Frame Analysis It Should Come Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Another significant similarity between frame and discourse analyses is that they both generally use qualitative methods of data reduction and presentation. This is in comparison to quantitative analysis, which is more objective and generally presents group rather than individual data. This can make it difficult to apply what it learned to a broader group of people, because they are looking at specific information for different people. This does not mean it is impossible. In both frame and discourse analysis, researchers often take a two-step approach. The first step is to help define the theory, and the second step is to examine text in order to code it and see how it applies.

In addition, both discourse and frame analyses are actually well-suited to study through focus groups and other types of group research. Social movement research can be helped by the use of focus groups because the groups, like the underlying texts, not only reflect the underlying values in a social movement, but also demonstrate the ways that different groups might communicate with one another, helping explain and define a social movement. Convening focus groups helps explore social construction processes in a proactive way, which can blur the line between research and activism, a common "problem" in both discourse and frame analysis. Rarely do researchers from either perspective merely report findings; they are generally invested in the findings and believe them to be a source of encouragement for some type of social change. Focus groups permit insight into thought process, by encouraging people to reveal the thoughts behind beliefs and words without the pressure of a one-on-one interview scenario. However, much like the general society, discussion in focus groups can be dominated by those who are better informed or who have particular goals in the discussion.

Another common element of discourse and frame analysis is that they are prone to the same significant source of error: the incorrect or biased coding of texts in qualitative analysis. This is critical because researchers tend to present coded information to their audience, not the underlying data that prompted the coding. "Once coded and enumerated, the basis of the coding decision is lost to the analyst" (Johnston, p.87). Therefore, simple coding processes are important. Likewise, having multiple independent coders or a panel-system, so that coding is not simply an individual's subjective judgment can help reduce coding errors.

An additional similarity between frame and discourse analyses is revealed when one compares the two to other types of analyses. "Applied to social movements, they ask different kinds of questions and demand different kinds of data than structuralist and rationalist approaches" (Johnston, p.88). As a result, they might embrace a wide variety of methodologies, and this embrace of varying methodologies is one of the reasons that it is difficult to differentiate between frame analysis and discourse analysis.

Because both frame and discourse analyses have broad definitions, they can be blurred, which can lead to overlap. Therefore, the individual researcher needs to take on the burden of defining the type of study used. "It is crucial that the concepts be clearly defined and used consistently from the initial study design to the final write-up" (Johnston, p.85). Therefore, by not blurring the two in an individual research scenario, it becomes easier to group different research approaches as either discourse or frame analyses. It seems almost impossible to conclusively distinguish the two. From Johnston's description, it appears that discourse could be considered a way of framing information for an analysis. This means that the frame would be determining what all information the discourse includes. Of course, this differentiation really depends upon the individual definitions used by each researcher.


Johnston, H. Verfication and proof in frame and discourse analysis.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Johnston, H. Verfication and proof in frame and discourse analysis. P. 62-89.

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