S. Grimes term paper outline…

I apologize ahead of time for the brevity of my proposal. I am still trying to make sure I am going in the direction I think I intend on going. So rather than outline specifically what I will be doing in my paper, I will give a general overview to which I am open to suggestions.


For my term paper I will continue exploring the questions that I put forth in my presentation last week. Specifically, how can we differentiate between the public and publics, how can understand publicity through the lens of ineffective and effective publicity, and what does ineffective and effective publicity say about the ideal of the public? The empirical case of choice is the visual representations of the response to the Boston bombings given by the mainstream media in contrast with the visual representation of individuals who place themselves counter to that institution.

Between the mainstream media and these groups of individuals there was a contested vision of the same event. Each group presented themselves as giving factual and reasoned accounts, but in effect each group was coming from different coding schemes and perceptual frameworks. For example, while the mainstream media displayed images and gave narratives of law enforcement as a facilitator of order, the group of individuals counter to that mainstream media framed law enforcement as a facilitator of chaos and a precursor to the impingement of civil rights. Each group presented their information factually all the while using similar images of the event to support their accounts.

The goal for my paper is to analyze not just the textual narratives of each group but also to understand how the use of their images connects to those narratives. Specifically, what are the coding schemes employed by each group to frame their perceptual frameworks? It is the hope that in addressing this question, a discussion is subsequently had unpacking the concepts of the public/publics and how each can be defined once ineffective and effective publicity is properly conceptualized.


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