In a lingustic sense the word “frame” acts as a part of speech that can either be a verb or noun. The meaning of the word frame in the sense derived from the provided text denotes the mechanism and confines within which an individual or a group of people define and interpret a certain phenomenon. Thus, a frame can be defined as a framework of the structure through which individuals or a group of people can define a certain concept, phenomenon or fact. Therefore, as a noun a frame is the precincts or confines within which the defined aspect or phenomenon is described. This denotes the confines within which the whole description takes place, its akin to the frame within which a picture is placed.
A frame is used to define the specific concept, idea or fact which falls within its defining boundaries. Thus, a frame acts as a tool through which various things can be described, interpreted, analyzed, synthesized and explained to a third party. A frame may be likened to a guideline through which an individual or a group of people can interpret any aspect of common interest. The term may also be used as a verb, and in this sense it denotes the process of defining or creating confines within which an a individual or a group of people can explain, define and interpret a certain concept, phenomenon, fact or occurrence. The creation of frames involves analysis and interpretation of observed facts, ideas and phenomenon (Gray & Donnellon, 1989).
The frame and framing concept can be exemplified by the contemporary issue of birth control and family planning. The supporters of birth control and family planing may state that birth control is the best option for controlling population to achieve better living conditions and sufficieny in resources. Their frame is based on population size in relation to resources.
However, some other people may strongly dispute this stand stating that family planning and birth control are evil acts because they lead to immorality and termination of life. The framing of these people may be based on christian teachings that are based on the believes of the christian faith. These two groups may disagree on a single issue, because both groups use different frames to define the same phenomenon. Therefore, frames can be termed as two or more views of the same thing (Shmueli et al, 2003).
Gray, B. and A. Donnellon, (1989). An Interactive Theory of Reframing in Negotiation, unpublished manuscript. PennsylvaniaStateUniversity, College of Business Administration.
Shmueli et al, (2003). Frames, Framing and Re-framing.