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Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines / Stuart Macdonald; Nuria Lorenzo-Dus

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Pages: 1 - 23

Swansea University Author: Macdonald, Stuart

  • Accepted Manuscript under embargo until: 14th July 2020

Abstract

Images are known to have important effects on human perception and persuasion. Jihadist groups are also known to make strategic use of emotive imagery and symbolism for persuasive ends. Yet until recently studies of the online magazines published by violent jihadist groups largely focused on their t...

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Published in: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
ISSN: 1057-610X 1521-0731
Published: 2019
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa47929
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first_indexed 2019-01-14T20:00:03Z
last_indexed 2019-08-22T15:20:30Z
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spelling 2019-08-22T11:05:29Z v2 47929 2018-12-11 Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines Stuart Macdonald Stuart Macdonald true 0000-0002-7483-9023 false 933e714a4cc37c3ac12d4edc277f8f98 73adc6f37a779687c19be764ac7fbd45 l7WWMBTMlQGiRAtwCFF36hXCE6Z9OGBXOD9D5JU4+T4= 2018-12-11 LAWD Images are known to have important effects on human perception and persuasion. Jihadist groups are also known to make strategic use of emotive imagery and symbolism for persuasive ends. Yet until recently studies of the online magazines published by violent jihadist groups largely focused on their textual, not their image, content and, whilst the image content of these magazines is now the subject of a burgeoning number of studies, few of these compare the images used by different groups. This article accordingly offers a cross-group comparison, examining the image content of a total of 39 issues of five online magazines published by four different jihadist groups. Starting with a content analysis, it shows that the images’ most common focus is non-leader jihadis. Using a news values analysis, it then shows how these images of non-leader jihadis are used to visually construct the identity of a ‘good Muslim’. This construct is characterised by three traits, each corresponding to a different news value: fulfilled (personalisation); active (consonance); and, respected (prominence). Moreover, these traits are intertwined: fulfilment comes from responding actively to the call to violent jihad, which in turn promises respect. The article concludes by highlighting some subtle differences between how the news values of personalisation, consonance and prominence are realised in the different magazines, and by discussing the implications of the ‘good Muslim’ construct for efforts to develop counter-messages. Journal article Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 1 23 1057-610X 1521-0731 terrorism, counterterrorism, images, identity 0 0 2019 2019-01-01 10.1080/1057610X.2018.1559508 Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law Legal Studies CLAW LAWD Criminal Justice and Criminology None 2019-08-22T11:05:29Z 2018-12-11T09:48:57Z Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law Legal Studies Stuart Macdonald 1 Nuria Lorenzo-Dus 2 Under embargo Under embargo 2018-12-11T09:54:33Z Output 458173 application/pdf AM true Published to Cronfa 28/01/2019 2020-07-14T00:00:00 true eng
title Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
spellingShingle Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
Macdonald, Stuart
title_short Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_full Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_fullStr Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_full_unstemmed Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_sort Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
author_id_str_mv 933e714a4cc37c3ac12d4edc277f8f98
author_id_fullname_str_mv 933e714a4cc37c3ac12d4edc277f8f98_***_Macdonald, Stuart
author Macdonald, Stuart
author2 Stuart Macdonald
Nuria Lorenzo-Dus
format Journal article
container_title Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
container_start_page 1
publishDate 2019
institution Swansea University
issn 1057-610X
1521-0731
doi_str_mv 10.1080/1057610X.2018.1559508
college_str Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
hierarchytype
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hierarchy_top_title Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
hierarchy_parent_id hillaryrodhamclintonschooloflaw
hierarchy_parent_title Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
department_str Legal Studies{{{_:::_}}}Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law{{{_:::_}}}Legal Studies
document_store_str 0
active_str 1
researchgroup_str Criminal Justice and Criminology
description Images are known to have important effects on human perception and persuasion. Jihadist groups are also known to make strategic use of emotive imagery and symbolism for persuasive ends. Yet until recently studies of the online magazines published by violent jihadist groups largely focused on their textual, not their image, content and, whilst the image content of these magazines is now the subject of a burgeoning number of studies, few of these compare the images used by different groups. This article accordingly offers a cross-group comparison, examining the image content of a total of 39 issues of five online magazines published by four different jihadist groups. Starting with a content analysis, it shows that the images’ most common focus is non-leader jihadis. Using a news values analysis, it then shows how these images of non-leader jihadis are used to visually construct the identity of a ‘good Muslim’. This construct is characterised by three traits, each corresponding to a different news value: fulfilled (personalisation); active (consonance); and, respected (prominence). Moreover, these traits are intertwined: fulfilment comes from responding actively to the call to violent jihad, which in turn promises respect. The article concludes by highlighting some subtle differences between how the news values of personalisation, consonance and prominence are realised in the different magazines, and by discussing the implications of the ‘good Muslim’ construct for efforts to develop counter-messages.
published_date 2019-01-01T15:13:16Z
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score 10.860345