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See also frame.

1. Putting a border (or frame) around an image (or text) to mark its boundaries and to establish some degree of conceptual autonomy from its current context. The metaphor of framing in other contexts derives from its use in visual art. In the proscenium arch format of the traditional stage performance, ‘breaking frame’ refers to theatrical devices in which the performer uses direct address to the audience (see also fourth wall). Bateson notes the importance of a metamessage in interpreting a communicative act: a recognizable cue is needed for a nudge not to be misinterpreted as a sign of aggression. Contextual cues are needed to signal the use of irony.

2. Representing a figurative image as if it were a slice of life, by allowing its edges to cut across figures appearing only partly within it—as in some paintings by Edgar Degas (1834–1917), which in this respect resemble the art of the photographic snapshot.

3. Making explicit the ground rules of an encounter or the boundaries of an academic investigation: compare bracketing the referent.

4. In perspectives influenced by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the way in which language filters our perception of reality. More specifically, psychological research has established that verbal labels can influence the accuracy of our perception and/or recall of the phenomena to which they are applied.

5. Relating experiences to a frame of reference.

6. For Goffman, the way in which we define situations in terms of regularized encounters or social episodes in order to make sense of the social world.

7. The way in which individuals and the mass media turn the flow of everyday life into narrative events: see also news frames.

8. The way in which mental templates or schemata help us to make sense of (or contextualize) new experiences with reference to the expectations established by previous experiences. See also perceptual set; priming; schema theory; selective exposure; selective recall; selective retention; stereotyping.

9. The modality status given to situations, events, or forms of representation, as in the Thomas theorem.

10. The ways in which representations function to recontextualize (and thus change the meaning of) that which they represent: see recontextualization.

11. The role of particular techniques and devices employed in representations as a means of constraining interpretation: see also preferred reading.

12. The ways in which representational conventions naturalize the process of representation within a particular discourse or code: see also naturalization.

13. In photography, composing an image either when taking a photograph, or subsequently, by cropping it. Such framing unavoidably cuts the image off from its context, and the selection of what to depict and what to exclude leaves viewers to infer the basis of this selectivity.

14. The different frames of reference applied by audiences to the same text. Katz and Liebes, for instance, distinguish between referential framings, in which viewers relate a soap opera to their own lives, and critical framings, in which they comment on how it is constructed and performed.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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