Terrorism and Mass Media

I found Sue Malvern’s article, “Terrorist Transgressions: Exploring the Gendered Representations of the Terrorist” extremely influential. The article enlightened me on the multiple explanations and analysis of the terrorist as well as the study of the circulation of the terrorist in mass media, literature, and visual culture. I found multiple points within the article that garnered my immediate attention and contemplation. Klonk states that to break “the spiral of escalating violence, we need to understand the logic of terror as effected through images.” Furthermore, the article explains that there should be recognition of closely analyzing terrorists and their acts, but also when refraining from observation of these acts. The term is difficult to define, but its influence and effect in the real world is really exhibited through mass media and visual images. Within the section entitled, The Spectacle of the Terrorist, Malvern states that the terrorist “has been constructed as the epitome of transgression against economic resources and moral, physical, and political boundaries.” This is achieved through fear and terror. The horror exhibited by terrorists is what is used to create a spectacle in media, which is described as a forceful intrusion. Sometimes, refraining from observing and analyzing terrorist imagery and media devolves power of terrorism through diminishing influence over the masses. However, I believe the topic should be taught more and explored.

Another topic I found interesting was one centered on the discourses surrounding masculinity and the perception of masculinity within political resistance. An interesting point made by Franz Fanon is that more than often, political resistance is based off of a “reconstruction of masculinism and a restructuring of gender relations.”  This is significant due to the consequences of revealing the creation of new nationalisms that exhibit extreme political ideas that harm gender relations. This establishes movements that does not foster adequate and equal representation, but more importantly, a new peaceful, revolutionary, and morally good order.


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