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glossary + Archetype: A model of a person, event, or setting upon which other persons, events, and settings are patterned and which tends to symbolize or express fundamental aspects of the human condition. Archetypes can be transcultural and long-lived, commonly understood by otherwise distinct cultures across time. Rumors link to archetypes that allow people to identify immediately with a character. Coercion and Consent: Two of the hegemonic processes by which states, communities, and agents (including insurgents and counterinsurgents) struggle for dominance. These two processes figure prominently in agents’ access to the “hearts and minds” of the people they hope to govern. Contested Population: A local, civilian population that resides politically/ ideologically between insurgent forces and established government forces or between government initiatives and outward dissent. One side or the other (insurgent or government) must win the support of this population in order to govern effectively. Mash-up: A piece of cultural content marked by a recombination of graphics , image, and text from various sources to create a derivative work. This hybrid form of representation injects new meaning into the connotations of the original works and is oftentimes created without permission from the original artists. Master Narrative: A story system that circulates across historical and cultural boundaries, resolving archetypal conflicts through established literary and historical forms. Because they are deeply embedded within a culture and are repeated in a plethora of texts and contexts, master narratives are particularly powerful systems that shape opinion, perspective, and ideology. Metonym: Rhetorical figure of speech in which something is not called by its own name but, rather, by the name of something intimately associated with it. Narrative: A system of interrelated stories that share common elements and a rhetorical desire to resolve a conflict by structuring audience expectations and interpretations. Narrative Cohesion: The consistency of internal logic to an individual story. This term is borrowed and adapted from rhetorician Walter Fisher, who uses “narrative probability” to describe “what constitutes a coherent story.” Encounters among bodies of stories that conform to different paradigms of internal logic necessitates further articulation of the forms of narrative cohesion. Narrative Fidelity: Another term borrowed from Walter Fisher to describe the extent to which “the stories that [people] experience ring true with the stories they know to be true in their lives.” Given the various dimensions of “truth,” narrative fidelity refers to the compatibility of stories within a narrative system, that is, the consistency and complementarity of a story with prevailing narrative systems. As a subclass of stories, rumors can exhibit narrative fidelity. When they do, their likelihood of acceptance and further dissemination increases. Narrative IED: A metaphor describing rumors. Rumors operate on narratological levels (that is, they are stories, they get told in certain ways, they link with other stories) and, much like an improvised explosive device, can be made quickly, jury rigged from available parts, concealed or planted unobtrusively . They can have devastating and/or unexpected effects and are thus a type of weapon available both to the strong and to the weak (the insurgent, the rebel, the dissident, and the non-military actor). Narrative Landscape: Another metaphor to describe the complex array of narratives prevalent within a specific social, economic, political, and mediated environment. As each narrative is a system of stories (and potentially numerous subnarratives), the narrative landscape is the domain within which rumors arise, circulate, and compete for prominence. Origin Conundrum: A situation wherein the source of a rumor cannot be easily identified, which is the case for most rumors. Counterintuitively, ambiglossary 168 guity of source (along with ambiguity of veracity) is a key component in rumor plausibility, because ambiguity facilitates malleability and coherence in narrative systems. Propaganda: A systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political, or commercial purposes. Propaganda generally functions through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass media and other communication channels. Prosumption: A portmanteau of “production” and “consumption,” referring to the hybrid practices of individuals who act as both producers and consumers of media. The combination of digital culture and widespread digital tools enables interactive responses and appropriation of media content (see also “mash-up”). Prosumption disrupts the traditional segregation of media producers (a small cadre of businesses and government organizations) and media consumers (the majority of citizens). Resistance: An act or instance of opposition to an aspect of governance that meets with disagreement and disapproval by a...


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Subject Headings

  • Rumor in mass media.
  • Rumor -- Political aspects.
  • Rumor -- Social aspects.
  • Islamic fundamentalism.
  • Terrorism -- Religious aspects -- Islam.
  • Terrorism and mass media.
  • Mass media -- Influence.
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