem, or set of events" (Snow et al., 1986, p. 469). This interpretive frame usually involves the invigorating of values or beliefs.
  3. Frame extensions represent a movement's effort to incorporate participants by extending the boundaries of the proposed frame to include or encompass the views, interests, or sentiments of targeted groups.
  4. Frame transformation becomes necessary when the proposed frames "may not resonate with, and on occasion may even appear antithetical to, conventional lifestyles or rituals and extant interpretive frames" (Snow et al., 1986, p. 473).