Framing Inequality: News Media, Public Opinion, and the Neoliberal Turn in U.S. Public Policy

ISBN : 9780190888190

Matt Guardino
320 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Apr 2019
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Neoliberal policy approaches have swept over the American political economy in recent decades. In Framing Inequality, Matt Guardino focuses on the power of corporate news media in shaping how the public understands the pivotal policy debates of this period. Drawing on a wide range of empirical evidence from the dawn of the Reagan era into the Trump administration, he explains how profit pressures and commercial imperatives in the media have narrowed and trivialized news coverage and influenced public attitudes in the process. Guardino highlights how the political-economic structure of mainstream media operates to magnify some political messages and to mute or shut out others. He contends that news framing of policies that contribute to economic inequality has been unequal, and that this has undermined Americans' opportunities to express their views on an equal basis. Framing Inequality is a unique study that offers critical understanding of not only how neoliberalism succeeded as a political project, but also how Americans might begin to build a more democratic and egalitarian media system.


Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Toward a Critical Understanding of News Media, Public Opinion, and the Politics of Economic Inequality
Chapter 3 - Gipper Sweeps Congress: Commercial News Media and the Launch of the Reagan Revolution
Chapter 4 - No One Wants to Change the System as Much as Those Who Are Trapped by the System: Commercial News Media and the End of Welfare As We Knew It
Chapter 5 - Framing Inequality at the Ground Level: An Experiment
Chapter 6 - What's New? Media, Public Opinion, and Democracy in the 21st Century
Chapter 7 - Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Media, Power, and Inequality
Appendix A - Content Analysis Information for Chapters 3 - 6
Appendix B1 - Study Design Information for Chapter 5
Appendix B2 - Supplementary Analyses for Chapter 5

About the author: 

Matt Guardino is Associate Professor of political science at Providence College. A former journalist, his research applies social-scientific and cultural approaches to analyze media, political discourse and public opinion. His work has appeared in several academic journals and edited volumes. He is the co-author (with Danny Hayes) of Influence from Abroad: Foreign Voices, the Media, and U.S. Public Opinion (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

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