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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

framing the issues: Lakoff & the Rockridge Institute

Adapted this from an e-mail I sent to some guys two weeks ago:

There's a growing conversation on the left about how successful the right has been in "framing" the debate. Bush's debate lines about Kerry being "on the far left bank" and "out of the mainstream" is just one instance of that.

Leading this conversation is Berkeley linguistics prof George Lakoff. His book is getting referenced a lot:
Don't Think of an Elephant!
Know Your Values and Frame the Debate
George Lakoff
See also this UCBerkeleyNews article:
Framing the issues
UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics
27 October 2003

It's an encouraging thing that Lakoff is taking his expertise in linguistics outside the ivory tower, and seeking to inform and shape the public discourse. As the article above notes, he and 7 other UC faculty members founded a think tank called the Rockridge Institute--back in 2000. And just today I found my way to this in The Hill (via DailyKos).

Actually this isn't the first context within which I've heard about Lakoff. I read bits of this as part of a math education seminar at Cornell a while back. Though I recall that the prof leading the seminar wasn't impressed with Lakoff and Nunez's work.


junior cooper said...

It'd be interesting if they got their name from the community in Blazing Saddles.

shooGu said...

I'd assumed it was named for the Rockridge area of Oaktown. But who knows, maybe you're right JC. Maybe Lakoff is a Mel Brooks fan.