By Aliza Luft
Adrien Nemoz was 21 years old when his friends told him in horror that a stained-glass portrait of Marshal Pétain, the French Vichy regime’s authoritarian leader, was hanging in a chapel across the Fourvière Basilica. A tall, imposing Church overlooking Lyon, the Fourvière was seen by many as the moral center of the city. For Nemoz and his peers, it was unconscionable that a tribute to Pétain would hang in this holy place. After all, only several months earlier Pétain had agreed to an armistice with Hitler, resulting in the Nazi occupation of half of France. Something had to be done.
We are familiar with framing effects, and aware that different news media use headlines and content to frame stories differently. Christian Davenport recently explored the issue in some depth in his 2010 book. Over the weekend a very nice illustration of this problem unfolded with respect to the Standing Rock (Sioux) Tribe’s #NoDAPL protests against the North Dakota Access Pipe Line being built by Energy Transfer Partners with the support of the US Army Corps of Engineers North Dakota.
Writing for the Associated Press, James MacPherson (@MacPhersonJA) used the “balanced and objective” passive voice construction so prized by the Western news outlets that grew dominant during the mid 20th Century. Here is an image of his story published by ABC News.
How do I talk about my cause?
Snow, David A., E. Burke Rochford, Steven K. Worden and Robert D. Benford. 1986. “Frame Alignment Processes, Micromobilization, and Movement Participation.” American Sociological Review 51(4):464-81.
Snow, David A. 2004. “Framing Processes, Ideology, and Discursive Fields.” Pp. 380-412 in The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, edited by D. A. Snow, S. A. Soule and H. Kriesi. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher.
David Snow, Robert Benford, Holly McCammon, Lyndi Hewitt, and Scott Fitzgerald. 2014. The Emergence, Development, and Future of the Framing Perspective: 25+ Years Since “Frame Alignment”. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 19(1):23-46
Gustav Brown. 2014. Does Framing Matter? Institutional Constraints on Framing in Two Cases of Intrastate Violence. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 19(2):143-164.
We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.
Climate activism seems to be everywhere: from the wheat fields of Nebraska, to the halls of the United Nations, to university campuses all over the world. The massive People’s Climate March in November, 2014 brought more than 300,000 people to the streets of New York. Big events are also being planned for the next UN climate meeting in Paris, along with continued pressure in capitals, universities, cities, and corporations all over the world.
In my recent book on international climate activism, I argue that one of the big developments in climate activism has been a shift in the way that activists are framing the climate issue. Continue reading