Issue framing in conversations for change: discursive interaction strategies for "doing differences"

A. Dewulf, R. Bouwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


In conversations for change between multiple actors about complex issues, differences in issue framing are bound to emerge. When the participants frame the meaning of an issue in diverging terms, they face the challenge of dealing with this frame difference in the further conversation. The authors draw on literature on framing, dualities, and interaction to explore how participants in conversations deal with these frame differences through language-in-interaction. With discourse and conversation analysis as a methodological approach, the authors analyzed interaction sequences in the context of multi-actor projects of natural resources management. Five interaction strategies that involve different ways of “doing differences” are identified—frame incorporation, frame disconnection, frame polarization, frame accommodation, and frame reconnection. The discursive characteristics of each of these interaction strategies can be understood by considering the multiple interactional challenges faced by participants when they engage in conversations for change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-193
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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