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Mass media have a curious and powerful position of influence within our culture making it a critical component in creating, altering, and/or mimicking current ideologies within society.

Motion pictures often incorporate life‐like situations or plots into their stories which can contain controversial or taboo topics. One of these situations involves abuse within intimate, adult relationships. Choices made in how the abuse and characters are depicted is called framing. This strategy is a deliberate means of including and excluding certain information and/or details. It is a tactic used to provide the viewer with a carefully “framed” picture.

This analysis reveals the framing choices made in the portrayal of domestic abuse victims, abusers, and the depicted abuse within four popular motion pictures. This research also speculates on the subsequent messages and meanings communicated (intentional or not) to audiences.

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Communication Commons