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Framing the French Riots: A Comparative Study of Frame Variation Author(s): David A. Snow, Rens Vliegenthart, Catherine Corrigall-Brown Reviewed work(s): Source: Social Forces, Vol. 86, No. 2 (Dec., 2007), pp. 385-415 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20430747 . Accessed: 01/02/2012 08:15
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Framing theFrench Riots: A Comparative Study of Frame Variation
David A. Snow,University California,Irvine of Rens Vliegenthart, University Amsterdam of Columbia CatherineCorrigall-Brown, University British of In an attempttoadvance understanding variationand offrame we thataccountfor it, conducta comparative thefactors study were frameddiagnostically Fall 2005 French "riots" of how the We activities acrossa and prognostically. examine theseframing diversesetofactorsand assess therole ideological, of contextual, attributional and temporalfactors hypothesized accountfor to theobservedvariation.The data comefroma content analysis of articleson theFrench riots that appeared in newspapers from a half dozen countries during theperiod inwhich the riotsoccurred. Our findings, based primarilyon variance and regression for analyses, revealvaried support our hypotheses, the and suggest theoretical analyticalutility examiningframe of variationbeyond the French riots, and raisequestionsthatcall forfurther empiricalinquiry regardingframingprocesses. introduced into the social sciences by The frame concept was Gregory Bateson in 1955 and elaborated nearly 20 years later by ErvingGoffman inFrame Analysis (1974). But the concept stimulated littletheorizing or research until the mid-1980s when it formed the cornerstone fora framingperspective on social movements (Gamson et al. 1982; Snow et al. 1986) and was found to be of conceptual utility in research on political communication (Entman 1993). Within both contexts, research has focused primarilyon the identification ofmovement- or event-relevant frames and theireffects.1 While both lines of research have contributed significantlyto understanding the dynamics of social movements (Benford and Snow 2000; Snow 2004) and political communication, particularly in the context of the print media (Scheufele 1999),we know little about the factors that account for variation in frames, particularly with respect to the same event, object or issue. Additionally, there has been relativelylittle comparative research on framing.
We would like to thank members of theUCI Sociology Department's Social Movement & Social Justice was initiallydiscussed and Cas Mudde Workshop, inwhich the_paper
comments. Direct to David A. Snow, fortheir helpful Correspondence Department of 92697. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org. Sociology, UniversityCalifornia, of Irvine,
? The University NorthCarolina of Press Social Forces,Volume 86, Number 2,December 2007
386 . Social Forces Volume 86,Number 2 . December 2007
In this paper,we address both lacunae by conducting a comparative study of how differentactors framed the Fall 2005 French riots in 12 newspapers in six countries over a three-week period, Oct. 27 through Nov. 18.2 An overview of the riots is followed by a discussion of the relevant framingissues and theoretical considerations and hypotheses. Data base and sampling considerations are discussed along with coding procedures, the operationalization of variables and analytic procedures. We then review our findingsand their implications for a more general understanding of framing processes. The FrenchRiots of 2005 In the early evening of Oct. 27, 2005, three teenagers climbed the wall of a high-voltage electrical substation ina rundown section of the northern Paris banlieue (suburb) called Clichy-sous-Bois, populated mainly by first-and second-generation immigrants from Northern Africa. The youths reportedly jumped the substation wall in order to take refuge from the police, who they thought were chasing them for fleeing a police identity inspection. Whatever the precise motivation for tryingto hide in the substation, two of the teenagers was injured.They were discovered were electrocuted and the third other shortlyafterwardswhen the police noticed, while interrogating youth theyhad brought back to a station house forsuspected burglary of a nearby construction site, that the station computer screens had blacked out and that therewere nearby power failures. News of thedeaths was quicklydisseminated, promptingsome Clichy sous-Bois youth to take to the streets to burn cars and engage invarious motion what Time described as acts of vandalism.This reportedlyset in "a rolling wave of nightly clashes between young Arabs and French riot police that leapfrogged across the suburbs of Paris," eventually reaching "as fareast as Dijon and south toMarseilles." (Graff 2005:37) The rioting unfolded over the course of 20 nights,ending on Nov. 17when the police "declared a returnto a normal situation throughoutFrance, saying that the 98 vehicles torched the previous night corresponded to the usual resulted in2,888 arrests, average." (Wikipedia2005:1) All told, the rioting 126 injured police and 8,973 burned vehicles (Wikipedia2005:1). Not only did the riots attractworld-wide media attention, but that attentionwent well beyond descriptive reportage to consideration of wave questions about causes and solutions, such as: What prompted this be of civilunrest inFrance? On whom orwhat can it blamed?What can be done to prevent its reoccurrence?And who is responsible forremedying the underlyingproblems? In short,much of the discussion, particularly with particularemphasis in the print media, involved framingthe riots,
They arise. Research has shown that both diagnostic and prognostic framingcan generate considerable debate resulting in "frame disputes. inthe context of social movements and events such as the riots. Frames that define events as problematic and in need of control or repair. suggesting that those meanings are variably contestable and negotiable and thus open to debate and differential interpretation." They also function as articulation mechanisms by linking together the highlighted elements of the event or setting such that one set of meanings rather than another is conveyed.motivational framing." have been characterized intermsof thecore framing "prognostic" and "motivational" framing(Snow and Benford 1988). By suggesting that our action towards things is partly contingent on how they are framed. includinga plan of attack and frame-consistenttactics forcarryingitout. events or experiences we encounter. as tasks of "diagnostic. Applied to all varieties of social phenomena. likepicture frames.which function. activities.Framing theFrenchRiots . these functions also highlight the importance of understanding the determinants of framevariation:what is done in relation to events like riotsdepends in part on the various ways they are framed and the relative salience of one framingvis-a-vis others. a problem by articulating rationale(s)for engaging incorrective "free-rider" activity(Snow and Benford 1988). instead. work that renders events and Framing refers to interpretive. and Prognostic framinginvolves the articulationof a solution to the problem. and the attributionof blame for the problem. 387 on what is referredto as diagnostic and prognostic framing within the framing perspective on social movements. And they sometimes which perform a transformativefunction by reconstituting theway in are understood as relating to each other. through interpretiveprocesses mediated by various contextual factors. what is "in-frame" and "out-of-frame. to focus attention by bracketing and punctuating what in our sensual field is relevant and irrelevant. conceptualization. the idea of framingproblematizes themeanings associated with relevant events. is rooted in the symbolic interactionist principle that meanings do not automatically attach themselves to the objects. Theoretical Issues and Orientation from Goffman's Frame Analysis (1974).The product of framing processes are interpretiveframes. some objects of attention as in the transformationof everydaymisfortunes into injustices in the context of social movements. This borrowed occurrences subjectively meaningful. The as former entails a diagnosis of some event or aspect of life troublesome in need of change. places and actors." (Benford addresses the 1993) The finalcore framingtask. signifying .
