Frames and their Consequences. For Rural Issues. How do people think about social issues?. What Research Suggests About How People Process Information. People are not blank slates People use mental shortcuts to make sense of the world
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For Rural Issues
Drug addiction (personal vice)
Responsibility of parents
Bad behavior (teens’)
Protection (Just say no)
Manipulation of drug addiction
Responsibility of government
Big $ in politics/corruption
Protection from advertising
CHANGE PUBLIC POLICIES
Big ideas -- shared and durable cultural models -- that people use to make sense of their world. These simplifying concepts are ‘triggered’ by such readily available, familiar and highly charged vehicles as symbols, pictures, metaphors, and messengers – the grammar of storytelling. One evoked, frames provide the reasoning necessary to process information and to solve problems.
10 each urban, suburban, rural
Maryland, Colorado, Illinois
New Hampshire (3), Arkansas (2), New Mexico (2) mixed gender, ethnicity/race
Urban/suburban + rural (2 hour drive)
community influentials screen
Focus groups, survey research, content analysis, etc.
When they think about rural America?
I think one of the problems in rural areas is that there aren’t enough white collar jobs. I’m speaking for this particular area. It’s a very blue collar town, and I would like to see this town, anyway, develop some white collar jobs, some high-tech jobs. [rural IL woman]
When In Doubt, Default
The Dominant Frame
Center for Media and Public Affairs for W. K. Kellogg Foundation, content analysis of 337 rural stories, national TV, magazine and print
Poverty, hardship, hopelessness
Shiftless, trashy, inbred, drunk
The OtherRural DystopiaAnother Available Default Frame
Q: So when you think about poverty in America, would you associate that more with cities or with the country?
A: I think the cities. I think I hear more about it in the cities, the large cities. Although I take stuff to the mission down here [in a small Colorado town] and I know there’s plenty of poor people down there…I mean the inner city, that’s where to me, I think you have more poverty. [rural CO woman]
Well, I’d rather be poor in the country than I would in the city. I feel very sorry for people that have very bad incomes and live in the city. I really don’t know what, how they manage. Whereas in the country, you can just go outside and smell the grass and..I really don’t have much feeling of how they cope with it. I feel terribly sorry for them and I think it’s very sad. [rural CO woman]
Q: Do you think there tends to be more poverty in rural parts of the country or more in the cities?
A: I think more in the cities, like out here [in suburban Colorado], I don’;t really see many homeless people, but like in the city, there’s tons of them.
Q: Okay. But in rural areas you figure people probably aren’t so poor?
A: Or they go to the city. I don’t know. Like they might be struggling, but I mean they’re not like to the verge of poverty, I guess. [suburban CO woman]
DegradingConsequences of the Rural Utopia Frame:Poverty Is Not A Rural Problem
Get away from it all
Government would spoil it
Government tries to fix itConsequences of the Rural Utopia Frame:No Role for Government
If you don’t like being the country, why don’t you go somewhere else?They Chose This Lifestyle
May connect to crime frame, if asserted
Intra-rural diversity: do you have indoor plumbing?
Uniqueness of regional crafts does little to motivate policies
Civic culture in rural America not visibleRural areas are places of diversity.
Foregrounds new successful small businesses on Main Street
Explains the systems at work: agribusiness, Wal-Mart
Connects rural America to urban and suburban AmericaRural areas are untapped assets.
Results from the Focus Groups
People in rural areas conflicted over future
Progress is inevitable
Focuses attention on rural as place not people
Sets up museum mindset
Keep it quaint so I can retire there
Gets us nowhereIn the Path of Progress:Preserving Yorkville
Have heard crime is a problem in rural areas
Like the idea of prevention
Don’t know what to do with this story
Gets us nowhere on policiesRural Poverty
See technology as a way to improve education and opportunity
BUT allows kids to get jobs in other places
Reinforces rural people as backwards
Challenged to extend advantage beyond school to whole community
Why should my money go to those places? (zero sum mentality with product)
Might perform better if less about innovation and more about empowerment, taking charge of own destinyInnovation in the Heartland
Connection is an important reframing element
Reminds people that we rely on rural areas
Foreign trade reminded people of disappearing manufacturing jobs (same issue, different locale)
Environmental story was new and surprising: opportunity
BUT didn’t reinforce connection in way intended (negative connection)We’re All Connected: Boundaries Blend Between Rural and Urban Areas
Educates people that farm policy is not just about economies of scale
Unfair to advantage agribusiness
Don’t want to lodge control in few (gets at diversity)
Moves from American Heritage frame to David v. Goliath
May benefit from expansion to other examples of impact of agribusiness and consolidation, e.g. food quality, pollutionOutside Forces Breaking Small Town Economy
Refutes the preconceived idea that rural towns have to disappear
Empowers rural residents
Positions outside help as respectful, invited because locally managed
Puts all the responsibility on local areas (not my problem)
Needs to do better job of setting up state or federal roleRestoring Main Street
All the nation’s regions -- urban, suburban and rural -- are connected. Keeping the nation in good working order means paying attention to all parts of the country. For example, rural places are central to the nation's economic well being because we rely on rural areas for energy, agriculture, timber, mining, and raw materials. But recent decisions concerning foreign trade are affecting the long-term stability of rural areas and with it our resources. New trade agreements have eliminated quotas and tariffs that protected United States industries from foreign competition. With those protections gone, small towns are teetering in the recession and may not recover. Solutions include….As a nation, we cannot afford to neglect our rural communities.
enrollment code: m626kx