‘Our words are stronger’ : Re-enforcing boundaries through ritual work in a terrorist news event

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Sumiala , J & Räisä , T 2020 , ' ‘Our words are stronger’ : Re-enforcing boundaries through ritual work in a terrorist news event ' , International Journal of Cultural Studies , vol. 23 , no. 3 , 1367877919895992 , pp. 422-438 . https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877919895992

Title: ‘Our words are stronger’ : Re-enforcing boundaries through ritual work in a terrorist news event
Author: Sumiala, Johanna; Räisä, Tiina
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Media and Communication Studies




Date: 2020-05-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: International Journal of Cultural Studies
ISSN: 1367-8779
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877919895992
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321811
Abstract: This article investigates the ritual work in terrorist news events, using the Berlin truck attack as a case in point. The article connects with the larger cluster of anthropologically inspired communication research on media events as public rituals in news media and applies digital media ethnography as its method. Fieldwork is conducted in 15 online news sites. The article identifies three key phases through which the ritual work was carried out: the rupture in the news event (ritualised as the strike), the liminal phase (ritualised as the manhunt) and the reconstitution of order following the attack (ritualised as the mourning). The article concludes with an interpretation of the broader social implications of the ritual work and related naturalisation of ‘friends’ and ‘foes’ and suggests that this type of ritual work contributes to a collective mythologisation of terrorism in news media and society at large.
Subject: 518 Media and communications
Berlin truck attack
digital media ethnography
media anthropology
media event
online news
othering
ritual work
terror
Berlin truck attack
digital media ethnography
media anthropology
media event
online news
othering
ritual work
terror
MEDIA
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