Political Behavior

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 19–40 | Cite as

Framing responsibility for political issues: The case of poverty

  • Shanto Iyengar


How people think about poverty is shown to be dependent on how the issue is framed. When news media presentations frame poverty as a general outcome, responsibility for poverty is assigned to society-at-large; when news presentations frame poverty as a particular instance of a poor person, responsibility is assigned to the individual. Similar framing effects are documented in the 1986 General Social Survey where the amount of public assistance deemed appropriate for a poor family varies with the description of the family. In concluding, the implications of framing for the study of public opinion are considered.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shanto Iyengar
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Political Science and Communications StudiesUniversity of California at L.A.Los Angeles

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