Alarming Reports: Communicating Conflict in the Daily News

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Berghahn Books, May 30, 2009 - Social Science - 216 pages
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News stories provide an essential confirmation of our ideas about who we are, what we have to fear, and what to do about it: a marketplace of ideas, shopped by rational citizen decision makers but also a shared resource for grounding our contested narratives of identity in objective reality. News as a fundamental social process comes into being not when an event takes place or when a report of the event is created but when that report becomes news to someone. As it moves off the page into the community, news discovers - through its interpretations - its reality in the lives of the consumers. This book explores the path of news as it moves through the tangled labyrinth of social identities and asserted interests that lie beyond the page or screen. The language and communication-oriented study of news promises a salient area of investigation, pointing the way to an expansion, if not a redefinition of basic anthropological ideas and practices of ethnography, participant observation, and "the field" in the future of anthropological research.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1News and the Anthropology of Conflic Communication
1
Chapter 2The Dark Side of the Media
19
Chapter 3Two Theories of News
38
Chapter 4The News Act
59
Chapter 5News and Law as Conflict Communication Systems
82
Chapter 6News in ExtraTextual Terrain
115
Chapter 7Policy Talk
142
Chapter 8Order Disorder and the News Media in Western Society
172
References
191
Index
203
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About the author (2009)

Andrew Arno's degrees include a JD from The University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University. Currently, he is a Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawai'i. His research and publications focus on communication about conflict. His publications include The World of Talk on a Fijian Island: An Ethnography of Law and Communicative Causation (Ablex, 1993) and The News Media in National and International Conflict, edited with Wimal Dissanayake (Westview, 1984).

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