Communicating the terrorist risk: harnessing a culture of fear? (2006)

Gabe Mythen, Sandra Walklate

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Gabe Mythen and Sandra Walklate consider the British government’s framing of the terrorist threat in media discourses following the bombings in New York, Washington, Madrid and London. A variety of commentators have been keen to mark off the activities of radical Islamic networks as fundamentally distinct from the operations of traditional terrorist groups. The ways in which people respond to terrorist attacks such as 7/7 are only partly determined by the incident itself and/or the scale of the disaster. Acts of terrorism are accorded different meanings in line with what they culturally signify and represent. The presentation of the terrorist as abject and ultra-deviant meshes into a wider framework through which moral judgements are decided upon and retributive consequences dished out. Aspects of denial and acting-out are self-evident in the calls for tightening of the laws in relation to terrorism on the one hand and the emotive language used to denounce terrorist activities and reassure the public on the other.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime and Media
Subtitle of host publicationA Reader
EditorsChris Greer
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000712681, 9780203894781
ISBN (Print)9780415422383, 9780415422390
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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