The subjective and objective violence of terrorism: analysing “British values” in newspaper coverage of the 2017 London Bridge attack

BLACK, Jack (2018). The subjective and objective violence of terrorism: analysing “British values” in newspaper coverage of the 2017 London Bridge attack. Critical Studies on Terrorism.

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17539...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2018.1498191
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    Abstract

    This article examines how Žižek’s analysis of “subjective” violence can be used to explore the ways in which media coverage of a terrorist attack is contoured and shaped by less noticeable forms of “objective” (symbolic and systemic) violence. Drawing upon newspaper coverage of the 2017 London Bridge attack, it is noted how examples of “subjective” violence were grounded in the externalization of a clearly identifiable “other”, which symbolically framed the terrorists and the attack as tied to and representative of the UK Muslim community. Examples of “systematic” violence were most notable in the ideological edifice that underpinned this framing but also in the ways in which newspaper reports served to draw upon British values in the aftermath of the attack. This directed attention away from the contradictions within the UK, towards narratives that sought to “fix” these contradictions through eradicating the problem of “the other” and/or by violently protecting the British values “they” seek to undermine. As a consequence, newspaper coverage worked to uphold the illusion that “peace” could be achieved by eradicating terrorism through further forms of objective violence, including, internment without trial; the “ripping up” of human rights; and, closer surveillance of Muslim communities. Indeed, it was this unacknowledged violence that worked to maintain British values in the press’ coverage.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Žižek, London Bridge, British values, Muslim/Islam, media analysis
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
    Humanities Research Centre
    Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group
    Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Media Arts and Communication
    Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Humanities
    Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
    Health and Well-being > Department of Sport
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2018.1498191
    Depositing User: Jack Black
    Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2018 09:22
    Last Modified: 01 Feb 2020 01:18
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22174

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