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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Douglas Kellner

Purpose – This chapter examines the role of the media, guns, and violence in the social construction of masculinity in today's mediatized American culture.Methodology  

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter examines the role of the media, guns, and violence in the social construction of masculinity in today's mediatized American culture.

Methodology – The chapter draws on critical theory and cultural studies to address crises of masculinity and school shootings. It applies and further develops Guy Debord's (1970) theory on spectacle in the contexts of contemporary violent media spectacles.

Findings – In the chapter it is argued that school shooters, and other indiscriminate gun killers, share male rage and attempts to resolve crises of masculinity through violent behavior; exhibit a fetishism of guns or weapons; and resolve their crises through violence orchestrated as a media spectacle. This demands growing awareness of mediatization of American gun culture, and calls for a need for more developed understanding of media pedagogy as a means to create cultural skills of media literacy, as well as arguing for more rational gun control and mental health care.

Originality/value of paper – The chapter contributes to the contemporary debate on mediatization of violence by discussing it within critical theory and cultural studies. The theoretical framework is applied to analysis of a range of different empirical cases ranging from school shootings to the Colorado movie theater massacre at the first night of the latest Batman movie in the summer of 2012.

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School Shootings: Mediatized Violence in a Global Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-919-6

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Jason A. Smith

Racism in the United States is complex given the cultural logics that uphold notions of “post-race” or “colorblindness” as a means for understanding racialized events. The…

Abstract

Racism in the United States is complex given the cultural logics that uphold notions of “post-race” or “colorblindness” as a means for understanding racialized events. The various forces at play within media institutions create paradoxes in the power that the media wields in society. Utilizing the concept of “media spectacle” and putting it into dialogue with colorblind racism, the author looks at local coverage of the 2009 arrest of Henry Louis Gates. The author’s primary concern is to identify not only the narratives that uphold or challenge colorblind racism during racialized events, but also the dynamic in which racialized events are mediated in contemporary society. Through a critical discourse analysis of two Boston newspapers, the author demonstrates the way colorblind racism adapts during a racialized event. This study demonstrates the contested nature of the media and nuance to the ways we understand colorblind racism in an increasingly mediated society.

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Media and Power in International Contexts: Perspectives on Agency and Identity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-455-2

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Book part
Publication date: 1 July 2004

Jinee Lokaneeta

This paper argues that contemporary executions by lethal injection represent spectacles of death. This spectacle of death upholds the sovereignty of the liberal state by…

Abstract

This paper argues that contemporary executions by lethal injection represent spectacles of death. This spectacle of death upholds the sovereignty of the liberal state by evoking a sense of fear among the citizens. The State uses the apparently “painless” and “humane” form of execution by lethal injection to legitimize the death penalty in the U.S. I take the example of McVeigh’s execution to suggest that spectacles of execution continue in modern society, along with disciplinary processes that the liberal state depends on for its legitimacy. This paper, thus, aims to contribute towards a rethinking of a Foucauldian notion of power.

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-109-5

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Book part
Publication date: 28 July 2008

Kevin Fox Gotham and Daniel A. Krier

Since Karl Marx fashioned his theory of capitalism in the nineteenth century, scholars have continually updated Marxian theory to capture the pervasiveness of commodity…

Abstract

Since Karl Marx fashioned his theory of capitalism in the nineteenth century, scholars have continually updated Marxian theory to capture the pervasiveness of commodity relations in modern society. Influenced by Georg Lukács and Henri Lefebvre, the members of the French avant-guard group, the Situationist International (1957–1972), developed an intransigent critique of consumer capitalism based on the concept of the spectacle. In the spectacle, media and consumer society replace lived experience, the passive gaze of images supplants active social participation, and new forms of alienation induce social atomization at a more abstract level than in previous societies. We endeavor to make two theoretical contributions: First, we highlight the contributions of the Situationist International, pointing out how they revised the Marxian categories of alienation, commodification, and reification in order to analyze the dynamics of twentieth century capitalism and to give these concepts new explanatory power. Second, we build a critical theory of consumer capitalism that incorporates the theoretical assumptions and arguments of the Situationists and the Frankfurt School. Today, critical theory can make an important contribution to sociology by critically examining the plurality of spectacles and their reifying manifestations. In addition, critical theorists can explore how different spectacles connect to one another, how they connect to different social institutions, and how spectacles express contradictions and conflicting meanings. A critical theory of spectacle and consumption can disclose both novelties and discontinuities in the current period, as well as continuities in the development of globalized consumer capitalism.

