Saturday, May 20, 2006

Rockridge Institute - The Framing of Immigration: "The Framing of Immigration by George Lakoff, Sam Ferguson
Framing is at the center of the recent immigration debate. Simply framing it as about �immigration� has shaped its politics, defining what count as �problems� and constraining the debate to a narrow set of issues. The language is telling. The linguistic framing is remarkable: frames for illegal immigrant, illegal alien, illegals, undocumented workers, undocumented immigrants, guest workers, temporary workers, amnesty, and border security. These linguistic expressions are anything but neutral. Each framing defines the problem in its own way, and hence constrains the solutions needed to address that problem. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we will analyze the framing used in the public debate. Second, we suggest some alternative framing to highlight important concerns left out of the current debate. Our point is to show that the relevant issues go far beyond what is being discussed, and that acceptance of the current framing impoverishes the discussion.

The Framing of Immigration By George Lakoff and Sam Ferguson (c) 2006 The Rockridge Institute (We invite the free distribution of this piece) On May 15th, in an address from the Oval Office, President Bush presented his proposal for �comprehensive immigration reform.� The term �immigration reform� evokes an issue-defining conceptual frame � The Immigration Problem Frame � a frame that imposes a structure on the current situation, defines a set of �problems� with that situation, and circumscribes the possibility for �solutions.� �Reform,� when used in politics, indicates there is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed � take �medicare reform,� �lobbying reform,� �social"


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