and on framingeffects or outcomes (Cress and Snow 2000. and Snow 2004). 2002). To date. Ferree et al.Within the former. Koopmans 2004. 2002. Gitlin's focus was on the framingeffects of media coverage.Number 2 ." Much of this research bears directly on framing. and the analyticobjective of accounting forvariation inthese frames.388 . Consequently. For example. Ferree et al. ifcross-national. ina widely cited reviewarticle. 2002. But like many framing studies. Ellingson 1995. systematic examination of the factors thataccount forframe variations is rare among framingstudies in the two substantive areas in which they are most prominent: the study of social movements and political communication. There is a good deal of research that examines the linkbetween movements and themedia. the or As we suggested earlier. 2002). This research void is partly due to the dearth of comparative framingresearch. cities ormovement organizationswithin thesame country(Cress and Snow 2000. December 2007 of frames (Cadena-Roa 2002. a relationship thatGamson and Wolfsfield (1993) call "transactional. we focus on these two core framingactivitieswith the the descriptive objective of identifying range of diagnostic and prognostic frames elaborated by different actors in the newspapers examined. Social Forces Volume 86. among more than two different The same lacunae also hold forresearch inpoliticalcommunication. McCaffrey and Keys 2000. the newspapers examined engaged principally in framingthe French riotsdiagnostically and prognostically. but generally the comparisons have been across states. But none of the studies working at the intersection of social movements and themedia directlyexamine the factors that account for framevariation actors. and how those framingefforts are affected by factors such as organizational structure. but the research has generally focused on the identification of . there has been a plethora of framingresearch (fora summary. McCammon 2001).organizational media discursive opportunitystructures and the standing of an identity. Rohlinger 2002). Other research has examined how ideologically opposed movement organizations have strategicallyconstructed media frames to garner coverage during critical moments in the abortion debate. across only a couple of countries (Dimitrova and Stromback 2005. or. The scant research on framevariation has generally focused on changes intheway an issue ormovement is framed fromone point in time to another (Berbrier1998. SMO (Ferree et al. dating back toGitlin's (1980) examination of the consequences ofmedia coverage of theNew Left.see Benford and Snow 2000. with even less attentiondevoted to variation in framingthe same event across different actors.Scheufele (1999:109) states that on factors affect development production that mobilizing the frames. McCammon 2001). Rohlinger 2002). Ferree et al. There are a few exceptions.
For this reason." (Bennett 1990) This selection bias is also found in protest event research that from institutional findsnewspaper description bias favoringinformation resources (Smith et al. Semetko and Valkenburg 2000). 2001). 389 "no evidence has yet been systematicallycollected about how various Various qualities innews intermsof framing. 2001. on law-and-order and newspapers skewed to the righttherewill be more focus on short termsolutions. Budge et al. (2001) show that a rightist political ideology is associated with a greater tendency to focus we hypothesize that incountries solutions.Furthermore. newspaper framingis suggested by findingsshowing journalists' reliance on institutional. is to begin to fillthe void in the framingliterature regardingthe conditions thataccount forframe variation. However. Marx and Engels politicalprocesses and social movements. Probably themost noteworthysystematic cross-national research has focused on selected European Union related issues (De Vreese et al. Our analytic objective in this paper.but does not look at divergent framingby different there ismore interest inthe effects of news the news item. The first is ideological." factors impact the structural more (cross-national) comparative research to scholars have called for fillthis gap (Benson 2004. Furthermore. De Vreese and work takes Semetko 2004. ithas been shown that individuals and that such deference is a key featureof more deferential to authority ideology (Altemeyer1988). this a verybroad approach using generic frames at the levelof the newspaper actors within article.The importanceof ideology inrelationto political set orientation and action has long been accented by students of culture. We thus expect the political ideology of both country and newspaper to shape the framingprocesses. ofwhich the government is generally a themost important.Four sets of theoreticalconsiderations guide our investigation. Contextual trends contextual factors that can affect framing such as unemployment and migration rates have long been posited as correlates of riots (Feagin and Hahn 1973) and have been speculatively . Esser and Pfetsch 2004). then. on framing public attitudes and perceptions thanon the factorsunderlying cross-national or cross-time differences. In relation the importanceof government ideological position for tomedia framing. The second set of theoretical considerations concern relevant outcomes. phenomenon that is labeled "indexing. such as law and order.Framing theFrenchRiots . political resources. At the are who are politicallyright micro level. rangingfrom (1970) and Mannhein (1936) toGeertz (1973) and Zald (2000). attributions(blaminggroups such and invokenon-structural/group-based or as immigrants youth).we hypothesize that in rightist countries thatare under rightist governments or innewspapers that are therewill be a propensity to use state actors as sources politicallyright.Accordingly.
