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The Narrative for Scotland

PERHAPS the most insidious achievement of the establishment as a neocolonial organism is its creation, communication and reinforcement of a false narrative which serves its own ends. We will look at the role that framing has played in concealing the aims of the narrative, describe the positive narrative for Scotland and what you can do to communicate the positive and avoid reinforcing the false narrative. Throughout this article we will use the prefix “e” to refer to establishment frames and narrative and the prefix “i” to refer to indy frames and narrative.

Framing - what it is

A frame used to be thought of as a purely psychological construct. Recent research in neuroscience however, has found that a frame is actually a physical network of neurons in the brain, a neural net, which enables us to understand the world. A frame’s mental construct is hidden from you, yet we use it all the time. For example if someone says to you “pass the menu please” the word menu triggers a frame and that frame is a restaurant or cafe.

On the other hand if someone says “the deficit is definitely too high, we could never afford to be independent” then basically that frame is one which comes from an Establishment worldview. A worldview is a set of frames which are consistent and usually higher level frames are the most important. They may or may not be based in reality, indeed many may be pure propaganda.

Anything outside of our worldview, our collection of frames, is by definition not normal, extreme, risky, not something to consider at all. Each frame is a lens through which we perceive the world. We may believe that we are using binoculars to bring distant items closer, but we may be looking through the wrong end, and so seeing everything as much further away than they really are.

The US political commentator Michael Parenti once observed that:

‘Bias in favor of the orthodox is frequently mistaken for “objectivity”. Departures from this ideological orthodoxy are themselves dismissed as ideological.’ (Source: Media Lens)

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About iScot Magazine

issue 60 of the award-winning iScot Magazine featuring an exclusive interview with the SNP's Dr Philippa Whitford