I'm putting together the materials for the workshop I'm teaching next Friday morning at the NHC Summer Institute. Here's the blurb.
We're going to start out looking at Lakoff and the idea of cognitive frames. One of Lakoff's key points is that the Republicans have been successfully framing the debate, so that the Democrats are still talking within the Republican frames, leading to defeat. Then we're going to look at some examples of framing in contemporary Jewish life. The basic frame (encompassing terms like "observant", "religious", "traditional", "shomer shabbat", and "kosher" as they are commonly used today) is that Orthodox Judaism (as practiced today) is authentic Judaism as it has always been, and that other forms of Judaism are by nature "less observant", and Orthodoxy is the standard by which these other forms are measured. (Examples: "He became more observant - he started putting on tefillin." "She became more observant - she stopped putting on tefillin.") The key is that this frame has been accepted across the board (we'll look at ways in which liberal Jews have accepted it), which is self-defeating for liberal Judaism. This framing also occurs within the Orthodox world, with Modern Orthodox seen as "less religious" than haredim, and with the process of Artscrollization.
I'll post more about all of this after the Institute. But in the meantime, I want to post an article that we'll be using for "text study". When I came across this Associated Press article (which appeared in many newspapers), I realized that this was the best example of this type of framing that I had ever seen -- you just can't make this stuff up. So next week in the workshop, we're going to play a game, and see who can count the most instances of framing in the article. I invite all of you in the blogosphere to do the same. (Ignore the headline - that's just Brandeis's spin.) I count 8, but I'm sure you can do better.