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Abstracts of dissertations

The Public Power of Morality: Abu Ghraib as Iconic Turn in the War on Terror
Binder, Werner

Bernhard Giesen
History and Sociology
University of Konstanz

Year of completion 2012

language of dissertation German

  • Image
  • Discourse
  • Violence
  • Scandal
Areas of Research
  • Theory
  • Visual Sociology
  • Communication, Knowledge and Culture
The disclosure of abuses in the Iraqi Abu Ghraib prison caused worldwide scandal in May 2004. The study investigates the American discourse on Abu Ghraib. It offers an interpretation of the scandal photos as well as an extensive analysis of press articles and television transcripts (2004-2009). Thus, for the first time the aftermath of the scandal in politics, law, art, popular culture and the torture discourse comes into focus. This dissertation not only closes a gap in the previous research on Abu Ghraib, but also makes an original contribution to the theoretical foundations of cultural sociology.