Framing

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Framing

One of the most important functions of DailyKos is to help the liberal Democratic community reach consensus on political goals and how to effectively motivate the public. The way we frame arguments for our positions is one of the most important factors in effectively communicating these goals and motivating the public to support them.

This section of DKosopedia contains four areas to help users frame political arguments. These areas are:

The process of framing is changing the images, conceptual metaphors, and analogies that are implied by political languages. The concept of framing goes back to philosophical and linguistic explanations of how humans think.

The premise of framing is that knowledge is contained in conceptual structures that encode how we believe the world is structured. When humans perceive, especially when they perceive communications from other humans, they match those perceptions with these conceptual structures. This matching provides meaning to the perceptions in terms of established structures in the mind. If the matching is imperfect, then humans sometimes adjust these conceptual structures to obtain a better match. But, they also sometimes alter their memory of their perceptions to match the conceptual structure.

As humans think, they use associations with these frames to hold context for the concepts in their thoughts. It is therefore sometimes difficult to think outside these frames. In addition, natural connections within the frames make it easier to make certain logical deductions.

Liberals and conservatives, due to their experiences and probably due to predispositions in their brains, typically have significantly different frames for much of the world. For example, the “personal responsibility” frame may be far different for conservatives, who consider it more of an absolute, than for liberals, who may believe that the world puts severe limits on what individuals can reasonably do. The result is that any discussion of how much society (through the government) should help individuals in given situations will be considered in radically different contexts for liberals and conservatives. Each will make significantly different deductions based on premises or facts offered on either side.

It is therefore important to use language activating frames that will allow liberals to make their best arguments, and to stay away from frames that give the advantage to the opposition.

Description of Framing Pages

Our Vision for America

This page is designed to contain statements about what we expect the United States to look like in 20 years if key recommendations of our community become official policy.

Frame Creation by Topic

This page contains links to pages for each key issue. Each issue page contains a set of links to finished frames for that issue and a section with links to diaries discussing frames for that issue. This section is designed to help the community frame and reframe issues.

Practical Frames

This page contains links to essays that describe framing language for various issues and the arguments in their favor. This section is designed as a repository or encyclopedia of information for framing and reframing issues.

Ongoing Projects

This page contains links to various areas where ongoing work is being conducted on specific issues, either within DKosopedia or on external sites.

Framing Process

There are two types of projects that involve framing. The first results in articles designed to give practical advice on how to frame or reframe an issue to the advantage of the community. The second are projects where framing is incidental to the overall work on the issue.

The first type of project is temporary and uses the “Frame Creation by Topic” area to reach consensus of some part of the community. The results are summarized in the “Practical Frames” repository. The process for this type of project is described below under “Forward Framing.”

Project of the second type have links on the “Ongoing Projects” page. The process for these projects depends on the project. Users should look at the individual pages to see how those projects are conducted.

Forward Framing

We call projects designed to frame issues to the advantage of our community “Forward Framing” projects. Here is the process for this type of framing:

  • Anyone may decide to create new framing for an issue or update its framing. The person who does this is called the “coordinator.”
  • The coordinator establishes a time period called a “round” for discussion of framing on the issue.
  • At the end of the round, the coordinator summarizes the sense of the discussion.

Coordinators announce a round by publishing a diary that gives the topic and target date. They should state their purpose and invite comments. Comments can be posted to the diary announcing the round or in other diaries. Any diaries associated with the round should be registered on the page for the issue in the “Frame Creation by Topic” area. (See instructions on updating frame pages, below.)

After the targeted end of the round, the coordinator is responsible for summarizing the sense of the discussion in the “Practical Frames” repository. If there is no page in the repository for this frame, the coordinator should create one. Otherwise, they can update the existing page. (See the template for new pages, below.)

Abstract Framing Process

Abstractly, framing works like this: The reframe:namespace is for the obvious stuff that anyone can do. The end result of that is just more pages in main namespace that define things properly. In general, framing works like this:

  1. Identify specific claims that can be challenged, in claim:namespace
  2. Identify faulty political language, putting it in term:namespace
  3. Explain the problem clearly, using neutral point of view terminology
  4. Estimate the cost of not doing repairs, with simple cost arguments
  5. Realign the frame, by making careful issue statements
  6. Provide new language for immediate use, via positions on the issue
  7. Reinforce existing language using the reframe:namespace on each questionable term.
The end result will be relatively friendly debating terms in main namespace and an issue/position/argument statement that can be easily backed with evidence/source/authority that the public will trust. It will be free of the kind of noise found in the MemeTank, term:namespace or Fox News.

Editing Frame Pages

In order to edit a page on DKosopedia you must have an account. A DailyKos account is separate from a DKosopedia account. If you don’t have an account, establish one by clicking on the link at the top of the page labeled “Create an account or log in.”

Once you have an account and are logged in, you can edit most pages on DKosopedia by clicking on the “edit” link at the top of the page. (The main page requires a higher level of access, but most pages can be edited by any user.) This link appears in the “tab” areas of the page, which are labeled “Article,” “Discussion,” etc.

Adding New Links

To establish a new page, you edit any existing page to add a link for the new page. You then click on the link you’ve just established, which will take you to an edit form for that page. You fill it out, save it, and you have created the new page! This process ensures that your new page will be linked into the existing structure of the site.

You can use one of the templates below as the basis for new pages.

Source Text (Wikitext) and Markup Codes

When you add a page to DKosopedia, you post text in a special format which contains markup codes. These codes tell the system how to render the page when it is viewed. They define formatting for the page so that it is easier to read than plain text. Markups can be certain HTML codes or special characters that perform common formatting functions. The combined text for the content of the page plus the markups is called the source text or wikitext for the page.

You can find more on how to edit wiki pages (both for DKosopedia and other wikis) at How to Edit a Wiki Page.

