The Use of Visuals in Issue Framing: Signifying Responsible Drinking

Lærke Højgaard Christiansen

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This article offers new insights into the organizational framing of social issues by drawing attention to the use of visual framing. These insights are based on a case study of the organization, Drinkaware, and its visual framing of the issue of alcohol-related harm in its campaign material. The study identifies three overall visual framing functions performed by Drinkaware’s campaign material: normalizing alcohol consumption, defining and delimiting the scope of the issue and the responsible parties, and establishing the organization’s identity as an expert. The article contributes to institutional theory, and to organizational theory more broadly by elaborating on the significant role of visuals in the framing of an issue, particularly by providing a systematic elaboration of the visual framing functions and components. The article also extends the literature on issues and issue fields, by showing how visuals contribute to defining and delimiting issues and establishing an expert identity in an issue field.
TidsskriftOrganization Studies
Udgave nummer5-6
Sider (fra-til)665-688
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2018


  • Collective organizations
  • Expertise
  • Issue fields
  • Responsible drinking
  • Social issues
  • Social responsibility
  • Visual framing