Ritualisation of Crisis Communication

Open access

Abstract

Digital connectivity enables ordinary people to participate in the social construction of crises. This article explores the crisis responses of common people through the prism of ritual communication in the case of the 2017 Stockholm terror attack. The ritual approach has helped to produce a nuanced understanding of the social functions of patterned and performative communication in crises and conflicts. However, the crisis communication of ordinary people has remained understudied from the viewpoint of ritualisation. Drawing from digital media ethnography and content analysis of a Twitter feed created around the hashtag #openstockholm, it is claimed that the ritualisation of crisis responses illustrates the active agency of ordinary people and contributes to ephemeral social cohesion.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Al-Saqaf W. & Christensen C. (2017). So was Twitter used at the truck attack in Stockholm. Paper presented at the conference Journalism in a World of Terrorism 2017 May 9-11 at Linneaus University Fojo Media Institute and Institution for Media and Journalism.

  • Bennet L. W. & Segerberg A. (2013). The logic of connective action: Digital media and the personalization of contentious politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Bhandari R. B. Okada N. & Knotterus David J. (2011). Urban ritual events and coping with disaster risk: A case study of Lalitpur Nepal. Journal of Applied Social Science 5(2): 13-32.

  • Boltanski L. (1999). Distant suffering: Politics morality and the media. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Bruns A. & Hanusch F. (2017). Conflict imagery in a connective environment: Audiovisual content on Twitter following the 2015/2016 terror attack in Paris and Brussels. Media Culture & Society 39(8): 1122-1141.

  • Caliandro A. (2018). Digital methods for ethnography: Analytical concepts for ethnographers exploring social media environments. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 47(5): 551-578.

  • Chouliaraki L. (2006). The spectatorship of suffering. London: Sage.

  • Chouliaraki L. (2013). The ironic spectator: Solidarity in the age of post-humanitarianism. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Coombs T. W. (2012). Ongoing crisis communication: Planning managing and responding (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks CA London: Sage.

  • Cottle S. (2014). Rethinking media and disasters in a global age: What’s changed and why it matters. Media War & Conflict 7(1): 3-22.

  • Couldry N. (2012). Media society world: Social theory and digital media practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Couldry N. Hepp A. & Krotz F. (eds.) (2010). Media events in a global age. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Crawford K. & Finn M. (2015). The limits of crisis data: Analytical and ethical challenges of using social and mobile data to understand disasters. GeoJournal 80: 491-502.

  • Crowe A. (2012). Disasters 2.0: The application of social media systems for modern emergency management. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis.

  • Dayan D. & Katz E. (1992). Media events: The live broadcasting of history. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • Fischer H. (1998). Response to disaster. Oxford: University Press of America.

  • Givoni M. (2016). Between micro mappers and missing maps: Digital humanitarianism and the politics of material participation in disaster response. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 34(6): 1025-1043.

  • Grimes R. L. (2011). Ritual media and conflict: An introduction. In R. L. Grimes U. Hüsken U. Simon & E. Venbrux (eds.) Ritual media and conflict (pp. 3-33). New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Hine C. (2015). Ethnography for the internet: Embedded embodied and everyday. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

  • Hjarvard S. Mortensen M. & Eskjaer M. F. (2015). Introduction: Three dynamics of mediatized conflicts. In M. F. Eskjaer S. Hjarvard & M. Mortensen (eds.) Dynamics of mediatized conflicts (pp. 1-30). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

  • Holmgreen L. -L. (2015). “Why am I to blame when the law is on my side?” A study of crises public opinion and frames. On the Horizon 23(4): 363-373.

  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. (2013). World disaster report 2013. Imprimerie Chirat: Lyon France.

  • Jin Y. Liu B. F. & Austin L. L. (2014). Examining the role of social media in effective crisis management: The effects of crisis origin information form and source on publics’ crisis responses. Communication Research 41(1): 74-94.

  • Katz E. & Liebes T. (2007). No more peace! How disaster terror and war have upstaged media events. International Journal of Communication 1: 157-166.

  • Kunelius R. & Nossek H. (2008). Between the ritual and the rational: From media events to moments of global public spheres? In E. Eide R. Kunelius & A. Phillips (eds.) Transnational media events. The Mohammed cartoons and the imagined clash of civilizations (pp. 253-273). Göteborg: Nordicom.

  • Liebes T. (1998). Television’s disaster marathons: A danger for democratic processes? In T. Liebes & J. Curran (eds.) Media ritual and identity (pp. 71-84). London: Routledge.

  • Markham A. N. (2012). Fabrication as ethical practice. Information Communication and Society 15(3): 334-353.

  • Mayring P. (2000). Qualitative content analysis. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 1(2).

