Language Wars is a fascinating account of the relationship between the media, culture and new forms of global, political violence. Using an innovative approach, Jeff Lewis shows how language and the media are implicated in global terrorism and the US-led reprisals in the war on terror.
Through an examination of the language of terrorism and war, Lewis illuminates key events in the current wave of political violence - the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the Beslan siege, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bali bombings and the ongoing occupation in the Middle East. He argues that the language used to report incidents of violence has changed, not just in official channels but in wider cultural contexts, and shows the impact this has on social perceptions. Lewis deconstructs these new discourses to reveal how Islam has been construed as the antagonist of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Ideal for students of media studies and cultural studies, this is a subtle account of the relation between language and culture that exposes a dangerous new east-west divide in popular discourse.
Jeff Lewis is Professor in the Media and Communications Department at RMIT University. He has written widely on the media and cultural politics, including Cultural Studies (Sage, 2004) and Language Wars (Pluto, 2005).
Introduction 1. The Media, Political Violence and Language Wars 2. Global Culture and the New East/West Divide 3. The Meaning of 9/11 4. The Invasion of Iraq 5. Bali and the Global Jihad 6. Occupation, Violation and the New Public Sphere 7. Conclusion: Meaning and Death References Index