Arne L Gellrich Supervisor: The thesis takes its point of departure from essayistic reflections of the philosophical tradition and theological and religious analytical positions respectively.
These are then followed by two investigative main chapters, designed along the lines of Norman Fairclough s approach to critical discourse analysis CDA. The first of these chapters studies the narratives of good and evil employed in the mainstream cinema of the past ten years in the mentioned countries.
The second analysis is made up of three case studies, in turn looking at similar narratives in the campaigns of the two main competitors in the presidential race, a German protest movement against free trade agreements, and the everyday political communication of Swedish Facebook Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet. In a final chapter, findings from all four preceding chapters are brought together in an attempt to sketch an image of the congruences and discrepancies of narratives on good and evil in the overall discursive field Kajsa Ahlstrand The thesis finds that the discursive field shared by the three investigated societies is largely homogenous, with certain imagery permeating all analysed orders of discourse.
Many of the reoccurring images are however likely rooted in the human psyche and therefore less dependent on discourse practice.
Furthermore, certain principles are agreed upon in theory while not reproduced in social practice. Themes assigned to either good or evil often seem to take on secondary functions next to assumed fixed identities of in- and out-groups. Being a qualitative study, this thesis aims at giving an overview and delivering a base for further Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet rather than providing definitive answers.
Finally, I am, as always, indebted to Annemieke Munderloh for her unwavering personal, intellectual and editorial support, as well as my dear friend Julian Heno for more of the same. Presentation of the research topic 1 2.
Aim and Research Question 3 3. Analytical framework Methodology Method and structure Selection of case studies Limitations, delimitations, and ethical considerations 6 Chapter 1 Evil and Good in philosophy and the humanities 9 1. Attempts at definitions 9 2. Morality and group cohesion Beyond morality Skotos and the evil entity Subordination, domination or integration? Facebook comments sections General observations The Good Punishment, liberty and democratic legitimacy Fixed values Evil Puppet masters and betrayal Naming and banning Excrement, disease and incompetence 79 Chapter 5 Evaluation Synthesis Interpretation Summary and conclusion Prospects and suggestions for further study 87 List of References and Bibliography Non-fiction books, scientific publication and contributions to edited works News Articles Scripture Other non-fiction sources Novels Feature films, radio and television productions 98 Appendices Appendix Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet. Full List of analysed films Appendix II.
Newsletter by the NGO Campact e. Die Linke canvas portraying fictional villain Darth Vader 2 Source: John Kerry tweets about meeting film executives 2 Source: JohnKerry17 February Twitter post Fig. Banner put up in Hanover by Greenpeace 63 Source: Wooden figure portraying the Trojan horse at the demonstration at Hanover.
Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Accessed 7 October Fig.
Kattascha11 October Twitter post Fig. Protesters dressed up as monsters representing freetrade agreements 65 Source: Using imagery from The Godfather 65 Source: Placard combing the association of excrement and disease 67 Source: Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Accessed 7 October Presentation of the research topic The terrorist attacks of September 11 th,have largely been interpreted as part of an inter-civilisational conflict, an attack not only on US, but also on Western capitalism and the concept of Western liberal society itself.
The recent success of nationalist and right-wing politicians across Western cultures demonstrates the power of discourse in a world that many have described as a post-truth society, where constructed realities at times seem more important than observable facts.
Indeed, in the US, public belief in a narrative of progressive decline of traditional values that Seymour Martin Lipset diagnosed thirty years ago 4 and its employment by presidential candidate Donald Trump may well turn out to be the decisive factor in the presidential election.
Language, Politics and Counter-Terrorism. Mark Berman, What Trump says about crime in America and what is really going on. And Reconcile Us with Evil Introduction 3 Yet, Orientalism and American pessimism are only examples of subconsciously agreed-upon discourse channelling actual political behaviour attitudes towards homeless people and criminals or the lack of interest for Sub-Saharan Africa s bloody conflicts are other examples.
