- Contextualizing frames in political discourse: using semantic network analysis to investigate political parties' framing strategies in the Dutch EU referendum campaign
- Conference papers: International Communication Association: annual meeting
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Frames do not naturally occur on their own, they are embedded in wider, often strategically crafted narratives. This paper proposes a conceptualization which contextualizes frames, highlighting functional relations, semantic coherence, and compositional overlaps between frames. It criticizes existing frame-analytic methodologies based on their preoccupation with the individual, artificially isolated frame, and suggests an alternative approach that retains the context of frames. Implementing this approach using techniques adapted from the semantic network analysis (SNA) of discourse, the paper investigates the framing strategies advanced by Dutch political parties in the EU constitutional referendum campaign. The analysis finds a differentiated center-periphery structure in the alignment of frames in strategic discourse: While the core argument is typically defined by two contrasting, central frames, various peripheral frames further elaborate the core’s situation definition and causal explanations. Frames thus react in systematic ways to the discursive environment in which they appear.
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