to other actors.Number 2 . This hypothesis is consistent with the fundamental attributionerror. Specifically. Media research suggests that event proximityis an important news value and is likely increase the chance to that the event will be covered and discussed in themedia (Galtung and Ruge 1965)." as Abbot (2001) argues. The third orienting theoretical consideration is suggested by the attribution perspective insocial psychology (Jones et al. and international will be more likely blame the state. more likely blame the riotson affected groups.Although attribution was developed with theory individuals in mind. includingframing processes.we examine thisproposition and the extent towhich itapplies to collective actors. we hypothesize that early in the career of an event the will be limited frame repertoire due to the noveltyof the issue. 1972.we hypothesize that countries economically and politically more distant fromthe riotsaremore to likely engage indiagnostic framing(as opposed to prognostic framing) because such distance decreases the likelihoodof being affected by the event and thereforereduces interestinthe search forsolutions. riotparticipants Alternatively. Assuming that frames change over timewith changes in the focal events or the competition of other events. as with the riots. Accordingly. We examine these connections alongwith another set of contextual factorsderivingfrom observations regardingthe relationship between event proximity and the relativesalience of the event or issue to different sets of actors. such as immigrants to and youth.Of particularrelevance is thegeneral proposition thattheattribution of responsibilityfor events varies by. to whereas those seeking to understand negative events happening to others are more likelyto blame the affected individuals (Ross 1977). the salience of the issue will decrease. Ross et al. we hypothesize thatcountries less politically and economically proximate to the riots will be more likely to blame the state for the event. which posits that individuals confronted with negative events aremore likely blame contextual factors. However. holds for the analysis of any social process or sequence. particularly when the focal event extends over time. attribution theorywould suggest that French state officialswould be selective about the contextual factors we hypothesize thatstate actors will be targeted forblame.we hypothesize that the French should blame contextual factors for the riots and other countries should blame the French government itself. such as opposition leaders. 1977). Extrapolating to the collective level. and less likely see themselves or theirpolicies as responsible. We thushypothesize thatas distance fromthe riotsincreases. to officials.Yet.390 . among other things. The finalorienting theoreticalconsideration is temporality. December 2007 associated with theFrench riots. the actor's relationshipto the event. In addition. That "time matters. Social Forces Volume 86. we hypothesize that during the escalation of the event therewill be a .
the selection of newspapers was constrained by their availability for inspection. Figure 1graphs the evolution and decline rioting of the rioting. Data. we were interested in selecting papers skewed inopposite directions on the Left/Right political continuum. We thought thatcapital-orientednewspapers might be more inclined to frameevents inaccord with state interests. Finally. wanted one of thepapers to be national in scope and one more proximate and oriented to the national capital. We focus our analysis on this period because it covers the duration of the rioting.since our database contained foreign language newspapers. inaddition to Francewe wanted several of the countries to be within theEuropean Union. with less diagnostic framinginthe later weeks of the riotas the identification of solutions becomes the focal concern. 391 proliferation frames as the field of actors expands.Additionally. theNetherlands. and thus limited selection to those newspapers indexed by LexisNexis thatalso satisfied the two preceding criteria.Finally. First. the United Kingdom.with some levelof consensus being reached. 1 days after the 0 had peaked on Nov.And third.Framing theFrenchRiots . and the United States based on three considerations. we were constrained by our language repertoireof Dutch. the event becomes less as novel or begins to dissipate. We chose to examine Canada. we hypothesize that the percentage of framing devoted to diagnosis will shiftover time.And third. LexisNexis was our newspaper search engine. 7. French and German. with each actor of attempting tomake sense of the riots. earlier in the riots.there should be more short-term solutions offeredwhich will be replaced by long termsolutions in later weeks. First. These three considerations mandated that we select our fromthe six countries listedabove. 17. France. and the total event framings in the 12 newspapers. 27 to officialpolice declaration of itscessation on Nov. measured interms of the numbers of burned vehicles as and arrests. Inaddition. English.from its inception on Oct.Germany. we posit a crystallizationof frames. Procedures andMethods Data Source and Sample Selection The data are derived from a content analysis of 418 articles on the French riots that appeared in 12 newspapers in six countries over a three-week period. wanted several of thecountries to be we outside of theEuropean Union butwith sufficientlongstandinghistorical and political ties to France to ensure more than passing reportage. Second. newspapers The selection of the two newspapers fromeach country was guided we by threeconsiderations. .
a number of procedures were followed.who we did all the coding.Attention toFrenchRiots and Riot Intensity 1600 250 CD c) 1200k E 1000: 800U)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U 1400 - \i--. Overall reliability . First.Number 2 ." or the equivalents for each respective language.) contained at least one diagnostic or prognostic framingelement. Each of these articles was coded when 1.VehiclesBurnt- Arrests Made Total Framings Article Selection and Coding The data used for the construction of our dependent variables (framing characteristics) come from a content analysis of relevant articles in each of the 12 newspapers. December 2007 Figure 1. We then refinedthose categories throughgroup discussion.200 200 liii \ EI 150.392 . during the research period were selected from LexisNexis. 100 6 400-:_ t\ / I N < 100 ~~~~~~~~~50 200~ 0 --. Articles containing both the words "riot"or "riots" and "France" or "French. Afterestablishing the final coding scheme. coded a small sample of the same-language newspaper articles inorder to reach consensus on an initial of possible diagnostic and prognostic framing set categories. Social Forces Volume 86.3 between each of the coders was more than .75.) the articlementioned the riots and 2. we each coded a small sample of theEnglish newspaper articles forthepurpose of calculating thedegree Formula (1 of intercoder-reliability Holsti's Intercoder using Reliability 969). Inorder to ensure intercoderreliability among the threeauthors.
