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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Chapter 3 Understanding Media Dynamics

From the book Contesting Religion

  • Stig Hjarvard and Knut Lundby


Mass media and social media afford a communicative environment providing a horizon of orientation for citizens about conflicts relating to religion, and provide social actors with the tools to engage in such conflicts. Media may insert various dynamics into conflicts and may occasionally become actors themselves in contestations over religious issues. This chapter applies a typology that distinguishes among three different media dynamics: (1) media’s ability to amplify the communication and the ramifications of the reported events, (2) how the world is represented, framed, in the media, and the ways in which the media bestow the communication of events with a certain narrative and dramaturgy and work as arenas for the performative agency of various involved actors, and (3) the various ways in which media as social and communicative environments come to co-structure communication and actions. The terror attack on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo is used as an illustrative example.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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