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Elaborating the discursive contexts of framing: discursive fields and spaces

Studies in Symbolic Interaction

ISBN: 978-1-84663-930-2, eISBN: 978-1-84663-931-9

Publication date: 25 July 2008


As the framing perspective has evolved, there has been growing recognition that framing processes cannot be adequately understood apart from the broader enveloping contexts in which those processes occur. One such context recently has been conceptualized as discursive opportunities or the DOS. To date the concept has been examined most closely and carefully in relation to the media, most notably in Koopmans research on how the strategies of the German radical right have evolved partly in response to various media reactions and constraints (Koopmans, 2004) and in Ferree, Gamson, Gerhards, and Rucht's (2002) comparison of abortion discourse in the U.S. and Germany (between 1970 and 1994) via the media. Koopmans provides the most straightforward and researchable conception of discursive opportunities, defining them in terms of three selection mechanisms that affect the probability of a proffered message or framing being picked-up and diffused. They include “visibility (the extent to which a message is covered by the mass media), resonance (the extent to which others – allies, opponents, authorities, etc. – react to a message), and legitimacy (the degree to which such reactions are supportive)” (Koopmans, 2004, p. 367).


Snow, D.A. (2008), "Elaborating the discursive contexts of framing: discursive fields and spaces", Denzin, N.K. (Ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 30), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-28.



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