Ideological Battlegrounds: Entertainment to Disarm Divisive Propaganda (Hardback)
  • Ideological Battlegrounds: Entertainment to Disarm Divisive Propaganda (Hardback)
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Ideological Battlegrounds: Entertainment to Disarm Divisive Propaganda (Hardback)

(author)
£65.00
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 15/01/2019
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Can entertainment challenge divisive ideologies? Can we use theatre, film, games, novels, and other stories to disarm the ideologies of fear that contribute to discrimination, violent conflict, human rights abuses, mass atrocities, and genocide? This book introduces and develops Ideologically Challenging Entertainment (ICE) as entertainment that challenges "us vs. them" narratives associated with radicalization and violent conflict. ICE presents multiple perspectives on a conflict through absorbing, entertaining narratives, countering polarizing, fear-inspired perspectives with the acceptance - even the embrace - of multiple viewpoints and worldviews without losing sight of facts and evidence. Based on evidence from multiple disciplines such as history, sociology, theatre, and political science, ICE presents an approach to entertainment that can begin to close the ideological divide. More than presenting a theory, this book also explores the first ICE production, Two Merchants, an adaptation of The Merchant of Venice modified to challenge ideologies of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. A mixed-methods study of audience responses showed that many audience members reconsidered their ideological views, not only about the Arab-Israeli conflict, but about ideological divisions that were more relevant to them personally. The book includes quotes from audience members talking about how the show inspired them to learn to accept people from different backgrounds, recognize and change their own prejudices, and learn more about the facts contributing to conflict. This book is unique, both in its conceptualization of entertainment as a means to address both local and global conflicts, and in its provision of evidence for the power of performance as a tool for confronting, and influencing, ideological change. Unlike other approaches, ICE integrates into popular, mainstream entertainment, in fact, requiring that productions are those that audiences enjoy. Moreover, it demonstrates that such productions can have the desired impact on audiences, without inflaming existing tensions and prejudices. Creating ethical entertainment that challenges polarizing ideologies offers a new approach to bridging dangerous ideological chasms that, without significant intervention, will only continue to worsen.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498569965
Number of pages: 272
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In Ideological Battlegrounds, Dana L. Solomon opens up original and penetrating pathways toward understanding and possibly resolving what often appears to be an insolvable conflict. This book becomes more timely with the passing of each day. It is indispensable reading for anyone who hopes to even begin to comprehend the situation in the Middle East. -- David Patterson, University of Texas at Dallas
In Ideological Battlegrounds Dr. Solomon has developed a thoughtful and creative approach to engaging theater as a catalyst for critical discussions around the Arab-Israeli conflict. At the heart of this book rests her play The Two Merchants which effectively subverts and disrupts, enabling audience members to rethink and reconsider these ongoing tensions. I strongly recommend this interdisciplinary and insightful book. -- George Belliveau, University of British Columbia
The Department of Theatre and Film at UBC eagerly embraced the Two Merchants project in 2011 as it was a unique blend of practice and scholarship. Dana L. Solomon used a live theater event as the platform to test her belief that the theater could change minds and therefore change the world. Many of us have professed this for our entire professional lives, but Solomon tackled the belief head on and has provided analytic proof that we were right all along! -- Stephen Heatley, University of British Columbia

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