Media and Religious Radicalization: Gatekeeping and the Construction of Extremism

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:30-10:20
RC22 Sociology of Religion (host committee)

Language: French and English

In recent public debates in most Western countries, religious radicalization is often connected with media exposure of violent extremism. Terrorist acts and sectarian practices attract immediate media attention, and social and mainstream media are frequently accused of facilitating radicalization processes among youths. This bilingual panel aims at questioning these assumptions by featuring research on media coverage of religious radicalization on the one hand. On the other hand, it seeks presentations on the use of media in the actual processes of radicalization, especially from youth. Our approach of the media is based on the theory of “gatekeeping” (Barzilai-Nahon 2008), which outlines the role of key media in the choices of coverage, giving them huge influence on public opinions. In the age of social media, this role has certainly changed, but we argue that gatekeepers still exert influence, albeit in a decentralized mode. Communications can thus explore the roles of both traditional and social media gatekeepers in fashioning public opinions around issues of religious radicalization. They can also examine whether radical groups produce their own gatekeepers in their use of media. Finally, they can seek to understand how diverse parts of media publics react to media discourses around religious radicalization, change their perceptions through media exposure, or build counter-narratives.
Session Organizers:
Martin GEOFFROY, Centre d'expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes religieux et la radicalisation, Canada and Louis AUDET GOSSELIN, Bishop's University, Canada
Martin GEOFFROY, Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, CEFIR, Canada
Oral Presentations
To Show or Not to Show, That Is a Concern!
Isabelle LEMELIN, Université de Montréal, Canada
Comparative Content Analysis of Online Cyber Salafism and Jihadism
Ali GHANBAR POUR DIZBONI, Royal Military College of Canada, Canada
Social Media Control and Christian Churches in Burkina Faso
Louis AUDET GOSSELIN, Centre d'expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes religieux et la radicalisation, Canada
Challenging the Bad Masters: Teachers As Gatekeepers in Implementing the Inter-Religious Dialogue Against Radicalization of Youth
Liana Maria DAHER, University of Catania, Italy; Augusto GAMUZZA, University of Catania, Italy; Anna Maria LEONORA, University of Catania, Italy