What makes a frame persuasive? Lessons from social identity theory

Mols, Frank (2012) What makes a frame persuasive? Lessons from social identity theory. Evidence & Policy, 8 3: 329-345. doi:10.1332/174426412X654059

Author Mols, Frank
Title What makes a frame persuasive? Lessons from social identity theory
Journal name Evidence & Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-2648
Publication date 2012-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1332/174426412X654059
Volume 8
Issue 3
Start page 329
End page 345
Total pages 17
Place of publication Bristol, United Kingdom
Publisher The Policy Press
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract We know from the issue-framing literature that politicians 'frame' issues strategically to influence public perceptions and preferences. We also know that there are different framing techniques. What remains poorly understood, though, is what makes a frame persuasive. The proposition put forward in this debate paper is that social psychological research into leadership and persuasion can shed light on this question. Social Identity theorists have shown that influential leaders are crafty 'identity entrepreneurs', whose social influence derives, not from their ability to frame issues, but from their ability to redefine the collective self-understanding. Just how potent this framing technique is becomes visible when examining the way in which radical opposition leaders call the electorate to arms. As will be shown with the help of two examples, by persuading the electorate of an imminent threat to the collective 'us', radical opposition leaders are able to gain considerable control not only over whether an 'issue' becomes regarded as a problem requiring a policy-solution, but also over whose evidence/knowledge counts.
Keyword Evidence-based policy
Identity threat
Identity entrepreneurs
Policy change
issue framing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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