Framing Your World: Success Inspite of Difficulties

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You can't make a man a Christian unless you first make him believe he is a sinner. Lin Yutang , The Importance of Living , p. B: What do you think what a person I am? Fields, Bertrand Russell, H.

Wells, Woodrow Wilson and others. However, the earliest example of this basic story found by QI did not spotlight any of the persons just listed [ The story was retold for decades. Famous men were substituted into the role of the individual making the proposition. Occasionally, the individual who received the proposition was also described as famous, but typically she remained unidentified. McIntyre printed a version of the anecdote that he says was sent to him as a newspaper clipping. What do you think I am? Now we are trying to determine the degree. Come and bring a friend—if you have one.

Will attend the second—if there is one. The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech. Widely attributed to Shaw, this quotation is actually of unknown origin. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. But this quote seems more likely to come from William H. Quote Investigator Retrieved on Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time. Hoitt, p. I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig.

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You get dirty and besides the pig likes it. Initially attributed to Cyrus S. Ching in Time , Vol. Wikipedia has an article about: George Bernard Shaw. Wikisource has original works written by or about: George Bernard Shaw. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: George Bernard Shaw. ISBN Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikipedia Wikisource.

This page was last edited on 3 September , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The authors observe that "by focusing our attention on different facts and by interpreting the same facts in different ways, we have a remarkable ability, when we are embroiled in a controversy, to dismiss the evidence adduced by our antagonists. Intractable policy controversies are damaging to the public in at least two ways.

First, such controversies impair public learning because, the authors argue, " any attempt to conduct public inquiry into policy issues requires a minimally coherent, more or less consensual framework within which the results of policy issues can be evaluated and the findings of investigation can be interpreted. Controversies are increasingly "settled" though not resolved by appeal to the courts, or by policy stalemates which simply maintain the status quo. Schon and Reid argue that traditional approaches to policy analysis can neither account for intractable controversies, nor aid in their resolution.

They review the three main schools of policy analysis, each of which is characterized by its own notion of agent rationality. Policies are evaluated in terms of their cost to benefit ratio. This approach tends to assume that there is an objectively best solution to any policy problems.

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This approach to policy analysis rests "on a conception of economic rationality according to which policy problems are seen as instrumental in nature, and policy makers are seen as rational to the extent that they do the best they can do to satisfy the combined welfare functions of those affected by their policies. This approach suffers from three difficulties. First, it has not been able to establish adequate standards for evaluating policy failure or success.

Second, by focusing on evaluating outcomes it neglects processes, and so yields little understanding of why a particular policy succeeds or fails. Third, such analysis tends to be geared toward providing information for legislative oversight, rather than toward providing information for the policy consumers and public.

On this view agents are rational insofar as they rationally promote their own interests and values. Interest groups and agents bargain and exchange to achieve the policy or compromise which best satisfies their individual interests. The authors identify two difficulties with this approach. First, it cannot account for intractable conflicts. Why should some conflicts be immune to bargaining and compromise? Second, it does not address the issue of disproportionate power. Powerful groups may be better able to satisfy their interests at the expense of relatively powerless groups.

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Parties are rational insofar as they attempt to "achieve joint gains for the participants by converting win-lose to win-win situations. Again, there are two difficulties with this approach. First, some theorists concede that this approach may not be effective in disputes over basic rights or values. That is, it may not be useful in addressing the sorts of policy controversies in which the authors are most interested.

Second, it assumes that the parties interests are constant or given. Indeed the resolution of values conflicts seems to hinge on just such transformations. They begin by introducing the concept of frames. Real situations are complex, vague, ambiguous and indeterminate.

In order to make sense of any situation one must select out certain features and relations which are taken to be the most relevant characteristics of that situation. These features allow one to create a story which explains the situation. Examples of such generative metaphors include the metaphor of disease and health, of sin and redemption, or of natural processes versus unnatural interference. Framing is necessary to make a problematic situation intelligible. However most situations can be framed in different, and even incompatible, ways.

Frames do more than simply describe a situation. Frames have normative implications, that is, they imply that a certain type of solution is called for.

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For instance, a problem framed in terms of disease calls for a rather different response than one framed in terms of sin. The authors note that "It is typical of diagnostic-prescriptive stories such as these that they execute the normative leap [from describing a problem to recommending a solution] in such a way as to make it seem graceful, compelling, even obvious. On the one hand their understanding of their interests may motivate them to frame a situation in a particular way.

On the other hand their framing of the situation affects their perception of their interests. Because of this relation between frames and interests, and because of our tendency to interpret facts differently in light of our frames and interests, it is not possible to falsify a frame. And so frames cannot be said to be objectively right or wrong, objectively correct or incorrect.

In addition, there is no objective stance from which to evaluate frames, if by objective we mean frame-neutral. The authors offer a number of key concepts and distinctions which they will use to further explore the role of framing in intractable policy controversies. Framing beliefs are usually not explicitly recognized; they are generally tacit beliefs and assumptions.

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In attempting to identify and reconstruct or as the authors say, construct the various frames that underlie policy issues we face a number of problems. The first problem the researcher faces in constructing a frame is that it can be difficult to tell which frame is underlying a particular policy position. For example, the rhetorical frame used to "sell" a policy may differ from the action frame that guides its implementation.

A second problem is that the same set of actions may be consistent with very different frames, and so one cannot tell which frame is being relied upon by the actions alone. Third, different levels of policy administration and application may employ different frames.

The meaning of a policy may differ, for example, from the legislature which formulates the policy to the federal agency which enforces it, and differ again at the local level of implementation.


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Another difficulty arises in distinguishing between conflict that arise within a frame, and conflicts that cut across frames. This task is made more complicated by the different, nested, levels of frames. A conflict may cut across institutional frames, yet have a shared metacultural frame. Yet another difficulty arises in trying to distinguish between the potential for shifting a frame, and he actual occurrence of a shift in framing.

A final, more theoretical problem is that the individuals seeking to uncover and construct frames are themselves investigating from within some frame. Despite these difficulties, Schon and Reid believe that the project of developing a frame-critical approach to policy analysis is feasible. They are hopeful that many of the practical difficulties noted above can be overcome by "carefully nuanced observations and analyses of the processes by which policy utterances and actions evolve over time and at different levels of the policy making process.

Schon and Reid begin by considering three conceptual obstacles to developing an account of frame-critical rationality. First is the relation between frame reflection, reframing, and conflict resolution. The second obstacle is the problem of relativism. And the final obstacle is the practical problem of reflecting across frames. The first difficulty lies in clarifying the relation between reflecting on frames, reframing issues, and resolving controversies. The authors note that frame reflections does not always lead to reframing, and that reframing does not always lead to resolution.

Moreover reframing may happen even without any explicit reflection on frames.

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Frame-critical analysis may not be a panacea for all policy controversies. The second obstacle that they note is the problem of relativism, which has been alluded to above. The relativist worry is that, in the absence of some frame-neutral standpoint real evaluation of frames is not possible. The validity of any frame must always be relative to some other frame, the validity of which is itself only relative. It would seem then that there can be no final standards or independent criteria from which to judge.

In general, theorists have employed two strategies for dealing with relativism. As it happened, the project activities proceeded on schedule, but a new minister of agriculture came on board two years in and argued that he needed to see results sooner than the plan allowed.


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