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Encyclopedia of Social Theory

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Encyclopedia of Social Theory

George Ritzer

Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412952552 | Print ISBN: 9780761926115 | Online ISBN: 9781412952552 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Frame Analysis

Daniel F. Chambliss

Frame analysis is the study of the frames, or fundamental schemes of interpretation, by which people in social situations make coherent sense of what is occurring in those situations. Frame analysis assumes that social events and personal experiences may be understood by social actors in a variety of ways but that such understandings have their own structure and coherence, which can be systematically described. The concept was initially coined and developed by Erving Goffman (1974) but since the mid-1980s has predominantly been used in the study of social movements, and to a lesser extent in narrative and discourse analysis as well as communication studies. In Goffman's original formulation, frame analysis was a method for studying “the organization of experience,” echoing concerns raised by William James and early phenomenological philosophers such as Edmund Husserl and Alfred Schutz. For Schutz, individuals could experience the “multiple realities” of everyday life, dreams, hallucinations, revery, ...

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