Date of Award

12-16-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Wedeman

Second Advisor

Dr. Anthony Lemieux

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeannie Grussendorf

Abstract

Major extremist organizations such as the Taliban, the Islamic State in al-Sham and Iraq, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula utilize the internet to disseminate media products such as videos that promote the group’s messages to a specific audience and craft self-images. This study analyzes the videos produced by these groups that contain themes of retributive justice through a novel lens: cinematographic techniques. This study analyzes the following questions: What are some common cinematographic techniques used by these groups? What are the systematic similarities and differences between the techniques employed, and what does this say about the audience and the self-image of these groups? Is there systematic variation in the techniques used in English and foreign language videos, and how does this impact the audience? Lastly, is there evidence that Taliban and AQAP have adopted techniques that were popularized by ISIS?

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