Enhancing Frame Analysis: Five Laminating Functions of Language in the 1987 NFL Strike

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Raymond L. Schmitt Illinois State University

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The introduction of “replacement teams” into the social world of NFL football during the 1987 strike stimulated a laminated language, a language that transformed traditional meanings by linking varying social definitions to one another. Emergent content analysis of extensive newspaper, sport magazine and newsmagazine, and live television and radio accounts was used to inductively study this language. Power, media, and social structure impacted on the various language terms that were created. Laminated language protected, rejected, accepted, satirically extended, and integrated definitions. Various ways in which the recognition of laminated language may be used to enhance the use of Goffman’s framing concepts and leads in the sociological study of everyday life are offered.

Raymond L. Schmitt is with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61761.

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