Thursday, March 31, 2005

Yet another "Don't Think of an Elephant" review

Lots of people have read and commented on Lakoff's book, Don't Think of an Elephant, which argues that "framing" left/progressive issues under the "nurturant parent" overall framework (as opposed to the "strict father" framework that unites righties), will help bring victory to liberal causes. Here's yet another comment.

Definitely worth reading - I think its description of the right works pretty well, but the description of the left not quite as well. It places "anti-authoritarian" personalities under the left nurturant parent framework, which doesn't make a great deal of sense to me. Since that probably describes me the best, maybe I'm over-emphasizing the problem. It also places Nature-worshipping Deep Ecology types in the nurturant parent model. That works, I guess, but people like me who are deeply alarmed about environmental issues for merely rational reasons get left out.

Concepts of overall framing for an issue, of wedge issues that help drive your overall frame, and of building coalitions are all good.

Another interesting perspective, that environmentalism is a completely alternative framework to the nurturant parent/strict father dichotomy, is here. I'd say libertarian beliefs are also cross-cutting, and don't quite fit the left-right divide.

keywords: environment, Lakoff, wedge, framing

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