On Resonance: A study of culture-dependent reinterpretations of extremist violence in Israeli media discourse

On Resonance: A study of culture-dependent reinterpretations of extremist violence in Israeli media discourse

Date Published:

2017

Abstract:

When and why do communities accept novel ideas as intuitively convincing? In the present 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 were 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.

Publisher's Version

doi: 10.1177/0163443717734404
Last updated on 11/04/2017