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Chapter 5

CMN 3104 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Radical Lesbians, The Frames, Reproductive Rights


Department
Communication
Course Code
CMN 3104
Professor
Dina Salha
Chapter
5

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Chapter 5
Journalism, Advertising, and Public Relations
5.3 FRAMING FEMINISM
To frame something means to make sense of it.
According to Gamson: facts have no intrinsic meaning. They take on their
meaning by being embedded in a frame or story line that organizes them
and gives them coherence, selecting certain ones to emphasize while
ignoring others.
News stories include factual elements, but as Gitlin’s analysis revealed: the
media were far from mirrors passively reflecting facts found in the real
world.
!The facts reported were out there in the real world, but out there
among others.
The process of selecting the words to describe an event is value-laden: no
author or speaker is free of the necessity to choose words, syntax, and order
of presentation.
!It does make a difference if ‘friction’ and not ‘dispute’ is chosen.
Such differences are imp because research has shown that people’s attitudes
and judgments can be affected by the media’s framing of issues, especially
when people lack firsthand knowledge of an issue
SEARCHING FOR THE FRAMES
Wordlink is a form of computerized network analysis which maps the
relationship among words within messages.
Because Wordlink can compute the frequency with which certain words,
terms, concepts, attitudes, and values are associated with feminists, it helps
identify the frames used to represent feminists.
By also looking at how often those same words are associated with women
in general, we can more fully understand the framing of feminism and
feminists.
Unit of analysis: pair.
We can infer the meanings of particular words (e.g. feminism, feminists) by
investigating their surrounding word context.
SIX GUIDING FRAMES
!1. Demonization
o!in which feminism and feminists are framed as deviant.
!2. Personalization and Trivialization

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o!Focusing on appearance, style, or personal qualities.
!3. Goals
o!reflects attention to civil rights, reproductive rights, workplace
rights, and the goals for equality generally held by feminists.
!4. Victimization
o!reveals feminists as weak and vulnerable.
!5. Agency
o!represents feminists as strong and capable.
!6. Site of Struggle
o!reflecting the variety of locations (home, school, religion,
work, etc.) of feminist activities.
THE FRAMES REVEALED
Feminism continues to receive relatively little attention in the media.
The Demonization Frame
!Critics claim that feminists are demonized when portrayed in the
media as crazy, ill-tempered, ugly, man-hating, family-wrecking,
hair-legged, bra-burning radical lesbians.
!Feminists are demonized more often in the media than are women.
The Personalization and Trivialization Frame
!This frame includes attention to personal attributes – appearance,
marital status, personal habits, or personal style.
!A focus on style over substance trivializes people and their
positions.
!Rhode argued that a focus on feminists’ appearance is particularly
troublesome, because feminists who reject traditional standards of
femininity are ridiculed, while those who do not are deemed vain
and perhaps even hypocritical.
!The media pays a great deal of attention to women’s romantic and
marital status.
!Women’s clothing and appearance were also of interest.
!Motherhood was also a great concern to the media.
!Emphasis on sex.
!Attention to marital status was reflected in word pairs, such as
feminist-marriage, feminist-wedding.
!Media attention to sex, when considering feminists, focuses on
“deviant” sex.
!Surprisingly, feminists are personalized and trivialized by the media
less often than women are.
The Goals Frame
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