Communicating About Raising the Retirement Age Using Frames and Counterframes

Bart Vyncke and Baldwin Van Gorp published a paper in the latest issue of Journal of Communication Management. The study gives an overview of how the issue of the raised retirement age was framed. By analyzing texts from Flemish newspapers and magazines, and releases by stakeholders, the authors reconstructed a total of ten culturally embedded frames that were used to discuss the raised retirement age.

Four of these frames offer a problematizing perspective on having to work longer. These problematizing perspectives are often based on negative feelings, such as anger and distrust. As such, they likely provide strong arguments. Providing a believable alternative narrative will not be an easy task. To aid communicators in this challenge, the paper also constructed six counterframes, that offer a deproblematizing perspective on the issue. These counterframes use strategies such as appealing to reason and calling for solidarity and cooperation.

These frames and counterframes can serve as tools that communicators can employ to analyze their own messages and to bring more nuance to the debate, by introducing alternative perspectives.

You can read the full paper in the Journal of Communication Management.

Vyncke, B., & Van Gorp, B. (2017). Communicating about raising the retirement age using frames and counterframes. Journal of Communication Management21(2), 155-169. DOI: 10.1108/JCOM-12-2016-0101



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