New article published in 𝘍𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘊𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘚𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴. 𝐹𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐ℎ 𝑚𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎 𝐻𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑦𝑤𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑠𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑟 𝑑r𝑎𝑚𝑎. Contribution to #Frenchmediatizationstudies. Focus on the relationship between media, normative secularism and religion. The case of Hacksaw Ridge movie: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0957155820974930
This article outlines and discusses two aspects of the French mediatization of Tu ne tueras point (Hacksaw Ridge ) film: the relationship between media, normative secularism and religion in the context of the hegemony of mediatization as ‘media and communication-centered’ phenomenon. Based on the content analysis and discursive strategies of the biographical war drama chronicles, the contribution points out less developed empirical aspects in France regarding the relation between religion and media: (a) the media discourse is dependent on a normative narrative of secularism, (b) the media discourse represents and expresses a confusion between the sacred, religion and faith, deliberately created and maintained by the journalists, and (c) the media discourse is based on a conception of violence with modern origins.
In France, research on media and religion gained wide visibility in the 1990s through the works of sociologists of religion and media (see Bréchon and Willaime cited research). Non-systematic contributions have emerged since, for example, the academic conference Religious phenomena (faits religieux in French) and the media, organized by Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes-EPHE and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales-EHESS. French contributions in media and communication sciences have not addressed the field of media and religion systematically. Increasing interest in the study of mediatization of religion started very recently. Two research networks stand out: Institute for advanced religious studies and internetworking communication-Iarsic in Montpellier, which works directly on these issues and Relicom (Tours and Dijon) which digs into religious and symbolic communication (Douyère, 2014; Bratosin, Gomes and Neto, 2017). Nevertheless, research on the mediatization of cinematographic or TV objects of the popular culture considered as religious phenomenon is lacking in this field. The work of Benoît Verdier (2014, 2018) on the French television series Ainsi soient-ils, built on the saga of a Parisian Catholic seminary is worth mentioning here. However, this study questions the French television series through the lens of the media, which mirror the wounded religious sentiment of devotees and the ecclesiastical institution (the Catholic Church). The polarization of the media coverage discussed in Verdier’s article targets the divisions born in the Catholic community following the reception of the series and the way in which a religion is communicated in the media sphere through the prism of a TV series. In this context, the present research points out three less developed empirical aspects in France regarding the relationships between religion, media and journalism based on the content analysis and discursive strategies of Tu ne tueras point chronicles: a) media are part of the culture they belong to, b) media borrow the authority of a “clergy” on how to understand religious related content, c) media are heirs of the hegemonic consecration formerly belonging to the religious domain through its nature (the same mediation function) and scope (first and the most important source of information and communication cf. Hjarvard, 2016).
The hypotheses underlying this study are: a) the media discourse is dependent on a certain French conception of secularism (reception of the film by media critiques through a normative secularism/normative laïcité as ideal-type which defines the relation of religion with the social cf. Miller, 2016); b) the media discourse maintains a confusion between the sacred, religion and faith, confusion deliberately created by the journalists; c) the media discourse presents a conception of violence with modern origins opposing secular and religious violence.