Nov. and the second threebeing structural: * Riff-raff: riots are senseless.5 * Ethnic and religious minority groups: riots are rooted in the character or culture of the ethnic or religious minorities that inhabit the suburbs. For the presentation of our we cluster the diagnostic elements intosixmajor categories. residents/participants. the results. and other miscellaneous actors. French opposition. firstthree being non-structural categories or social groupings. the FrenchMinister of Internal Sarkozy. The presence of a diagnostic framingelement was indicatedwhen one of the above sources made a statement that addressed the character of the problem.Framing theFrenchRiots . 10. international actors. The source could be the journalist who wrote thearticleor any other actorwho directly indirectly or addressed the riots in diagnostic or prognostic terms. who referred to the rioters as "scum. 393 Table 1: Sample Newspapers and Number ofArtides Newspaper Ottawa Citizen National Post Liberation Figaro Suddeutsche Zeitung Berliner Morgenpost Parool Telegraaf Guardian London Times New Times York Washington Times Total Country Canada Canada France France Germany Germany Netherlands Netherlands UK UK US US Political position left right left right left right left right left right left right Orientation Capital National National Capital National Capital Capital National National Capital National Capital Number of articles 25 19 37 82 55 24 28 22 33 40 27 26 418 A source was coded foreach framing element." (New York Times. members of French government Affairs.4 except Nicolas Sarkozy. * Over-reaction of authorities: riots are associated with the behavior of the police and government officials. 2005) * Failure of are minorityincorporation:riots attributedto a perceived failure the incorporation minorities intoFrench society.We clustered sources intoseven categories: media. criminal acts of violence rather than rooted insubstantial structuralproblems or politics. especially Sarkozy. of of .
we differentiate among six major prognostic frames: * Law and order: restore order by suppressing the riots. Dependent Variables We are interested in 1. A total of were coded. especially by targetingminority unemployment and discrimination in the labormarket. We also coded. 2. 628 problem attributions For coding of prognostic framing elements. social welfare agencies. the currentgovernment.Number 2 *December 2007 * Economy/education: riotsare attributed toeconomic conditions and associated high levels of unemployment and/or limited educational opportunities among suburban residents. Additionally. parents. * Dialogue: calls for talk among residents. * Housing: riots are an outgrowth of the "miserable condition" of suburban housing. participants in the riots. when mentioned. and the police to facilitate mutual suburbs. understanding.) differences in the salience of the issue. and others. police. parents. * Action program: address underlying social and economic problems.) the use of various sources across contexts and time. and 3. * Better housing: improve poor housing conditions inthe French * Limit immigration: decrease the number of immigrants and close the border to certain groups of foreigners.) differences . Social Forces Volume 86. we coded for the attribution responsibilityfor the event to a certain of actor (problem attribution). government officials. We distinguished seven different responsible actors: government. immigrants in general. which deal with the question of what needs to be done. responsible for the solution. The followingactors were distinguished: the French state ingeneral.394 . the actor that is. police. A responsible actor was mentioned in446 cases. A total of 825 diagnostic framingelements were coded. according to the source. immigrants. if necessary with tough action by the police or military. * Raising children: raise and educate children in the suburbs to be more responsible citizens.religious groups. We coded 504 prognostic framingelements. and others. participants.terrorists.youth/criminals.
and the circulation of the newspaper.timeand source. 395 in the way the issue is framed across contexts (newspapers and countries). when making a comparison between the content of newspapers. the unit of analysis is each present combination of also encompasses country). (2005). the placement of the articlewithin the newspaper (front page or not). circulation is not relevant. or body of the text. we used the number of framing elements (both diagnostic and prognostic)within a certain article and did not distinguish between headline and body of article. the size of the newspaper interms of the total article contentwas taken intoaccount inorder tomake a comparison between the relativeattention given to the issues by the newspapers. The unitofanalysis iseverycombination of newspaper and week. sources. Instead of lookingat thenumber of times the issue ismentioned. To determine the relative use of thevarious sources. as it was extremely rare that the headline included a separate framing element. They introduce a formula. Thus we included in the formulaa coefficientthatcontrolled forthe totalnumber of articles ineach newspaper during a random day halfway throughthe research period (Tuesday. We adjusted thisformulaslightlytomake itsuitable forour data and interest in making cross-newspaper comparisons. For cross-context and cross-time comparisons. the research period is divided intothreeseparateweeks. sources and time. 1) visibility. These considerations result in the followingoperationalization: = 12 * (Eq. newspaper (that indirectly * Percentage non-structural/group-related diagnosis of total diagnostic framing:Diagnostic framing elements are divided into two categories: one encompassing non-structural/ that include riff-raff group-related diagnoses frames. the over-reaction of authorities and ethnic or religious minority . and time.0ots log(2 f(framings))* npaper fp where f(framings)is the total framingelements inan article. Salience of the riots is operationalized in line with the operationalization of visibility social movement organizations of by Vliegenthart et al.where the visibility-scoreis sub-linearly dependent upon the number of times the whether this is in the headline organization ismentioned in the article.npaper the is coefficientcontrollingfornewspaper size. and fp the place of the article in the newspaper (front page is weighted as 2.Framing theFrenchRiots .November 8). However. we calculated the percentage of each source used inevery week/newspaper-combination. Fortheframing differencesacross contexts (newspapers and countries). Furthermore. other pages as 1).
