U.C. Berkeley News
Framing the issues: UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics
BERKELEY – With Republicans controlling the Senate, the House, and the White
House and enjoying a large margin of victory for California Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's clear that the Democratic
Party is in crisis. George Lakoff, a UC Berkeley professor of linguistics and cognitive science, thinks he knows why. Conservatives
have spent decades defining their ideas, carefully choosing the language with which to present them, and building an infrastructure
to communicate them, says Lakoff.
The work has paid off: by dictating the terms of national debate, conservatives have put progressives firmly
on the defensive.
In 2000 Lakoff and seven other faculty members from Berkeley and UC Davis joined together to found the Rockridge Institute,
one of the few progressive think tanks in existence in the U.S. The institute offers its expertise and research on a nonpartisan
basis to help progressives understand how best to get their messages across. ....
[See the complete article for an interview with Lakoff, explaining
in detail how "framing" works.]
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