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Female Suicide Bombers: Recognizing Media's Gendered Descriptions of Women's Violence

Merkel, Annabel LU (2012) MRSK30 20112
Human Rights Studies
Abstract
Female suicide bombers are commonly described, by media and scholars, as having their actions motivated by personal reasons. These reasons usually include divorce, a wish to avenge dead male relatives or being traumatized by experiencing too much violence. This thesis aims to challenge the perception of women being driven to suicide bombings by personal, rather than political reasons. This is done by examining portrayals of Palestinian female suicide bombers in articles published in the New York Times, the Guardian and Haaretz, - in order to recognize and highlight narratives which trivialize female violence. This is done with the help of Laura Sjoberg and Caron E. Gentry’s theory of how violent women are defined by the media as mothers,... (More)
Female suicide bombers are commonly described, by media and scholars, as having their actions motivated by personal reasons. These reasons usually include divorce, a wish to avenge dead male relatives or being traumatized by experiencing too much violence. This thesis aims to challenge the perception of women being driven to suicide bombings by personal, rather than political reasons. This is done by examining portrayals of Palestinian female suicide bombers in articles published in the New York Times, the Guardian and Haaretz, - in order to recognize and highlight narratives which trivialize female violence. This is done with the help of Laura Sjoberg and Caron E. Gentry’s theory of how violent women are defined by the media as mothers, monsters and whores. Nira Yuval-Davies perspective of how women are viewed as a socially constructed collective is also helpful in order to uncover ways of portraying female suicide bombers in a more nuanced way. The analysis of the newspaper articles reviewed in this study shows signs of these women being portrayed through the use of a gendered, generalizing discourse. The possibility of them blowing themselves up as political actors is left unmentioned, which effectively excludes the female suicide bombers’ voices from global politics. (Less)
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author
Merkel, Annabel LU
supervisor
organization
course
MRSK30 20112
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Mänskliga rättigheter, Human rights, gendered descriptions, media, women, female suicide bombers, palestine
language
English
id
2277316
date added to LUP
2012-03-06 11:31:08
date last changed
2014-09-04 08:27:53
@misc{2277316,
  abstract     = {Female suicide bombers are commonly described, by media and scholars, as having their actions motivated by personal reasons. These reasons usually include divorce, a wish to avenge dead male relatives or being traumatized by experiencing too much violence. This thesis aims to challenge the perception of women being driven to suicide bombings by personal, rather than political reasons. This is done by examining portrayals of Palestinian female suicide bombers in articles published in the New York Times, the Guardian and Haaretz, - in order to recognize and highlight narratives which trivialize female violence. This is done with the help of Laura Sjoberg and Caron E. Gentry’s theory of how violent women are defined by the media as mothers, monsters and whores. Nira Yuval-Davies perspective of how women are viewed as a socially constructed collective is also helpful in order to uncover ways of portraying female suicide bombers in a more nuanced way. The analysis of the newspaper articles reviewed in this study shows signs of these women being portrayed through the use of a gendered, generalizing discourse. The possibility of them blowing themselves up as political actors is left unmentioned, which effectively excludes the female suicide bombers’ voices from global politics.},
  author       = {Merkel, Annabel},
  keyword      = {Mänskliga rättigheter,Human rights,gendered descriptions,media,women,female suicide bombers,palestine},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Female Suicide Bombers: Recognizing Media's Gendered Descriptions of Women's Violence},
  year         = {2012},
}