each separate framingelement is classified intoone of the two categories. * Percentage look at the diagnostic crystallization: We convergence of framing towards short-term/group-based diagnostic or structural framing. and all other actors. economy/education problems. * Percentage of diagnostic framing of total framing: The percentage of the total framing that is diagnostic. police and social welfare agencies. the other including all other framings with a long term prognosis.396 .Number 2 . the other including all other actors. * Percentage state-responsibility of total responsibility: This between authorities. IndependentVariables we identify Through analysis of the newspaper articles on the riots. For each unit of analysis the difference between the relativeuses of the two categories is calculated.captured by law and order framing. For each unit of analysis the difference between the relative uses of the two categories is calculated. * Percentage state-attributionof total attribution: Actor-based attributionsare sorted into two categories: one encompassing the authorities (the state.treated as control variables. * Percentage prognostic crystallization: We look at the convergence of framing towards short-term or long-term prognostic framing. temporal variation and framingsource. the other encompassing structural diagnostic framingpointing to deeper problems within society. inaccordance with the previously discussed theoretical considerations and hypotheses. the relative influence of country/ contextual variables. Social Forces Volume 86. An index of political . The contextual/country level variables included in this analysis are rates of unemployment and immigration. the range of frames elaborated and seek to account forframevariation by examining. December 2007 and/or immigrantgroups.6 and political and economic proximityto the event. including the perceived failure of the society's incorporation policies. For the "other" category. such as category differentiates government. * Percentage short termprognosis of totalprognosis: Prognostic framingelements fall into two categories: one encompassing short term solutions aimed at ending the rioting. and housing problems attributed to the state or current government. newspaper characteristics. the current French government and police).
newspapers and sources) and how it which theyframe affects theway in the French riots is considered. These analyses show between what clusters and interaction of clusters the values of the dependent variable differsignificantly. primarily using variance and regression analyses. Finally. trade relations were examined. Political ideology is coded according to the self-proclaimed political positioning of the political party or parties currentlyingovernment as left(-1). another GLM analysis with the residuals of the regressionas dependent variable established whether the significant differences within categories were indeed captured by the independentvariables. dummy variables for all which is the reference differentsources were included (except "other.When there between clusters." were significantdifferences in the interaction category). the political orientation of the actors examined (nations. For Week 1 andWeek 2 (Week time.5) and neither (0). Second. additional GLM analyses established which specific variables interactand these are included in the OLS regression. For the latter. Finally. A correlation between each country's votes and France's votes was then calculated to assess the level of political congruence.center (0) or right(1). the voting behavior of the each of the countries during theUnited Nation's 60th General Assembly was examined. First.two-way interaction terms between the three clusters are included. a model is conducted forthe various clusters of univariate general linear independent variables (newspapers/countries8 and time for visibility and source selection. newspapers/countries. For the newspaper/country cluster. European Union membership was coded: members of the EU and part of the euro-zone (1). EU members but not part of the euro-zone (0. In addition. sources and time for framingvariation). . newspaper characteristics (left-right positioning and capital-national orientation) and countrycharacteristics (political and cultural proximity to France. dummy variables are employed for 3 is the reference category).7 For each of the independent variables. Those clusters and interactionof clusters that showed a significant difference are included in the following ordinary least square regression.Framing theFrenchRiots . looking at the percentage of total imports fromFrance by each of the sample countries. Analysis The analyses are conducted inseveral steps. 397 and economic proximity was created by combining three separate measures. This was a proxy foreconomic proximity. unemployment and immigration rates)were included. After conducting the regression analysis.
1 percent respectively). in a mindset of thugs. de Villepin pointed to "organized criminalnetworks backing the unrest" and to "gangs of youths. framingsource and week fordiagnostic framing. while the French opposition actors see the reaction of French authorities. even including the opposition. Instead.4 percent).Speaking for the French government. showing the results by country. but . December 2007 Results The findings are presented in two sets of tables. as being too strident and harsh (45.9 percent to 13. We also see thatactors outside of France aremuch more likely to blame the French state (54. Equally interesting is the finding that internationalactors see the problem as with the failure of minority incorporation being associated primarily (53. consistent with the riff-raff by problem designation.problem attribution.4 percent) are most likely blame the government. tables 2 through 5.The youth and "criminals"are also targeted as a major source of blame. greater use of the riff-raff Sarkozy is found.398 . over the three-week period there is a progressive decline inconnecting the underlying problem to specific categories of actors. In addition. are descriptive. Table 2 shows noteworthy variation indiagnostic framing.particularlyacross the various framingsources and over the three-week time period. and the failure of minority incorporation (from 17. It is also noteworthy that the United States attributes more blame to the police than any of the other countries.1 percent). except for Canada. The first set.8 percent). consistent with our hypotheses that state actors are more likelyto associate the riotswith non-structural factors. Social Forces Volume 86. including the police. we see that the French attribute less blame to theirgovernment (12.6 percent to 24.9 percent). such as riff-raff (from20. the French government and Sarkozy point to the criminalelements among suburban youth as being a significantsource of blame (37 percent and 55. First. but not uniformly the various actors.9 percent) and authorities (from37.1 percent) and a corresponding increase in identifying structural such as the economy and education (from 7. but attribute more blame to the youth and criminals.2 percent to factors. the suburban residents and riot overreactive police as themost participants are more likelyto identify serious problem associated with the rioting(38.3 percent) and local residents and riot to participants (29. In sum.3 percent). we find that the French opposition inparticular(58.5 percent) than the various categories of internalactors. Table proposed solution and thedesignated responsible agent actor.Number 2 .3 percent to 11. 16. In frame by the French government and 2. But when we consider the currentFrench government as a source of blame. Finally.2 percent) than the other countries. Table 3 displays the results concerning attributionof blame.
