• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

Reinventing political subjectivities; studying critical documentaries on the "war on terror"

The Journal of Social Semiotics. 2012. Vol. 22. No. 4. P. 353-374.

This paper casts a look on media aspects of the anti-war-on-terror struggle in western countries. A peculiar warfare, the “war on terror” that officially begun in 2001, is a low-density global warfare, fought in different internal and external fronts . Within a liberal, increasingly post-political social terrain, where social affairs are objects of expert management lacking public accountability and legitimacy, the role, status and the identity of the contemporary citizen is in decline. New media “affordances” offer critical possibilities for challenging hegemonic political discourses, and addressing political alternatives for a broad range of social problems; a re-invention of citizenship through the construct of a new (collective) political subject is central in the reinvention of democracy today. Discourse analysis, drawing reflexively on post-structuralist discourse theory and critical discourse analysis, is deployed in the study of counter-war-on-terror discourses in different documentaries critical to the “war on terror”. Analysis looks at different constructions of “us” and “them” in the context of counter-hegemonic discourses today. Identity is central in the engagement, participation and orientation of citizens today. Identity is central in organising a collective centre and in initiating subjectivity to fragmented liberal, postmodern individuals.