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Title: Making Muslims, making news : mediating political identities in the 'war on terror'
Author: Noor, Habiba
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 9232
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This dissertation investigates how Muslim youth in the West tell the story of the war on terror. It analyzes how news narratives shape political understanding and mediate identities. My research participants, between the ages of 12-18, were asked to produce 1-3 minute videos that explained the war by using iconic still and moving images. Between July 2004 and February 2006 I conducted twenty-three focus groups in London and in New York. The majority constructed chronological stories that sought to explain the genesis and the reasons for war in terms of cause and effect. In this sense I am considering the narrative as literal, not metaphorical. I argue that the spectacle of the Islamist has produced new political discourses, which have re-written the rules of Muslim belonging in the West. To be able to identify these 'rules' is one of the competencies ofcitizenship. News narratives serve a crucial role in political education in two distinct ways; first they are the gateway to participation in political discourse, and second they provide resources that define belonging to liberal democracies. For Muslims living in the West, news discourses and Muslim identities have become mutually constitutive. My discussion of the research participants' videos analyses the visual and verbal elements of the war on terror narratives. My analysis focuses on how news narratives of the war on terror have produced a semiotic landscape, which has led to dissemination of some ideas and the silencing of others. Like other recent approaches to studying audiences, the methodology of this research looks at identity using media production. I use news making to look at how participants represent themselves in relation to an imagined public audience. Rather than offering a descriptive set of categories on political positions held by Muslim youth, this research looks more broadly at how media functions in the circulation of political and identity discourses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available