Shifting Narrative Change into High Gear
As narrative change approaches gain ground in philanthropy and advocacy circles, many questions remain about the strategy. Our recent learning project, in collaboration with the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), begins to answer some of these questions.
Narrative change refers to strategies that harness the power of narratives — in entertainment, in news, in movement spaces, and in the broader culture — to shift public mindsets and generate culture change toward equity and justice.
The project distilled 25 best practices that make narrative change efforts more likely to be successful from several sources of evidence. These include expert knowledge, a detailed review of research on the audience impact of entertainment, and three case studies (overall investments, maternal health and the nuclear threat) of the work of the Lear Center's Hollywood, Health, and Society program. Based on these best practices, we designed a forward-looking strategic framework to inform the development, funding, strategy, and implementation of narrative change efforts.
Read the final report.
View the beta framework.
The Norman Lear Center's Media Impact Project researches how entertainment and news influence our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and actions. We work with researchers, the film and TV industry, nonprofits, and news organizations, and share our research with the public. We are part of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.