Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Essay

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Dr. Douglas Bruce

Abstract

ISIS entered public consciousness as a splinter group from Al-Qaida, both of which have been associated with random, unwarranted acts of violence and terror in the post 911 world. ISIS carved out its own “caliphate” hence the name ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria destroying both its subject territories cultural treasures and subjugating its people. Americans tend to think of ISIS as having sprung up in a power vacuum in a wave of self-radicalization. News reports featured barbarous acts of barbarism all committed in the name of the self- proclaimed state’s interpretation of Islam. However, behind this incongruous group of disreputable and undesirable individuals, there are clearly highly educated and technologically proficient operatives whose communication management skills have been put into the service of disseminating ISIS’ message of hate, violence, and destruction and most significantly drawing in recruits from many parts of the world, especially from regions apart from the Middle East. They have planned, produced, and posted on line music videos mimicking the appeal and the style of those which have become universally popular with young people across cultures with however a significant different. These mingle pleasant landscapes with soulful, nostalgia music with scenes of opponents digging their own mass graves and summary executions. At the same time, they appeal to alienated youth, mostly male, who are searching for a sense of belonging and a true calling, a sense of mission and value for their disaffected lives. Whatever their current status on the battlefield, the communication managers serving ISIS have become amazingly successful propagandists in a world of anomie.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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