The social representation of incapacity: A psycho-cultural analysis of Israel's political arena

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Abstract

This article deals with the social representation of incapacity in Israeli political culture by applying CDA (critical discourse analysis) to two outstanding cases of incapacity: permanent incapacity in the case of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a result of illness and temporary incapacity in the case of President Moshe Katzav, following a police investigation. A social representation of incapacity in leading figures as seen in the headlines of Ha'aretz (an elite Israeli newspaper) was analysed, with the following results: a) in the case of Prime Minister Sharon, he is a warrior battling for his life, while his successors battle for governmental control and stability. b) in the case of President Katzav, he veers between attacker and attacked. The psycho-social analysis of the political-cultural scene indicates that these social representations provide a mechanism for maintaining stability and cushioning shocks while also disseminating a pronounced sense of confusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-614
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael affairs
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Cultural frames
  • Incapacity
  • Media framing
  • Social representation theory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations

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