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Framing Problems in Crisis Negotiation: Reframing in the Case of Waco
Unformatted Document Text:  Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 3 Applying framing to interaction, Goffman (1974, 1979) shows that speakers and hearers can align themselves (or not align themselves) with present or non-present others or institutions in ways that represent a “participation framework.” Goffman (1979) also describes a person’s alignment profile as a “footing.” In participation frameworks, or footings, folk categories of “speaker” and “hearer” are conceived as smaller categories. In participation frameworks, or footings, folk categories of “speaker” and “hearer” are conceived as smaller categories. A speaker can be one or a combination of: the person doing the actual talking (animator), the designer of the message (author), and the person or institution for which a person speaks (principal). Hearers can be either addressed or unaddressed recipients. Shifts in footing, as they are manifested in talk, reveal shifts in frames. Tannen and Wallet (1993), for instance, show how a pediatrician managed competing frames while examining children with their parents present. Frames included an “examination frame,” in which the doctor conducted a standard pediatric exam; a “reporting frame,” in which she announced findings to both the parent and a video camera set up for students; and a “consultation frame,” in which she answered questions the mother had about the child’s condition. In a study of plea-bargaining between public defense and district attorneys, Maynard (1984) showed how the attorneys’ changes in footing revealed alignments with others (such as witnesses, defendants, or judges), their own offices and professions, or other agencies (such as the police). A defense attorney, for example, may represent, even animate, a defendant’s position in plea bargaining but may also project to the district attorney an alignment that goes with or against the defendants’ stance about their guilt or innocence. In addition to shifting frames, examining interaction may also reveal framing conflicts. Tracy (1997), for instance, examined the interactional troubles 911 caller-takers face when

Authors: Agne, Robert.
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Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 3
Applying framing to interaction, Goffman (1974, 1979) shows that speakers and hearers
can align themselves (or not align themselves) with present or non-present others or institutions
in ways that represent a “participation framework.” Goffman (1979) also describes a person’s
alignment profile as a “footing.” In participation frameworks, or footings, folk categories of
“speaker” and “hearer” are conceived as smaller categories. In participation frameworks, or
footings, folk categories of “speaker” and “hearer” are conceived as smaller categories. A
speaker can be one or a combination of: the person doing the actual talking (animator), the
designer of the message (author), and the person or institution for which a person speaks
(principal). Hearers can be either addressed or unaddressed recipients. Shifts in footing, as they
are manifested in talk, reveal shifts in frames. Tannen and Wallet (1993), for instance, show
how a pediatrician managed competing frames while examining children with their parents
present. Frames included an “examination frame,” in which the doctor conducted a standard
pediatric exam; a “reporting frame,” in which she announced findings to both the parent and a
video camera set up for students; and a “consultation frame,” in which she answered questions
the mother had about the child’s condition. In a study of plea-bargaining between public defense
and district attorneys, Maynard (1984) showed how the attorneys’ changes in footing revealed
alignments with others (such as witnesses, defendants, or judges), their own offices and
professions, or other agencies (such as the police). A defense attorney, for example, may
represent, even animate, a defendant’s position in plea bargaining but may also project to the
district attorney an alignment that goes with or against the defendants’ stance about their guilt or
innocence.
In addition to shifting frames, examining interaction may also reveal framing conflicts.
Tracy (1997), for instance, examined the interactional troubles 911 caller-takers face when


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