from AlterNet: Inside the Frame “A frame is a conceptual structure of a certain form. Let me give […]

from AlterNet: Inside the Frame

“A frame is a conceptual structure of a certain form. Let me give you an example. Suppose I say the word “relief.” The word “relief” has a conceptual frame associated with it. Here’s the frame: In order to give someone relief, there has to be an affliction and an afflicted party – somebody who’s harmed by this affliction – and a reliever, somebody who gives relief to the afflicted party or takes away the harm or pain. That reliever is a hero. And if someone tries to stop the person giving relief from doing so, they’re a bad guy. They’re a villain. They want to keep the affliction ongoing. So when you use only one word, “relief,” all of that information is called up. That is a simple conceptual frame. ”
— George Lakoff

any one want to question the importance of selecting the right label now?


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  1. 2
    Lawrence Krubner

    I either don’t understand your last sentence, or I disagree with it. You also disagree with it, based on things you’ve posted here before. Each of us has a conceptual frame around concepts like “relief”, but we have different frames. Therefore it is nearly impossible to come up with a “correct” label, if “correct” means the one that will work for everyone. A gathering that one person would put in the category “nationalism” another puts into the category of “traditional festival”.

  2. 3
    Lyle Kantrovich

    Lawrence, I think you just helped make Christina’s point. “Better” labels have more consistency in the frames that they conjure up. Of course, the more diverse the audience, the more inconsistency due to differences in values, culture, education, language, etc.

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re disagreeing with either. Are you saying there’s no “right” label? Of course, there’s no perfect label – but I took Christina’s point to be that this “frame concept” just emphasizes that labels are very important because each brings along a lot of semantic baggage… What’s the other option? No labels?

    Let me know if I misunderstood your point…

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