The Framing Analysis

Topics: Mass media, Marshall McLuhan, Media influence Pages: 7 (1881 words) Published: September 4, 2013
Framing Analysis

Framing analysis generally used to look how media construct the facts. Historically, the concept of ‘framing’ first suggested by Beterson in 1955, defined as a conceptual structure or a set of beliefs to organize our point of views of politics, policy and discourse and provides standard categories to appreciate reality. Then in 1974, Erving Goffman developed its definition, as strips of behavior to help people to read the ongoing activities. (Sobur, 2004). According to Goffman, frame analysis is an examination of ‘the organization of experience’ and ‘frame’ is a principle of organization that defines a situation. Frames are used to analyze ‘strips’: arbitrary slices cut from the stream of ongoing activity (Manning, 1992, p.122).

The core belief from Goffman’s framing is that people always look at the social environment and use their cognitive skills to make sense of daily life. Moreover, he assumed that individuals cannot fully understand the world so that they interpret their experiences to make sense of the world around them. This individual’s process of information called “primary frameworks”. (Scheufele, 2000).

There are two kinds of primary framework. First is natural framework, defined as situation that human could not control. It helps to interpret events from nature (such as: weather) and unintentional causes. In contrast, social framework is when the situation included the human intervention. As Goffman said, that it helps to locate, perceive, identify and label all actions and events from intentional human action (Manning, 1992; Scheufele, 2000). From these frameworks, it implies that people always learning from the social environment, whether through social interaction or through how media represent the event and reality.

Since Goffman, many researchers developed his idea and tried to define framing or frame, such as Entman (1993), as cited in his work: “Framing essentially involves selection and salience. To frame is to select some aspects of perceived reality and make them more salient in the communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment recommendation for the item described (p.51).” According to him, framing analysis explains the influence of information on audience’s consciousness through text, such as speech, news report, novel or symbol. The salience of information could be increased by placement or repetition or associating them with culturally familiar symbols (Entman, 1993).

Framing is a critical activity because it helps us to construct the reality. Baran and Davis (2009) stated several strengths of frame analysis. First, it focused on individual in mass communication process. Secondly, the concept of framing is applicable to macro-level effects studies. Lastly, it is highly flexible and open-ended, in terms of definition and premises.

However, ‘framing’ has been criticized by the other researchers. Entman (1993) characterized framing as a "fractured” paradigm that lacks clear conceptual definitions and a comprehensive statement to apply in research (Hallahan, 2009). According to him, there is no consistency on ‘frame’ or ‘framing’ definitions. Thus, there should be single paradigm to explain the definitions of framing. As Baran and Davis (2009) said that the flexible and open-ended of framing, it is also one of the weaknesses because the lack of specificity.

On the other hand, D’Angelo (2002) argued that there should not be a single framing theory. The framing theories should be accumulated and encourage researchers to employ and refine the process of framing. Reese (2007) support D’Angelo argumentation, said that framing is more a research program that a unified paradigm. According to him, the diversity of framing definition is beneficial to develop the understanding its process.

Framing has an important implication on political communication. Politicians can...
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