This podcast would be an excellent addition to a course or section on gender, medical sociology or the sociology of bodies. But, it would also work very well in a research methods or media course as an introduction to framing and counter-framing.
I suggest using this podcast as an example illustrating how sociologists study framing and then have students conduct a mini-research project of their own and find another social issue with competing frames. Use the questions below to guide your students in understanding how to study framing:
PART ONE: Listen to the podcast and answer the following questions
- Define “framing” in your own words. Why does framing matter?
- What does it mean the “denaturalize” a frame?
- Using the abortion issue as a example of social movement framing, how do different framing strategies radically change how the issue could be understood by observers?
- List and describe all the ways that fatness is framed and counter-framed, according to Dr. Saguy.
- Dr. Saguy points out that how our society chooses to understand fatness will determine our responses to it. Choose one frame described by Dr. Saguy and explain what the social consequences of that frame might be.
PART TWO: Apply what you have learned and conduct your own framing analysis
- Now, use what you have learned about framing to find another example of a social issue with competing frames.
- Describe the social issue and at least two competing frames that you have observed.
- What are the goals of each framing strategy? How do those using this frame want you to understand this issue?
- For each competing frame, describe the logical response to the social issue that in encouraged by that frame. In other words, what are the logical responses and potential social consequences of each frame?