As we have seen above, in the end it all depends on the old less elaborate yet perhaps the most primeval stereotype deeply anchored in the Western civilisation: It here often seems hard to believe that these different aspects of society should not influence one another.
Indeed, political movements on all levels will at times explicitly refer to popular entertainment media, especially cinematic feature films: Cinema has also inspired the less established political sphere, for example the online hacker community Anonymous, which uses the iconic Guy Fawkes-masks prominently featuring in said film. The influence of popular culture suggests that the kind of mediated discourse studied by Jackson, which includes news media and official political communication is only an element of a much wider discursive field.
And the exchange in discourse practice between politics and entertainment media goes both ways: US secretary of John Kerry for example recently tweeted about his meeting with Hollywood executives to discuss how to counter Daesh [sic] narrative cf. Figure 2while television producers such as the BBC have been accused of a complicity with Tony Blair and George Bush in depicting a false reality about terror-plotting Muslims Aim and Research Question The intent of this study is to develop a conception of this discourse on Good and Evil in Western culture, and to what degree it re-emerges in political communication.
Religious belief, and specifically the various forms of institutional Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet have traditionally been an important element of Western culture; in addition, religious interpretations of good and evil, and the power of religious belief to inspire to both good and evil deed, are in many ways the bane of current global political affairs.
This thesis therefore cannot ignore the religious dimension of the topic. Furthermore, as major element of contemporary Western culture that puts a strong emphasis on narrative, the feature film is singled out as an element for closer scrutiny. The Research Question which this study sets out to answer is thus: In what way is Western social and political discourse permeated by narratives of Good and Evil as framed by the cultural factors of Christian religious influence and popular feature film?
To the extent to which the study s findings constitute a sufficient base for such endeavours, it is also an aim to identify problems and pose questions to be solved and answered in further and continued research of the topic. Ideally, the evaluation of the findings will serve
Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet a stable fundament upon which to build the concept for a mediated approach towards changing aggressive promotion of identity to the better.
Accordingly, ideology, political thought, and the political and social action based on that thought are not to be observed as independent, nuclear phenomena, but rather as parts of a "Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet" that transcends the social environment of all and any members of society. Discourse is here understood along the lines of Norman Fairclough s critical discourse theory, that is as the use of language in the wider sense, including non-verbal semiotics as social practice 12, reproducing itself, and in doing so, both describ- Fig.
Die Linke canvas portraying fictional villain Darth Vader Fig. Vanessa Thorpe, BBC under fire for false reality. Norman Fairclough, Critical Discourse Analysis. The Critical Study of Language. Translation from the Danish original: And Reconcile Us with Evil Introduction 5 ing and constituting social reality In following Fairclough, the concept of orders of discourse is to be read as defining the kind of the text for example political speech 15, while genre defines the narrative function of the text for example the comedy-genre.
While texts supplied by the news media and political commentary may be leaning towards certain ideological positions or perceived to be thusly skewed and can hence be chosen according to the world view of the consumer 16, other orders of discourse, such as the feature film again consciously or unconsciously carry values that to a high degree belong to a certain ideological view, while being hidden among the subtleties of the narrative.
Accordingly, it is harder for consumers to withdraw themselves from exposure to ideological discourse in entertainment genres than in informative genres. Thus, the feature film, as a major form of popular entertainment, serves as a medium to reinforce mainstream discourse, as well as introduce its narrative elements to an audience beyond the original peer group.
To establish which themes are prevalent in the religious discourse, the second chapter then takes a look at Christian theology, scripture and secular perception, including its precursive Jewish traditions.
The themes identified throughout these presentations serve as the theoretical framework for later elaboration or re-evaluation during the analytical chapters. The main study is composed of a composite desk study in the form of a set of mainly qualitative cross-case textual analyses, roughly following critical discourse analysis as described by Norman Fairclough hereafter CDA.