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No Social Science without Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-538-3

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Mikaela Krohn

Despite the increased interest in video methods and the role of visuality in organizations and management, the use of video in organizations has received scant attention…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the increased interest in video methods and the role of visuality in organizations and management, the use of video in organizations has received scant attention. The purpose of this paper is to explore organizational videoblogs as a phenomenon, and discuss avenues that open up for qualitative research. The paper examines the affordances of organizational videoblogs in a strategy context by contrasting them with more conventional corporate videos, in order to discuss how spectacularization and social media style communication is influencing social practices in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

First, this paper introduces the phenomenon of organizational videoblogging and its implications for research. Second, it engages in a theoretical discussion on videoblogs as a strategizing activity, through three different analytical lenses: strategic sensegiving, strategic self-branding and strategy as spectacle. Illustrative empirical examples are used to support the theoretical discussion.

Findings

The paper argues that organizational videoblogging is a phenomenon that changes social practices in organizations by injecting a visual, social media type communication. Organizational videoblogs emphasize authenticity and provide new affordances for sensegiving and self-branding in strategizing, but ultimately lead us to ask whether they risk turning strategizing into an infotainment-like spectacle.

Originality/value

The value of this paper lies in conceptualizing how and why organizational videoblogs can be studied in organizations. The paper provides future research with vocabulary and characteristics to distinguish different types of video in organizations.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2011

Angelique M. Davis and Rose Ernst

Direct democracy by citizen initiatives is often heralded as the avenue for the true will of the people to be heard. While scholars have debated whether this leads to a…

Abstract

Direct democracy by citizen initiatives is often heralded as the avenue for the true will of the people to be heard. While scholars have debated whether this leads to a form of Madison's “tyranny of the majority,” the debate over the concrete impact of such initiatives on racially marginalized groups remains unsettled. We examine a different question about racially marginalized groups' interests in this process: the symbolic assertion of white supremacy expressed through this mechanism of majority will. We develop the concept of “racial spectacles” to describe the narrative vehicles that serve to symbolically reassert and reinforce real existing racial hierarchies and inequalities. We explore the creation of these spectacles through the initiative process because it is a state-sanctioned vehicle that enables white dominance. Paradoxically, these campaigns that purport to be colorblind depend on the enactment of these racial spectacles. Through an analysis of five statewide anti-affirmative action initiative campaigns from 1996 to 2008, we explore both macro and micro political dynamics: public displays of these campaigns as well as individual, private agency expressed in the public and private act of voting; court decisions in initiative litigation as well as individual and interest group participation in these cases. Ultimately, we argue that this form of racial spectacle further inculcates the public in the postracial ideology of colorblindness.

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Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-080-3

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Book part
Publication date: 19 May 2009

Sang H. Kil, Cecilia Menjívar and Roxanne L. Doty

Purpose – This is an examination of how border policies become intertwined with patriotic expressions that result in an atmosphere conducive to border vigilantism. We…

Abstract

Purpose – This is an examination of how border policies become intertwined with patriotic expressions that result in an atmosphere conducive to border vigilantism. We analyze how vigilantes target sources of immigrant employment, demonstrate at public buildings in attempting to put pressure on public officials, and speak and rally at educational institutions in order to disseminate their message.

Methodology – We use content analysis, broadly defined.

Findings – Brutalization theory helps understand how a militarized border policy shapes an environment in which violence becomes an acceptable and appropriate response to undocumented migration.

