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Making domestic violence. The discursive emergence of domestic violence in the Hungarian media, 2002-2013

Horvath, Gyorgyi (2018) Making domestic violence. The discursive emergence of domestic violence in the Hungarian media, 2002-2013. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis explores the relevance of the news media as facilitators of social change with regard to domestic violence in Hungary between 2002 and 2013. Specifically, domestic violence against women, once entirely “invisible” and “unheard of” under state socialism, and only sporadically noted in the 1990s, by the 2000s had acquired significant public visibility in the country. It is this rise in the public visibility of the issue, and the ways in which domestic violence has been progressively introduced and narrated in the Hungarian media in the 21st century, that forms the focus of the present thesis. In contrast to previous feminist literature, which tends to present the media as an institution of social control, this thesis investigates the role of the news media in discursively constructing domestic violence and engaging the emotions and moral judgements of the public, and thereby contributing to laying the foundations for social interventions against violence. It therefore understands domestic violence as discourse, and the media as both social institution and symbolic space with the power to influence our perception of the social world (including that of domestic violence); and it focuses on the agency of media texts in emotionally, morally or politically engaging publics with public issues and the suffering of others. It uses Faircloughian Critical Discourse Analysis, applied to a historically comparative casestudy design consisting of three cases from the mainstream Hungarian broadcast news media, which were selected on the basis of their data richness and relevance. The thesis seeks to illuminate the complexities and contradictions involved in the emergence of domestic violence as a mediated discourse of public interest, and to address gaps both in the Anglo-Saxon literature on domestic violence in the media, and in the Central-Eastern Europe literature on domestic violence, which currently tends to overlook the role of the media.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Gyorgyi Horvath
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Supervisor: Chouliaraki, Lilie

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