The Art of Persuassion Essay

The Art of Persuassion Essay

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The textbook Persuasion in Society defines framing as “a number of possible ways of seeing something, while it defines reframing as a way of seeing something differently; in effect changing its meaning”. (Simons & Jones p.179) Essentially these definitions boil down to perspective. How things are framed are simply what perspective they are shown in or which they are intended to be shown in. Reframing simply means that the perspective changes and adjustments are made on the fly.
These concepts were applied in our class in some of the videos and movies we observed. For example, the video we observed on Republicans v. Democrats and how they frame certain language to be beneficial to their respective party and campaigns. Certain trigger words were framed by one party to evoke a positive or negative response, essentially serving as god and devil terms.
The documentary Jesus Camp was a prime example of framing and how it’s used. All the clips and footage was chosen for a specific reason because it fit the frame the directors and producers were trying to convey. We didn’t get a glimpse into the lives of the members of the documentary, other than to see what the directors wanted us to see. We didn’t see the downtime of the camp or the normal things the kids took part in, we only saw the footage that would evoke a certain emotion in us.
The movie Wag the Dog was perhaps the greatest example of both framing and reframing that we observed in class. The whole movie was a lesson in framing and reframing and how quickly adjustments on the fly have to be made. The entire way in which the “war” is framed takes several key steps to convince the American public. We see this framing in the way they make a fake video that they claim originate from...


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...to them, they air it as ultimate truth, a quality that exists heavily in today’s media.
Both these sources of media made me question my reality and beliefs throughout the semester. That is the reason why the biggest thing I’ve learned is just how easily these works of “fiction” can quickly become, and may already be works of reality. Due to this lesson, I have also learned to think more critically and question why certain things are framed in a certain way, and follow the trail to see who is framing them and who the frame benefits. The best thing the American public can do is question, whether it be the government, our teachers, or our leaders.



Works Cited

Melia, T., Ryder, N., & Jones, J. (1981). Lucifer state. Dubuque, Iowa, USA: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co..
Simons, H. W., & Jones, J. (2011). Chapter 6. Persuasion in society (2nd ed., p. 279). New York: Routledge.

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