A Comprehensive Model for Multimodal Framing: A Proposal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)Research


While framing has become increasingly popular in various academic fields, its visual part remains theoretically and methodologically underdeveloped. This is peculiar given the – broadly accepted – communicative power of the visual mode. Besides, the visual and verbal modes tend to interact in complex ways. Hence, separating them is likely to limit our understanding. Yet, while the number of framing studies are growing which recognise the indispensable role of the visual, the majority only attend to mono-modal visual frames. Besides, most visual/multimodal studies use a rather limited number of devices to identify frames. Accordingly, a truly comprehensive multimodal framing analysis toolkit is still missing.
Therefore, drawing on the existing framing literature and a range of other sources, such as Critical Discourse Analysis, photography studies or linguistics, we propose a multimodal framing analysis toolkit. This framework comprises several levels, ranging from ‘participants and attributes’, ‘(inter)actions’, ‘positionality’, ‘context’ or ‘modality’ to ‘rhetorical figures’, ‘narration’ and ‘intertextuality’. On each level, we identify a number of (interacting) visual and verbal framing devices and salience enhancing devices.
Based on a qualitative framing analysis of five case study news articles dealing with environmental (i.e., climate) justice, the model is tested and demonstrated: Which multimodal framing and salience enhancing devices help to give rise to a hegemonic and a counter-hegemonic ‘Environmental Justice’ subframe? As such, we demonstrate the feasibility of multimodal framing – which is often problematized – as well as its usefulness for furthering our insights in the workings of media (framing), in general, and hegemonic struggles in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts, MeCCSA Leeds 2017
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2017
EventMeCCSA 2017 - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jan 201713 Jan 2017


ConferenceMeCCSA 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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