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401 also of playing a game and wanting to raise the stakes. Finally. Consistent with the previous findings. This is consistent with some media calls for more parental intervention. the findingsare consistent with the source/actor diagnostic problem designation in Table 2. coupled with a particularly noteworthy increase in immigrant While it is unclear what is driving these changes..3 percent). only the local residents and participants target the police as major source of blame. 2005) Sarkozy and the Frenchopposition.. 17.source and time.including immediate "deportation" for those involved (New YorkTimes. point to the immigrantsthemselves as being the root cause of rioting(32.4 percent and 79." (Le Figaro. Incontrast. Table 4 speaks to prognostic framingby specifying the relationship between profferedsolutions and country.Framing theFrenchRiots .6 percent respectively). We see that France places less emphasis on a law and order solution (38 percent) than the other countries. 10. 2005)." (NationalPost. 2005). suggest some degree of frame crystallizationin that there now appears to be waning competition among the alternativesources of blame. Sarkozy exclaimed during the second As he week of rioting. 8. would wage "awar withoutmercy" against the rioting immigrants. Nov.and along the police.A fifth the residents also call forgreater parental control. they do attribution. Inthe last section of the table. shifts inattribution over timeare evident with a decline inblaming the government.8 percent respectively). Nov.the French government and Sarkozy call fora law-and-orderresponse (48. local residents and riot participantsaccent the importanceof an action program thatspells of out steps to remedy the situationover time.. . It is importantto note the strong French which we suspect can opposition call to curtailimmigration (27. Throughout this section of the table. but this appears to be compensated forby its emphasis on parental control of children (17 percent). It has been political madness for 30 years since we allowed immigrants to come here as cheap labor at the behest of French It has been impossible to assimilate these bosses.which iswhat we would anticipate given are thatthatproblematizationand attribution both component features of diagnostic framing. Nov. noted inParis's As Le Figaro: "Parents are the firsteducators. In areas where families are involved and supported things are better [there is less violence]. anti-immigrant According to his youngest daughter Marine Le Pen: and political heir. on the other hand.1 percent and 30. which is consistent with theirproblem designation. "The National Front predicted and warned thisviolence would happen 20 years ago.youth and criminals. President of the National FrontParty. be attributed largelyto the voice of Jean-Marie Le Pen.media journalists.
0 CNO C J CC% s N -CNJ 5 LO COCNJ . December 2007 | LO 1 c LOOCN nO)C\JCO O 6 O O CoC) C\lCO ~r~)N U co v.i Co E c @ C1 M LO 5_ c 11E 1 co ML I C ' - E t -0 0 cn -o 0-4 C: cu o~~~ COC ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t? (I -L6 -T OC0(J-C. 0t-. Social Forces Volume 86.0 .COCO = s -C O.402 .(OC5Y(D l R 0 CICo (1 ) 0001t I* O L 0Z ~ ~ ~ E o CD 00 N C ct Docuc\c -NC C__ (1) 0 cq C.s) v CD "t) C-i c c o m CD1 -4 o to C\i a o OCo o) Oi ) Oi Lo 01 LO 00 CY o ~ ~ ~ O Y IIC c0 sCi C "' ~ I . =O .D_II<cs w C~ (N csN cn 0) _ sL u) oX .4 L)LC)C iL6 "l .ocia 0n O0 H E co 0~~ .II O C<) 0m Co tC DnOC ) t 4 W) dw CO~ ' 6 c>it ) .) C) C:) O C??L6C> O CN t m C:l co c>JH6 O C> O LOCO W) OO) 0 COLOXC')o N2cO LCtNJ t r OCOC (cO6cv ?t rjQ UIIC E m nsO0 O i 0~~ Q 011 CO COO CD OC JcO LOCOO) Uc) OLC) C ) CO +-k 0 z~ 0C ON 1 _ C) c r-00-- COD 1Cl CO CDlN ONC Co o .C CN 4 4 - O)0OCN L6 C6 LO C a C0I 11 CN .Number 2 .
The variables included in the regression analyses. discussed results. considerable amounts of variation inthedependent variables are explained by the clusters of independentvariables. there is across country." (Ottawa Citizen. Considering together the results in tables 2 through 5. itisevidentthat of . thereare slight temporal and increased changes. Sarkozy Looking attheframing source section Table5. Incountries further away from France the need for problem-definitionis somewhat higher.To get a noteworthy variation inframing better handle on what factorsaccount forthese framing differences. the context in which framingtakes place matters. source and time. though the coefficientonly approaches significance. Kingdom and Canada there is significantly Our expectation about the positive relationshipbetween diagnostic framing and geographical distance is also confirmed. newspaper. when geographical distance there is no increase in state attribution decreases (see Table 7). twice the level of other countries. In several respects. Here we findagreement across the countries that the government shares much of the burden for solving the problem. In general. 13. 403 people. Nov. temporal and actor differencesvia regression analysis. There is less agreement. simply because there are too many of them. which is consistent with previously and theFrenchopposition are evenmore vocal thanother framing sources about the government's responsibility. France assigns much importance to parents as responsible agents. Newspapers in the most proximate countries (Netherlands and Germany) pay almost as much attention to the issue as the French newspapers. Attention to the issue is slightlylower in theUnited States. presented in tables 6 and 7. especially inthe call for less police responsibility parental responsibility. however. which is consistent with theirframingof the problem diagnostically and their of framing a solution. the sources and framing second set of tables analyzes issue salience. residents/participants target parents as responsible for carryingout the proposed solutions. were selected based on the outcomes of the GLM models. about the role of the police. Table 6 shows that a decrease inproximityleads tQ a decrease in issue salience. 2005) Table 5 speaks to the second component of prognostic framing by directing attention to the actor designated as responsible for the proposed solution.while inboth theUnited but stillnot significantly less coverage Of the riots.Framing theFrenchRiots . Also. framing characteristics by lookingat contextual.However. In the table's last section. with the Netherlands and United Kingdom having contrasting views. Inaddition. differentfromFrance.
