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Frank Gilliam

Bringing the “Science of Communication” to Criminal Justice Advocacy

by Frank Gilliam August 4, 2014 Uncategorized

When criminal justice advocates gather in Martha’s Vineyard this August to reflect on the progress of, and challenges to, their advocacy, they will have the benefit of new communications science research. For the last four years I have been part of a group of social scientists, lawyers and practitioners – led by the Charles Hamilton [...]

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Race vs. Class: The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

by Frank Gilliam February 28, 2012 Framer Reads the News

So here it is – Black History Month! Schoolchildren all over the country will spend a few days learning about Martin Luther King, Jr., learning who invented the cotton gin, and even learning how to sing an old negro spiritual (no, not an Al Green tune!). If you can’t feel the sarcasm dripping from my [...]

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Framing Criminal Justice Reform: A Lesson From the New Yorker

by Frank Gilliam February 7, 2012 Framer Reads the News

In a recent New Yorker piece Adam Gopnik writes about mass incarceration in the U.S. It is an interesting piece and worth reading. In this blog I want to do a few of things. The first is to offer a critique of the piece from a framing perspective. In particular, I want to show how [...]

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How to Win the Public on Policy Change: The Need for Causal Chains

by Frank Gilliam January 11, 2012 Framer Reads the News

What do the Hollywood Community Plan and programs for Early Child Development  in Australia have in common? Seemingly, nothing. But what I am about to show, however, is how policy proposals can produce counter-productive results when officials fail to follow the simple predicates of causal sequencing – what we call causal chains – in communications. [...]

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Occupy: Flash Mob Politics or Social Movement?

by Frank Gilliam October 9, 2011 Framer Reads the News

One of the most interesting and entertaining phenomena of this political season is the so-called “Occupy” trend. Started a few weeks ago by a group generally referred to as Occupy Wall Street, people have been gathering at city halls, corporate headquarters, and other institutions of power across the United States to protest a wide range [...]

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Communicating Place-Based Initiatives

by Frank Gilliam October 6, 2011 Framing in the Field

The concept of “place” has become an important touchstone for advocates of transformational social change. A series of government initiatives all fall under the rubric of place-based models. Those include: Promise Neighborhoods, Sustainable Communities, and Hope VI; community-based projects such as the Harlem Children’s Zone and the Los Angeles Urban Leagues’ Neighborhoods@Work; and philanthropic efforts like [...]

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What Dominant Frames Conceal: Inequality and Civil Unrest

by Frank Gilliam September 30, 2011 Framing in the Field

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg – on his weekly radio show – was asked about the implications of the rising poverty rate in the U.S. He responded, “[Y]ou have a lot of kids graduating college, who can’t find jobs…That’s what happened in Cairo. That’s what happened in Madrid. You don’t want those kinds of [...]

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Say it Ain’t So! Higher Education Reform in California

by Frank Gilliam September 12, 2011 Framer Reads the News

Say it ain’t so! I have fallen into the classic advocate’s trap. I thought Californians would surely understand the overwhelming evidence that large, public research universities are central drivers of opportunity and prosperity. Just tick off the list: Aerospace? Check. Bio-medical inventions? Check. Internet? Check. These advances and many more are in no small measure [...]

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Does a negative plus a negative equal a positive for President Obama?

by Frank Gilliam September 9, 2011 Framer Reads the News

In a recent Los Angeles Times article, political reporter Doyle McManus argues that president Obama’s “tone” is changing and will be highlighted in his jobs speech. If true, this is clearly a turn away from the “reasonable” mode of communications the president has used for most of his term in office. According to research from [...]

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