October 19, 2018

Media and Violence

Introduction: Media

How does media affect violence?


Convincing people of:

  • "Facts"/Narratives about the world (Lippman)
  • What is the problem
  • What are "solutions" to the problem
  • Why they should take action

How does media affect violence?


Media conveys information to people that changes behavior:

  • Media informs people of like-minded others, better able to plan violence
  • Convey costliness of violence (e.g. lynching)
  • Convey low cost of violence (many supporters, others willing to use violence)




the assignment of meaning and interpretations to events and social conditions in ways that are designed to mobilize supporters, win new supporters, and demobilize opponents

Who does framing?

Governments, political parties, organizations, individuals


Frames and Violence

Frames about violence

  • e.g., framing lynching

Frames that contribute to violence

  • e.g., Babri Masjid as site of Ram Temple

Framing: 3 Varieties

diagnostic framing

frames that identify a problem and attribute blame to individuals, groups, or structural factors

Framing: 3 Varieties

prognostic framing

frames that give solutions to the "problem" and the identification of strategies, tactics, and targets for political action or violence

Note: usually corresponds with the cause or blame assigned in diagnostic frame

Framing: 3 Varieties

motivational framing

frames that give a call to action or a particular reason for individuals to take action

Note: emphasizes why individuals in the audience need to do something about the problem

An Application

Which kinds of frames are present here?


Motivational Frames

Frames in Practice

Next Week

What kinds of frames work?

  • Frames more effective if they are "inclusive" or "master" frames?
  • What kinds of frames actually persuade? (Resonance)

What kinds of frames linked to violence?