Diagnostic framing and Prognostic framing

Framing has come up to be an important notion in the area of social movements and how they garnish support for their cause. It is the summation of the creation and arrangement of grievances by the social movement adherents for which the social movement is working. This framing can be divided into diagnostic framing and prognostic framing.

While diagnostic framing identifies a social problem and thereby connect the negative aspect of society to a certain cause, prognostic framing deals with coming up with the best solution of the problem, identified by the diagnostic framing. It suggests ways of how the solution would be executed or implemented. It is important for any social movement to not just identify the problem but also come up and argue for the specific solutions. These two types of framing often function interdependently in any social movement; there might be anyone type of framing at times from amongst the two, thus requiring reframing or otherwise becoming ineffective.

Prognostic framing articulates the solutions proposed with respect to the problem and the strategies for carrying out the solution. Many theorists suggest that the diagnosis and the solution often seem to coincide or line up. To understand prognostic framing more clearly the example of environmental pollution can be cited. Diagnostic framing made it clear that environmental pollution has been increasing and it needs to be controlled and rectified in order to save the planet from the various damages including global warming, the worst of them all. After this diagnosis, prognostic framing came up with numerous solutions and plans, and ways through which those plans would be brought into practice. Therefore, various legal sanctions were made, laws were passed, government regulations were strictly enforced, cap-and-trade mechanisms were initiated, and even taxes were levied on carbon consumption in order to reduce environmental damage.

Prognostic framing reflects the ideologies and values of the members of the social movement organizers. It is very essential to come up with the proper solutions to deal with the problem. For instance, in an LGBTQ movement that is started to confront and counter the violence the queer people face in their day to day lives, the appropriate solution would be to find ways of empowering them and documenting their lives and sufferings in order to raise public awareness. Their plan of action should also include ways to gain more legal support. However, if they are asked to hide their sexual orientation in order to solve their problem of being subject to violence, neglect, and discrimination, it can be clearly interpreted that this kind of framing of their social movement is inappropriate and misleading. It also attempts to refute or diminish the framing of the opponents of a social movement which is known as counter framing. It aims to prevent the negative impact of those framing and thereby reducing the impact of the social movement as a whole.

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