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UCLA Week 6 Setting a Definition for The Specific Disease Discussion

Instructions: Please review the two discussion questions below, provide a response for one of them. Response posts should be 2-3 paragraphs. After you post your response, please reply to a post written by your fellow peers (you can provide more than one reply if you wish). You may have to log on at a later time to post your reply to another student’s post. Please be considerate in your posts and replies.

Week 6 Questions

1) Think of an insider claimsmaker — they/it can be an individual, institution, or an organization. What characteristics make them an insider claimsmaker? How have they used their power and influence in the policymaking domain, in the media domain, and/or to sway popular opinion? A useful example is found in lecture 8 focusing on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and their influence on policy with the Dickey Amendment.

2) In a past lecture, we learned that the structure of a claim has grounds, warrants, and conclusions. Grounds can include typifying examples, naming of a problem, and statistics. Yet, I noted that naming a problem is not the same as defining it (see lecture 3). We have many useful examples of this from history. For example, the Spanish Influenza did not originate in Spain but was named that because Spain was one of the few countries reporting on the outbreak at the time (Links to an external site.). Spain, in 1918, was not censoring news like other war-time countries were at the time. (Interestingly, the Spanish called the disease the “French Flu” because they believed it started in France.) Think of a troubling condition/social problem that had a name that did not quite suit the definition of that troubling condition/problem. Tell us how that name came to be and why it gained widespread traction. In what ways was the naming of the problem not the same as defining it?


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