Editing Using a Word Processor

We have found that the easiest way to edit a page is to copy its wikitext to a word processor, make our updates, and then copy the resulting wikitext back to the edit form. This allows us to work in the comfort of a familiar editor which has spell and grammar checking functions.

Working With the Edit Form

When you click on a new link or click on the edit tab for a page you get a page that allows you to enter or edit the wikitext for the page. This form has a field that contains the source text for the page. For a new page, this field will be empty. For an existing page, it will contain the existing wikitext for the page.

You change the wikitext to get whatever results you want for the page. Under the source text field, you will see a “Summary” field, two check boxes and three buttons. You use these fields to control how the form is saved.

Put a short description in the “Summary” field. Check off either “This is a minor edit” or “Watch this page”, if you like. The first indicates that the change you made was of the nature of fixing a typo. The second indicates that you want the system to send you an e-mail any time the page changes.

We suggest that you then click the “Show preview” button. This will not post the changes to the website, but it will allow you to see what they will look like with all the formatting. Chances are that you will need to fix minor problems with the page when you proofread it. You can do that on the preview page by updating the source text field and clicking the “Show preview” button again.

When you are satisfied with the page, click the “Save page” button to finalize the changes. If you decide not to make the update, you can abandon the page by pressing the Back button in your browser or logging off.

Updating Frame Pages

The “Frame Creation by Topic” pages have a specific section called “Current Rounds of Discussion.” When a coordinator creates a round, they should update this section of the page to add a subsection for links to diaries. The title of this subsection should indicate what it is about and the target end date of the round. The first entry in the section should be a link to the diary defining the round. Anyone who posts a diary as a part of the round should add a link to their diary here, so that the coordinator can find it and include the results in their summary.

Templates

New “Practical Frames” Pages

When you establish a new “Practical Frame” page, you can use one of these templates to get started. Select the text in the template, copy it and paste it to your word processor. Replace text in braces with the text you want to present to the user. When you establish the link to your page (see “Adding New Links,” above), you can paste the updated text from your word processor to the edit form and save it as the new page.

Attack Frames

An attack frame is used when you are introducing a position that will result in advancement to society. These frames should put that position in a positive light with the people, so that it will be as easy as possible to get the results we want.

= {Title} =

== {Attack Framing Summary} ==

{This section should contain frames to introduce and advance new ideas. Introduce
specific words, phrasing and concepts to advance your ideas. Summarize the issue and
the frame here in a way that puts conservatives on the defensive and make thinking about
alternatives to your proposal difficult or impossible.}

== {Elaboration of Frames} ==

{Repeat this section as many times as needed to explore the frames introduced in the first
section.}

== Examples of Use ==

{Add examples of use. If there is current discussion of the issue in the MSM, add
references here that show how this frame would be used in that discussion.}

==Responses==

{List expected conservative responses and how to deal with them in this section.}

== Publicizing the Frame ==

{Add any examples of how to promote the frame and the issue. What would an
advertisement look like if it used the frames suggested?}

== Other Resources to Draw On ==

{List resources that can be used to aid adoption of the position. Add URLs for any
helpful websites.}

== What Progressives Value and Want ==

<b>Sustainability.</b> {State how this frame will support sustainability of society.}
<b>Fairness.</b> {State how the frame will support fairness in society.}
<b>Consistency.</b> {State how this frame will support consistency of the
liberal/progressive position.}

== Notes ==

<b>Remember: </b>{Summarize this frame, emphasizing how this is the correct
position and how the liberal values cited are correct values for society.}

[[Category:Framed]]


Defense Frames

A defense frame is used when conservatives have framed an issue in a way that puts us at a disadvantage. This is used to examine these frames and how they work against us, then to propose new frames that can be used to put the issue in a better light.

= {Title} =

== The Problem ==

{State the problem, giving examples from the MSM if possible. Link to any websites
appropriate.}

==Realigning the Frame==

{Explain how the issue should be reframed to our advantage.}

== {Elaboration of the Frames} ==

{Repeat this section as many times as needed to explore the frames introduced in the first
section.}

== Examples of Use ==

{Add examples of use. If there is current discussion of the issue in the MSM, add
references here that show how this frame would be used in that discussion.}

== Responses ==

{List expected conservative responses and how to deal with them in this section.}

== Publicizing the Frame ==

{Add any examples of how to promote the frame and the issue. What would an
advertisement look like if it used the frames suggested?}

== Other Resources to Draw On ==

{List resources that can be used to aid adoption of the position. Add URLs for any
helpful websites.}

==What Progressives Value and Want==

<b>Sustainability.</b> {State how this frame will support sustainability of society.}
<b>Fairness.</b> {State how the frame will support fairness in society.}
<b>Consistency.</b> {State how this frame will support consistency of the
liberal/progressive position.}

==Notes==

<b>Remember: </b>{Summarize this frame, emphasizing how this is the correct
position and how the liberal values cited are correct values for society.}

[[Category:Framed]]

Markups

The wikitext for frames can contain a limited set of HTML codes plus certain other characters or character sequences that provide additional functionality and formatting. The allowable HTML codes are show as icons above the source text field in the edit form.

You can use the following special codes for additional markups:

Headings: Put a sequence of one to five equal signs before and after text to make it a heading. A single equal sign is the highest level, two equal signs the next level, and so on. The templates contain examples.

Asterisks: An asterisk (*) at the start of a line will turn into a bullet to make a bullet point list. Use two to make an indented point in a sublist.

Number Sign: A number sign (#) at the start of a line will turn into a numbered element in a list.

The pre.../pre tag pair (each in angle brackets) can be used to turn off formatting for a given part of the text and show it exactly as it appears in the wikitext, as was used in the templates above.

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