Det vedervärdiga videovåldet : Att återupprätta moralisk ordning : [restoring moral order]

Sammanfattning: This dissertation is a study of the intense debate over video violence in Sweden, triggered by a television programme, Studio S, in 1980. Often viewed as a moral panic, the debate is here analysed from a discourse-oriented perspective. The main focus thus is on what was actually said about the subject, rather than by whom or for what purpose.The first chapters focus on how video violence was described and thus defined in the debate. An analysis of the television programme and the press reactions to it shows that video violence was constructed as an image rather than a concept in a process which itself relied heavily on the use of images. Also, different aspects of the phenomenon were consistently conflated and the result was vague enough to permit a multitude of meanings to be read into the phenomenon, which thereby could emerge as a universal symbol of evil.In the second part of the book, it is shown how the phenomenon of video violence was put to use in politics and civil society. It is argued that the debate, like moral debates in general, should be viewed as a kind of ritual, preoccupied with preserving the moral order, that is the collectively defined boundary between good and evil. The specific discursive construction of video violence made it better suited for a civil campaign than for political debate and legal regulation. In both areas, however, the opposition to it was made meaningful not by virtue of its practical consequences but symbolically, as a confirmation of the moral order. Constructed as evil, the video violence posed a threat to this order. As an opportunity to confirm the order, as well as coming to terms with other potential threats, most notably those relating to youth, the debate over video violence ultimately proved quite useful, not despite but rather thanks to those of its characteristics that have sometimes been deemed irrational or exaggerated.

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