Collective action frames: shaping meaning through inservice courses with a teacher-as-researcher focus

Year: 1994

Author: Lambert, Ian

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Too often, research has focused on the organisation of specific social movements rather than the values, beliefs or points of concern underlying them. This paper addresses this question within the contextual framework of recent research I conducted in schools in Britain.

Recently, researchers have adapted Goffman's term "framing" to conceptualise how ideological meanings are proposed to would-be supporters by movement organisers. Four types of alignment have been identified by researchers, which they call "frame bridging", "frame amplification", "frame expansion", and "frame transformation". This paper shall argue that "frame transformation" implies that the teacher-as-researcher plays a significant role in the school community by grappling with questions about whether or not new values may have to be planted and nurtured in the school, old meanings or understandings jettisoned, and erroneous beliefs or "misframings" reframed.

It will seek to provide some insight into the largely unresolved questions of how collective beliefs are constructed and how they contribute to collective action by attempting to show how, in addition, ideological symbols have been shaped by movement organisers, how effective they have been in mobilising opinion, how they have evolved over time, and how the mobilisation of consensus relates to collective action.