Value – This chapter provides insights on both recent vigilante activities along the border and also within the interior of the nation.

Details

Immigration, Crime and Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-438-2

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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Cecilia Cassinger, Jorgen Eksell, Maria Mansson and Ola Thufvesson

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the mediatisation of terror attacks affects the brand image of tourism cities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the mediatisation of terror attacks affects the brand image of tourism cities.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by theories of mediatisation and space, the study analyses two different types of terror attacks in Sweden during 2017 as media events. The focus of analysis is on identifying spatial and temporal patterns that underpin the narrative rhythm of the discussions of the events on Twitter and online news platforms.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that the unfolding of the events can be divided into three phases of varying intensity in rhythm and implications for city brand image. The manifestation of an imaginary terror attack in a digital environment had a greater impact on the narratives of the city than an actual one.

Research limitations/implications

Rythmanalysis is introduced as a useful device to examine how urban space is mediatised through social media and online news flows.

Originality/value

The study contributes with novel knowledge on the mediatisation of city space on digital media platforms in a post-truth world. It shows that city administrations need to deal with both real and imaginary terror attacks, especially when there is an already established negative image of the city.

Details

International Journal of Tourism Cities, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-5607

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Rebecca Dolinsky Graham and Amanda Konradi

Residential college campuses remain dangerous – especially for women students who face a persistent threat of sexual violence, despite passage of the 1990 Campus Security…

Abstract

Purpose

Residential college campuses remain dangerous – especially for women students who face a persistent threat of sexual violence, despite passage of the 1990 Campus Security Act and its multiple amendments. Campuses have developed new programming, yet recent research confirms one in five women will experience some form of sexual assault before graduating. Research on campus crime legislation does not describe in detail the context in which it developed. The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the effects of early rhetorical frames on the ineffective policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors discuss the rhetorical construction of “campus crime,” and related “criminals” and “victims,” through content analysis and a close interpretive reading of related newspaper articles.

Findings

The 1986 violent rape and murder of Jeanne Clery at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania became iconic in media descriptions of campus crime. Media drew attention to the racial and classed dimensions of the attack on Clery, but elided the misogyny central to all sexual assaults. This reinforced a stereotype that “insiders” on campuses, primarily white and middle class, were most vulnerable to “outsider” attacks by persons of color. Colleges and universities adopted rhetoric of “endangerment” and “unreason” and focused on what potential victims could do to protect themselves, ignoring the role of students in perpetrating crime.

Research limitations/implications

This analysis does not link rhetoric in newspapers to legislative discussion. Further analysis is necessary to confirm the impact of particular claims and to understand why some claims may have superseded others.

Originality/value

This analysis focuses critical attention on how campus crime policy is shaped by cultural frames.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2018

Kass Gibson and Paul Gorczynski

This chapter outlines the paucity of media research attending to mental health and mental illness in sport. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to encourage critical…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter outlines the paucity of media research attending to mental health and mental illness in sport. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to encourage critical reflection and further research on the mass mediation of mental illness in sport.

Design/Method/Approach

In the first part of the chapter, we review the extensive literature addressing the mass mediation of mental illness and mental health in order to provide key reference points for future scholarship. We then suggest to potential avenues for sociological study of this topic: Talcott Parson’s sick role and Guy Debord’s spectacle.

Findings

The authors find that the notion of the sick role provides insight into the assumptions underpinning athlete disclosure of mental illness as well as encouragement of help seeking behavior in relation to mental illness specifically. From a broader perspective on mental health, the authors identify a central challenge of the spectacular presentation of mental health and well-being and the lived experience.

Research Limitations/Implications

The central limitation of the field currently is the dearth of research. Similarly, in providing a broad overview of key considerations, this chapter does not undertake primary media analysis of mental illness in sport. Nonetheless, the authors outline key considerations and lines of inquiry for the field.

Details

Sport, Mental Illness, and Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-469-1

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