This dissertation explores the oppositional framing techniques used by actors in the United States anti-human trafficking (AHT) campaign. Theoretically based in symbolic interactionism, I conduct a frame analysis of 12 years of newspaper articles (2000-2012), which comprises the official discourse of the AHT campaign in the United States. I unpack three frame disputes, where claims are challenged and the challenges are rebutted in three primary disputes: 1) the characteristics and experiences of human trafficking victims, 2) the credibility of quantitative estimates of the prevalence of human trafficking, and 3) the justification for the development of new AHT policy tools. Using inductive data analysis methods, I analyze the frames, counterframes, and reframes as they are embedded in the official anti-human trafficking discourse. I reveal a campaign where dominant actors use reframing strategies in concert to accomplish three larger discursive goals: 1) to veil inconsistencies and contradictions in their claims; 2) to insulate their claims from further scrutiny; and 3) to justify the continued interventions on the campaigns behalf. By identifying how reframing strategies are used in concert with each other to serve as damage control functions, I contribute to a greater understanding of oppositional framing strategies.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
human trafficking, discourse, symbolic interactionism, framing, social movements, gender, qualitative
Ulibarri, Billy James. "Human trafficking victims are everywhere and nowhere: A qualitative content analysis of the United States anti-human trafficking campaign, 2000-2012.." (2016). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/soc_etds/46