On resonance: a study of culture-dependent reinterpretations of extremist violence in Israeli media discourse

Christian Baden, Yossi David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

When and why do communities accept novel ideas as intuitively convincing? In this study, we make use of the socio-cultural fragmentation of Israeli society to expose the discursive processes shaping the culture-dependent resonance of ideas. Specifically, we trace how Israeli president Reuven Rivlin’s interpretation of two lethal attacks by Jewish extremists on a Palestinian family and the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade was received across Israel’s ultra-orthodox, settler, LGBT, and Palestinian communities, as well as the mainstream right, center, and left. In a comparative analysis of media coverage catering to these groups, we distinguish six discursive responses to proposed ideas, which depend on their perception as plausible and appropriate given prior community beliefs. Our findings suggest a distinction between two possible meanings of resonance: Some ideas ‘click’ and are seamlessly appropriated in passing by a community, while others ‘strike a chord’ and raise a salient and emotional public debate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-534
Number of pages21
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • comparative analysis
  • cultural belief system
  • cultural resonance
  • extremism
  • frame analysis
  • news discourse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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