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SAMKUL-Samfunnsutviklingens kulturell

Negotiating Values: Collective Identities and Resilience after 22/7

Awarded: NOK 8.9 mill.

Project Number:

220797

Application Type:

Project Period:

2013 - 2017

Location:

Subject Fields:

In confronting the attacks of 22 July 2011 (22/7), Norwegian society has had to mobilize, negotiate, and re-think a number of core societal values. By analyzing the communicative processes that took place in the wake of the attacks, this project studies core societal values that were drawn upon and shaped the post-terror societal processes, and how tensions and contradictions between these values were and are being negotiated in post-22/7 Norway. In doing so, the project explores how their contents have developed, been interpreted, and been renegotiated. This renegotiation has particular implications for development processes of collective identities (such as 'the Norwegian we') and resilience (understood as a process of dealing with change and disruption). So far, the project has analyzed, debated, and shown that (and how) (a) there were differences between the ways in which the attacks were presented and talked about in Norway and abroad in the aftermath of the attacks, the former being more marked by a need to display and maintain the collective 'we' against the terrorist and his values; (b) Norwegian media outlets had significant challenges in deciding how to balance different views in the post-22/7 media debates; (c) there are real tensions within the post-22/7 debate on the freedom of speech and its scope, one fear being that a very wide freedom of speech in the Internet-driven media climate of our day also gives more room to the ideas and ideologies that fuel terror and hatred; (d) social media played a real role in building resilience, understood as a technique of self-organization in emergencies, in the wake of 22/7, and (e) the understanding of Norwegian values can be analyzed in different and new ways, drawing on how an event such as 22/7 actually shapes the process surrounding the formation of and change in values.

In confronting the attacks of 22 July 2011, Norwegian society has had to mobilize, negotiate, and re-think a number of core societal values. By analyzing the communicative processes that took place in the wake of the attacks, this project studies core soc ietal values that were drawn upon and shaped societal processes, and how tensions and contradictions between them are being negotiated in post-22/7 Norway. In doing so, we explore if and how their sense has changed, been reinterpreted, and renegotiated. T his renegotiation has particular implications for development processes of collective identities (such as the Norwegian we) and resilience (understood as a process of dealing with change and disruption). The project takes as its point of departure seven c ore values, deep-seated within Norwegian society and identifiable over time in discourses and institutions, which were particularly evident in the days, weeks, and months following the terrorist attacks: 1) democracy, 2) equality, 3) freedom, 4) justice, 5) openness, 6) responsibility, and 7) solidarity. Using the triad of values, identities, and resilience in the post- 22/7 context as a starting point, we study these questions: 1) How are key societal values formulated and discussed in public discourses? 2) How do key societal values feed into perceptions of collective identities? 3) How do values and emotions in public discourses reflect a process of societal resilience? 4) How does the interplay between values, collective identities, and resilience a ffect societal development? We address the research questions from bottom-up and top-down, national and international perspectives using multiple data sources: media texts (print, TV, and internet), social media (Twitter and Facebook), interviews, and fo cus groups. The project collaboration is interdisciplinary, rooted in the humanities, and complemented by the social sciences. Continuous dialogue with multiple user groups is integrated in the project plan

Activity:

SAMKUL-Samfunnsutviklingens kulturell