ERIC Number: ED312725
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Symbolic Functions of Violence and Terror.
The highly selective and politically shaped portrayals of violence and terror conceal rather than reveal the actual incidence and distribution of real violence and terror. These portrayals, including the choice of labels, serve as projective devices that isolate acts and people from meaningful contexts and set them up to be stigmatized and victimized. Symbolic uses benefit those who control them. They are usually states and media establishments, not small-scale or isolated actors or insurgents. The mass ritual of television presents a world which is power oriented. Though perpetrators of small-scale acts of violence and terror may occasionally force media attention and, in that sense, seem to advance their cause, in the last analysis such a challenge serves to enhance media credibility ("just reporting the facts") and is used to mobilize support for repression, often in the form of wholesale state violence and terror or military action, presented as justified by the provocation. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.; Gannett Foundation, Rochester, NY.
Authoring Institution: Emerson Coll., Boston, MA.