  • Mediepodden (2017 April 13). Avsnitt 34: Mediernas hantering av terrorattacken i Stockholm [Section 34: Media managing the terror attack in Stockholm]. Mediepodden [online]. Retrieved from http://mediepodden.se/sasong-2/avsnitt-34-mediernas-hantering-av-terrorattacken-i-stockholm/ [accessed 2017 December 11].

  • Morse T. (2018). The construction of grievable death: Toward an analytical framework for the study of mediatized death. European Journal of Cultural Studies 21(2): 242-258.

  • Mortensen M. (2015). Connective witnessing: Reconfiguring the relationship between the individual and the collective. Information Communication & Society 18(11): 1393-1406.

  • Murthy D. (2012). Towards a sociological understanding of social media: Theorizing Twitter. Sociology 46(6): 1059-1073.

  • Murthy D. & Gross A. J. (2017). Social media processes in disasters: Implications of emergent technology use. Social Science Research 63: 356-370.

  • Pantti M. & Tikka M. (2014). Cosmopolitan empathy and user-generated disaster appeal videos on YouTube. In T. Benski & E. Fisher (eds.) Internet and emotions (pp. 178-192). New York: Routledge.

  • Pantti M. Wahl-Jorgensen K. & Cottle S. (2012). Disasters and the media. New York: Peter Lang.

  • Park C. H. & Johnston E. W. (2017). A framework for analyzing digital volunteer contributions in emergent crisis response efforts. New Media & Society 19(8): 1308-1327.

  • Pink S. Ruckenstein M. Willim R. & Duque M. (2018). Broken data: Conceptualising data in an emerging world. Big Data & Society 5(1): 1-13.

  • Rothenbuhler E. W. (2010). Media events in the age of terrorism and the internet. Romanian Review of Journalism and Communication 4(2): 34–41.

  • Roux-Dufort C. (2016). Delving into the roots of crises. The genealogy of surprise. In A. Schwarz M. W. Seeger & C. Auer (eds.) The handbook of international crisis communication (pp. 24-33). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

  • Schwarz A. Seeger M. W. & Auer C. (2016). Significance and structure of international risk and crisis communication research: Toward an integrative approach. In A. Schwarz M. W. Seeger & C. Auer (eds.) The handbook of international crisis communication (pp. 1-65). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

  • Starbird K. & Palen L. (2010). Pass it on? Retweeting in mass emergency. Paper presented at the proceedings of the conference 7th International ISCRAM 2010 May 2-5 Seattle USA.

  • Sumiala J. (2013). Media and ritual: Death community and everyday life. Routledge: New York.

  • Sumiala J. & Tikka M. (2011). Reality on circulation – School shootings ritualised communication and the dark side of the sacred. ESSACHESS. Journal for Communication Studies 4(8): 145-159.

  • Sumiala J. Valaskivi K. Tikka M. & Huhtamäki J. (2018). Hybrid media events: The Charlie Hebdo attacks and global circulation of terrorist violence. Bingley: Emerald.

  • Takahashi B. Tandoc Jr E. C. & Carmichael C. (2015). Communicating on Twitter during a disaster: An analysis of tweets during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Computers in Human Behavior 50: 392-398.

  • Tandoc Jr E. C. & Takahashi B. (2016). Log in if you survived: Collective coping on social media in the aftermath of Typhoon Hayan in the Philippines. New Media & Society 19(11): 1778-1793.

  • The Local. (2017 April 7). Sweden tightens borders as police make one arrest after truck attack. The Local [online]. Retrieved from https://www.thelocal.se/20170407/live-truck-drives-into-crowd-on-busystockholm-street [accessed 2017 December 8].

  • Thornburg P. A. Knotterus D. J. & Webb G. R. (2007). Disaster and deritualization: A reinterpretation of findings from early disaster research. Social Science Journal 44: 161-166.

  • Tierney K. J. (2007). From the margins to the mainstream? Disaster research at the crossroads. Annual Review of Sociology 33: 503-525.

  • Tikka M. & Sumiala J. (2014). Media witnessing on YouTube: Rethinking crisis in a mediatized condition. In K. Loftsdóttir & L. Jensen (eds.) Crisis in the Nordic nations and beyond (pp. 9-30). Surrey: Ashgate.

  • Turner G. (2010). Ordinary people and the media: The demotic turn. London: Sage

  • United Nations Foundation. (2011). Disaster relief 2.0. The future of information sharing in humanitarian emergencies. Retrieved from: http://www.unfoundation.org/assets/pdf/disaster-relief-20-report.pdf

  • Varagur K. (2015 17 November). Meet the man behind the hashtag Parisians used to find shelter. Huffington Post [online]. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sylvain-lepoix-porteouverte_us_564b4609e4b045bf3df0cae0?guccounter=1&guce_referrer_us=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLm-NvbS8&guce_referrer_cs=SgHn7fpzPEe_iOgNzSjluA [accessed 2019 March 3].

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor


CiteScore 2018: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.223
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.270


Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 397 397 25
PDF Downloads 289 289 18