(En)gendering the dead terrorist: (De)constructing masculinity in terrorist media obituaries

Jarvis, Lee ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4149-7135 and Whiting, Andrew (2023) (En)gendering the dead terrorist: (De)constructing masculinity in terrorist media obituaries. International Studies Quarterly, 67 (4). ISSN 1468-2478

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This article contributes to contemporary scholarship on gender, violence, and global politics by exploring how the figure of the terrorist is produced within mainstream media obituaries. It offers three arguments. First, the genre overwhelmingly positions the terrorist as a masculine figure. This positioning takes place, we demonstrate, in a variety of ways including through constructions of the character, family life, and “career” of those designated terrorist. Second, this masculinized figure is, importantly, a heterogenous one that negotiates “fighter,” “strategist,” and “leader” archetypes. These templates can co-exist, we argue, because of their common structural differentiation to the feminine: a position inhabited by supporting characters including wives and other male terrorists. The article's third argument is that the stability of this dominant figuration of the terrorist is also disrupted in obituaries via juxtaposition to more masculine figures, and through feminization of the deceased through constructions of cowardice, passivity, and vanity. In making these arguments, the article offers the first analysis of the masculinized storying of terrorism and terrorists in this almost entirely neglected genre. In so doing, it sheds new light on the obituary as an important mnemonic site for the everyday reproduction and problematization of global politics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Notes: Lee Jarvis was a Professor of International Politics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK at submission of this article. He is now a Professor of International Politics at Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. Funding information: ESRC, AHRC, Australian Research Council, NATO, and others.
Uncontrolled Keywords: masculinity,gender,memory,terrorism,obituaries,political science and international relations,sociology and political science,sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3320
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Critical Global Politics
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2023 15:30
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024 01:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/91782
DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqad085

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