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.
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.
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.
An important addition to public policy, public opinion, and mass media literature. Highly recommended.
Callaghan and Schnell do a masterful job of integrating a diverse set of studies and provide unusual coherence for an edited volume.