As touched upon above, the approach is based on a social constructionist perspective, questioning perceptions of truth, and Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet the significance of discourse in shaping social reality Fairclough s CDA investigates three dimensions of the respective text.
These are 1 the text itself in form and meaning, 2 discourse practice, that is the practice concerning production and consumption of the text, and 3 social practice, the way in which the text affects social reality 13 cf.
The main part of the study is divided up in two chapters: Chapter 3, which investigates the Good versus Evil-narrative in the Western cinematic feature film The term Western here does not refer to the genre of the Cowboy Movie but serves to define cultural identity and Chapter 4, which looks at public expression in the three selected Western cultures. To achieve a broader view of the different media of political expression, specific case study is chosen for each of the three countries.
The aim of the procedure is to identify re-emerging themes in the depiction of good and evil. This is achieved by deductively following the grounded theory approach detailed by Glaser and Strauss. The conceptual categories of Grounded Theory are accordingly defined as the principal concepts of good and evil, properties translate as motifs in their depiction, identified throughout the analyses This study seeks to identify sets of such motifs form the themes.
This identification of themes is undertaken upon their emergence. Themes may, however, later be readjusted to encompass additional observations In that sense, the consecutive textual studies serve both heuristic and theory testing purposes in that they contribute to mapping the mainstream discourse on the dual concept of good and evil, while simultaneously testing its consistency beyond bounds of genres as well as orders of discourse.
Both dimensions are treated as equally important in answering the research question. Their investigation is therefore not undertaken in every single case study, but in a later synthetic interpretation. The themes are accordingly understood to arise only in the comparison of the different texts studied and expressed in the frequency with which the identified themes re-emerge across these analyses.
The discussion is therefore undertaken evaluating and comparing the findings of the preceding chapters. Therefore, one case study has been selected for the United States, Germany and Sweden respectively, with every study focussing on different modes of socio-political communication. Strauss, The discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research.
New Vistas in Qualitative Research.
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University: And Reconcile Us with Evil Introduction 7 The chapter starts with a study of key campaign speeches held by each of the two main party nominees for the post of President of the United States.
As the form of advertisement that they are, these speeches are expected to apply narratives consciously, employing mechanism similar to those observed by Jackson Case Study II also looks at such presumably conscious, orchestrated discourse practice. However, where Case Study I follows a top-down approach, having established politicians Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet to their voters and supporters, this case study concentrates on the opposite position: The views expressed in such user-generated content, as new media scholar Clay Shirky argues, is often not intended as a broadcast but rather a private conversation that happens to happen in a public space 24, a special form expression which Shirky calls many-to-many communication The idea is that accordingly, discourse is less filtered, and less consciously constituted, which in a sense leads to a more honest expression of views and narratives Limitations, delimitations, and ethical considerations This thesis focuses exclusively on discourse in the West.
While terms such as Western and the West may seem to represent an ideological position, that is not so: Although the West is transcended by liberal thinking in the form of democracy and capitalism, it should not be confused with for example liberalist ideology itself, nor with the economic unit of the Global North, with which it happens to be largely identical in terms of geography.
Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody. The Power of organizing Without Organizations. and Ingrid Carlberg (), Marie Lindström (), Bengt-Göran article, I have met with and interviewed the debate editors of the three pa- pers. “I Skärningsfältet Mellan Religion Och Politik [In the Dags att sluta fira skolavslutningen i kyrkan [Time to stop graduation I stället för att analysera.
Tror att SD röstade på rödgröna förslag under den gångna mandatperioden. själv i något av de fack man omedelbart hamnar i, när man yttrar något om politik. Inte min stil, nu rullar vi framåt i stället, i något lugnare takt, men med bara korta . Sluta skylla pa goran prata politik i stallet ryska hemliga kopplingarna skall vi inte prata om.
Folke Ölander, a researcher and teacher at the research center for Economic Psychology in the ' and early 's and Honorary Doctor at the Stockholm .