11.07.2011

Book Review: The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination


Ron Eyerman's The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination: From MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and van Gogh analyzes assassinations as a cultural trauma. He applies the theory of cultural trauma to six political murders: Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Olof Palme, Anna Lindh, Pim Fortuyn, and Theo van Gogh. He examines the process of making meaning out of what starts as a crisis but through the media and those he calls carrier group grows into something much more in the cases of King, Kennedy, Fortuyn, and van Gogh; but not in the cases of Palme and Lindh. Why did these incidents have such a deep impact in the United States and the Netherlands but not in Sweden? Is it unique to a country's history? Its media? Is it an effect of modernization or a symptom?
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