Hizbullah's culture wars understanding Hizbullah through social movement theory and its media usage
Kiel, Jacqueline S.
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This thesis uses social movement theory to examine how Hizbullah frames its message to its various target audiences. The growth and influence of different Hizbullah media over the past two decades suggest that Hizbullah has been successful in shaping a popular message both inside Lebanon and in the larger Arab world. Hizbullah's successful media campaign has paralleled its growth as perhaps the single most important political party in Lebanon today. The 'terrorist' frame that the U.S. Government applies to Hizbullah appears inconsistent with the broad political, economic, social and media work of this largely Shi'a organization. I compare message framing between al-Manar, Hizbullah's flagship media, and Al-Jazeera on the same set of stories from the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2008 Gaza war, both to analyze the internal framing of issues by Hizbullah and to compare it to the leading Arabic media today. Al-Manar frames its message largely in polarizing 'hero-victim' terms, while Al-Jazeera is far more factual and professional in its presentation of the same stories. Using heroic types of frames has both benefits and disadvantages for Hizbullah's information strategy.
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