Framing American Politics / Edition 1

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Most issues in American political life are complex and multifaceted, subject to multiple interpretations and points of view. How issues are framed matters enormously for the way they are understood and debated. For example, is affirmative action a just means toward a diverse society, or is it reverse discrimination? Is the war on terror a defense of freedom and liberty, or is it an attack on privacy and other cherished constitutional rights? Bringing together some of the leading researchers in American politics, Framing American Politics explores the roles that interest groups, political elites, and the media play in framing political issues for the mass public.

The contributors address some of the most hotly debated foreign and domestic policies in contemporary American life, focusing on both the origins and process of framing and its effects on citizens. In so doing, these scholars clearly demonstrate how frames can both enhance and hinder political participation and understanding.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An important addition to public policy, public opinion, and mass media literature. Highly recommended.” 

“This is a state of the field book, full of theoretical insights and empirical illustrations showing how framing is crucial to the governing process.  This should be read by every student of public opinion, the press, and democratic government.”
——Lance Bennett, University of Washington at Seattle

Framing American Politics may well be the book that finally elevates framing research to the central position it deserves in explaining political developments.  Macro-level and micro-level research presented in this book demonstrates that facts may be unalterable, but the meanings given to them are flexible and under human control.  Scholars interested in understanding how events become endowed with the meanings that drive politics will benefit immensely from the rich findings offered by this collection of original essays.”
—Doris A. Graber, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822958642
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Callaghan is assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. 

Frauke Schnell
is a professor of political science at West Chester State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : framing political issues in American politics 1
1 News from somewhere : journalistic frames and the debate over "public journalism" 21
2 Campaign frames : can candidates influence media coverage? 54
3 Obstacles and opportunities : factors that constrain elected officials' ability to frame political issues 76
4 Democratic debate and real opinions 103
5 Terrorism, media frames, and framing effects : a macro- and microlevel analysis 123
6 Super-predators or victims of societal neglect? : framing effects in juvenile crime coverage 148
7 Media frames, core values, and the dynamics of racial policy preferences 167
Conclusion : controversies and new directions in framing research 179
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