Framing pictures, picturing frames: Visual metaphors in political communications research

Paul Frosh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


What does the conceptual indebtedness to visual metaphors portend for the study of communication? And what can be learned about the metaphoricity of concepts, and their impact upon analytical discourse, from the use of images and visual tropes in communication studies? Focusing on the place of the visual within the theoretical discourse of political communication research, this article asks whether reliance on key visual metaphors tends systematically to encourage certain kinds of thinking about communication-and the kinds of power relationships that communication seemingly entails-while discouraging others. Exploring two interrelated terms-"picturing" and the ubiquitous "framing"-it attempts to shed light on their conceptual proclivities by taking cues from their operations as modes of visual representation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)91-114
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Communication Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Communication theory
  • Framing
  • Metaphor
  • Philosophy of communication
  • Political communication
  • Power
  • Visual communication


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