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6.but only to a limitedextent. forexample.272*** Right newspaper -. 10.there are some and meaningful differences: national newspapers report less interesting about the issue. Paper and Country on Issue Salience variable Dependent Salienceof issue variables Independent -. Nov.While we refrainedfrom formulatingexpectations about concrete differences between capital and national-oriented newspapers and used thisdistinctiononly to select an appropriate sample of newspapers foreach country.2005).136 . that right-leaning than left-leaningnewspapers (see Table 6) and that left incumbent governments have a positive influenceon the use of state attributions (see Table 7).10 **p . asks the will diffuse to theNetherlands. are regression coefficients standardized The political orientation of newspapers and incumbentgovernments also make a difference." (see question whether "the French riots nationalnewspapers also Berliner Morgenpost.622 . newspapers report less about the riots for example. the findings presented in Table 7 support most of our .273** -. 405 Table 6:Ordinary Least Squares RegressionofTime. coefficients (betas).705*** 10.080 . But there is no evidence forother differences caused by political orientations or ideology.144 -.232*** -. Findings indicate.Framing theFrenchRiots .018 -.712 36 < < reported Note: *p< .01(one tailed). The Dutch newspaper Parool (Nov.243*** National oriented newpaper Canada Germany Netherlands United Kingdom States United Week 1 Week 2 F-value model total Adjusted R-squared N -. except for a greater reliance on the source inthe case of both a left-wing governmentand media as a framing less proximity (results not presented in tables). 2005) Furthermore in more state-centered attributions. possibly due to the fact thatcapital-orientednewspapers paymore attention to thequestion ofwhether riotscan also occur intheir cities.05 ***p . engage While our expectations about context-dependency are only partly confirmed.
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to blame non-state actors forthe existing situation.Framing theFrenchRiots . In the first the event. 407 expectations about differences inframing different actors or sources." (Saddeutsche Zeitung Nov. by Especially noteworthy is the differencebetween state actors and other actors.state sources enter sources. Crystallization duringthe second week is lowestwhen frames are most diffuse. speaking about the riots unambiguously and stridently. Temporality is the finalfactorposited to account for frame variation. Expectations about frame crystallization are only confirmed for diagnostic framing. of . 2005) to raise the we see that followingquestion: "Where is the President?" Additionally. Finally. thedebate late.as reflected inhis threatto "clean out the city with a power hose. However. and again Sarkozy. 2005) This also leads state actors. there is a pattern similar to the non-structural diagnosis. newspapers provide accounts ofwhat is going on. First. the issue is more salient during theweek with the highest intensity rioting(see Figure 1 and Table 6). the use of various sources differsover time. the use of residents and participantsas a source increases from week 1 to 2. For the short-term prognosis. and international actors use more diagnostic framing in the first week compared to the second and third week. Nov. State actors are more inclinedto invokenon-structural diagnoses compared to other actors. as when calling the rioters"thugs" and "scum. 5 and 10. there is no evidence of prognostic over time." (New YorkTimes. of week of Second. while international actors and attribute the problems to the currentgovernment residents/participants or the French state ingeneral. which prompted the Saddeutsche Zeitung (Nov. international media sources and residents/participants present a wider varietyof diagnoses. drawing on and incorporatingresidents/participants and international actors as with the exception of Sarkozy.This is due inpart to the hesitant performance of Chirac. there is an interesting difference inthe range of diagnostic frames used by different actors (diagnostic crystallization): while opposition and actors consistently invoke the same frames. 10. especially international actors. Furthermore. but thendecreases when the intensity the riotssubsides. with Sarkozy calling for law and order. This short-term prognosis bySarkozy (and other state actors) is more pronounced in Europe than in Canada and the United States. 2005) while other actors seek more structural solutions.9Here Sarkozy stands out. 7. but only for diagnostic to prognostic framing a limited of actors: theFrenchopposition uses more diagnostic framing set inthe first weeks compared to the last two week.there is some evidence fora shiftfrom crystallization over thecourse of the event. Finally. Expectations about differences in framingduring differentstages of the riots are largelyconfirmed.
