Framing is a term used in the social sciences to describe the filters we subconsciously apply to events in the world around us. Some of these come from our upbringing; our parents, friends and teachers; some are from popular culture; but perhaps the most important are those of the mainstream media and political and economic elites. By managing the “news” and the flow of information, deciding on which topics are suitable for debate and which are not – usually by omission, news organisations, politicians, lobby groups and their PR companies are continually massaging our perspective on the most important issues affecting our lives. When these topics involve our economy, our civil liberties and in the name of national defence, the killing of people, it is important to extend the “frame” beyond the popular narrative, to question the official and mainstream by examining alternative arguments. This blog will attempt to explain and link to some of those alternatives by looking beyond the entertainment packaged for us in the 6 o’clock news. If you prefer the safe cocoon of the status quo and the official explanation, move along. If you want to look a bit deeper behind the headlines read on.
If the debate is framed within a comfortable liberal status quo, what happens when the status quo is misguided or even corrupt?