This blog was originally posted at Identity Campaigning.
Joe Brewer, a contributor to this site, has just publicised some work he’s done on ‘cognitive strategies’ in the health sector in the US. I think the ideas he develops are really import for identity campaigning, on several counts:
– they serve to draw a sharp distinction between a health campaign based on economic self-interest and one based on caring for others.
– they highlight the problems of conflating frames: whilst a ‘vision’ statement may assert that human dignity should motivate health care reform, communication materials deploy a “cost-savings” strategy.
– implicitly, they draw attention to the need to adopt the right frames across the full panoply of public policy. Environmentalists need to be concerned about the deep frames that health care policy helps to establish. As do those working on a range of other issues, from animal rights to third-world debt.
What Joe doesn’t do (but could easily do) is to draw attention to the evidence that appeals to more intrinsic and self-transcendent values and goals are more likely to motivate people to publicly voice a concern about health care policy.