Date of Award
Sociology and Anthropology
Engle, Karen (Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology)
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The filmed beheading deaths that have proliferated on the Internet present an unusual set of phenomena in the west. The aim of my project is to analyze these videos in terms of their connections to the larger visual discourses of represented violence and death in western culture. It is my contention that a theoretical understanding of the significance of these videos can be achieved by examining the traditions of ritualized violence through an updating of the insights made by Guy Debord, Ren Girard and Georges Bataille. By examining the relationship between these digitally encoded deaths and the theories of spectacle, ritual violence and eroticism I am seeking to contextualize the complex relationship these videos have to western culture.
Swiffen, Timothy, "Spectacular Sacrifice: Death in Images" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 58.