Saturday, September 26, 2009

Framing Concepts - How to Force Your Ideas on Others

Politics is a dirty business and you can see this in action in the facinating discussion about how politicians use the idea of 'framing concepts' to shape what we think - so for example, the War on Terror - is a war on a state of mind and so by definition all the normal concepts of a war are shifted so the people waging that war can amass power over us against a nebulous foe and with uncertain outcomes.

I have noted these before; Derrick Jensen talks about this in his work; about how big concepts are slipped past us in the framing of questions, so he says a news anchor says "How can we get the US economy to grow?" in that are framed a number of assumptions - that you want the economy to grow, that you want there to event be and economy and that you want there to even be a US at all.

You also hear it where the media refers to Israeli Settlers' whereas the word for somebody moving into another persons land is actually 'Colonisers' and so changes the framing of the debate.

1 comment:

S2 said...

I think, if memory serves me right, the term "settlers" was used to describe the Europeans who migrated to America, and "colonisers" was the term used for those moving to parts of Africa (though I think that "settlers" was also used in parts of East Africa (Kenya, and what is now Tanzania).

A fine distinction - but Uganda remained a Kingdom, and Tanzania became a "Protectorate" - whereas Kenya became a "Colony".

The indigenous people probably couldn't tell the difference.

"Colony" has also been watered down somewhat over the last several decades by Science Fiction writers describing colonies on otherwise lifeless bodies such as the Moon, IO, Mars & Venus. Even NASA now talks about establishing colonies.

I suggest that probably the most accurate description of the Israelis in the West Bank is "Occupiers".