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Ask the audience: television, security and Homeland


Critical Studies on TerrorismJournal abstract

This article puts forward a synthesis of work from Security Studies and Cultural Studies in order to trace the link between popular culture and security. This analysis contributes to the growing research in Critical Security Studies on the role of popular culture in the representation and reproduction of terrorism, security, and identity. It brings in approaches from Television Studies to Critical Terrorism Studies to theorise the process of meaning creation for audiences of terrorism shows on television. This synthesis enables an original contribution to the conceptualisation, theorisation, and methodology of the study of terrorism discourse, which allows me to draw together and operationalise the growing concerns with identity, emotions, and the everyday in Security Studies. It brings in examples from an analysis that applied this approach to an analysis of the television series Homeland, which considers both the meaning within Homeland and the process of meaning making by members of the show’s British audience. Using data gathered in focus groups, it shows how viewers read, reproduce, and resist the dominant narratives within the text demonstrating the utility of audience studies.

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