variation inaspects of framing. oppositional and international actors and by residents and participants.Number 2 .Perhaps that isbecause we live ina global. reflected instate actors tendency to blame the riots on negativelyevaluated groups ratherthanon structuralfactors.10 Turning to contextual factors. framingby the various sets of actors was such as the fundamental partlypredicted by tenets of attributiontheory. attributional and temporal which a number of hypotheses were theoretical considerations from derived. the prominence of differentframingvoices. Overall. two sets of findings are presented. These analyses were guided by ideological. December 2007 Discussion In an attempt to furtherunderstand the factors that account for variation in interpretiveframes. Apparently. the news salience of the event. This muted effect cautions against the frequent tendency in the social sciences to invoke ideology as a blunt hammer to account for much unexplained variance inexplanations of political action and framing. and strong support for hypotheses positing temporal variation in the character of the framing. The first set of findings revealed descriptively significant variation in the framingof the riots diagnostically and prognostically. and the proportion of diagnostic to prognostic frames all varied temporally.but ideological position is not determinative. The second set of findings established which of the hypothesized and descriptively apparent associations were significantacross several models. we and perhaps most noteworthy.For example.the tendency for fewer frames to of frame crystallization . mixed to strong support for both contextually-basedhypotheses and those derived fromattribution theory. Of fargreater influence in understanding frame variation are the differentactors in the field responding to and commenting upon were the event.In the case of ideological considerations.Moreover. particularly with respect to the same event or issue.408 . Social Forces Volume 86. foundconsiderable temporal Finally. social and political proximityto France was only of limitedimportance in relationto framing. contextual.noteworthyevents makes little to. as attribution error. Here there are interesting differences inhow the riots framed by state. inhow theyare framed. Some evidence was evident . the findings reveal mixed to weak support for hypotheses rooted in ideological considerations. and suggested which of the hypothesized factors appeared to account for the observed variation.where newspapers and government fall on a right/left spectrum is of some influence in affecting the character of framing. relative difference proximity or distance from.wired world in which social and political proximityis of less influence than in the past.
forthcoming). For whatfactors accountforthe empirical inquiryand 2. forthcoming). 1996. riots inquotation marks because the term is sometimes used as a political label that focuses attention on one segment of the participants and implies something demeaning about them.example. Snow and Benford 1988). This underscores. civil disturbances.g. such thatsome framesbecome more credible empiricallyas more information about the event becomes available? Or is itdue to differences in the relativepower of the various sources within the discursive field(Snow. Hilgartner and Bosk 1988). Such concerns have been noted place theorization. but themedia also operates within a set framing of organizational and cultural constraints (Bunis et al. What makes these findingsparticularlyinterestingis that the time span was relatively brief. but theyalso raise a number of questions thatcall forfurther of crystallization or around some diagnostic framesand thecorresponding decline ofothers over time? Is it essentially amatter of resonance (Benford and Snow 2000. and why?1"Clearly themedia ." (Becker 1970) are more durable in the sense of having greater staying power. not only suggest the conceptual Taken together.play a critical role innot only selecting some framingsources over others and privileging own framings. actors or framing such that the framingsprofferedby those with more institutional power. relativelylittle Pursuing these and related questions should enhance understanding of the factors thataccount forframevariationbothwithin themedia and more generally.the foregoingfindings of and analytic utility pursuing the issue of frame variation beyond the French riots.Framing theFrenchRiots . earthquakes) we know even though streaming throughthemedia (Snow. In otherwords. We . hurricanes. among other things.. But some frames over others. and thus situated higher in the field's "hierarchyof credibility. there has been considerable debate regarding the use of issue/event-specific news frames versus generic news frames (De Vreese 2005). Notes 1. about the range and variationof events. It is also arguable that there is variation in the potency of the various events (e.only threeweeks. 409 more of the available discursive space over consume proportionately time. but also ingenerating their caution needs to be exercised so as not to attributehegemonic power of to themedia interms of the framing events and issues. The analysis reportedherein is but a step inthatdirection.the dynamic character of framing.especially with respect to specific events or topics. In political communication. are some framingsources or voices being privileged.newspapers in this case . Not onlydoes occur inother contexts.
multilevel analyses are only appropriate when the samples at the different levels are of sufficient size (15-20). rather.g. The formal equation is as follows: IR= 22M/2(N1+N2). See. newspapers within countries within time-periods). for various 8.000 persons (based on midyear population). We 6. the other state actors. as a separate source because of his dominant and exclusive position during the evolution of the riots (see results section). which variance variables. December 2007 in relation to the "ghetto hots" of the 1960s in the United States (see Feagin and Hahn 1973: fn4. which is not the case here. it is statistically not possible to examine them separately in the analyses. This difference suggests the presentation of more nuanced diagnoses by the by the Minister for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities. These collected by the U. Social Forces Volume 86. Net migration rate is operationalized as the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1. Note state. We thus use the term riotadvisedly. for example Feagin and Hahn's summary of earlier explanations of U. A positive number indicates that there are more people entering than leaving a country. vi-vii).Number 2 . it focuses on the personal refer to this framing as "riffraff" because characteristics of the rioters and because of itsapplication to rioters inother places and eras. Nor are we interested ingeneralizing statistically our results to all time periods. we do not have a random sample of countries and newspapers. we seek to establish the relative impact of countries. Where M signifies the total number of agreements between the two coders. forexample Azouz Begag. At a first glance our research design might appear to call for a multilevel approach. Pp. who was 5. 4. independent variables on our dependent and regression analyses are appropriate. However. Because a division innewspapers also encompasses a division incountries." (1973:6-28) data were treat Sarkozy. We elected President. 9. urban "riots.410 . However. that the framing of other state actors is significantly different from we if include Sarkozy with framing by the "other" category. or newspapers. but we use itbecause was the predominant descriptor of the disturbances that it gripped France for nearly threeweeks. this coefficient would be highly significant.S. N1 the total of the coding decisions made by the firstcoder and N2 the total of the coding decisions made by the second coder. . 7. rate is defined as the percentage of the population that is Unemployment currently unemployed.S. but we chose them purposively. 3. Central Intelligence Agency (2002). Furthermore. with inclusion of several hierarchical ordered units (e.
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