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The myth of the "Blitz spirit" in British newspaper responses to the July 7th bombings

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Darren KelseyORCiD


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Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE This paper analyses the myth of the Blitz spirit in British newspaper responses to the London bombings on July 7th, 2005. The Blitz spirit is a popular story of Britain during the Second World War, uniting together with defiance and resilience to overcome the threat of invasion from Nazi Germany. Previous work has revised this wartime story as a propagandistic construction of national identity and popular memory thus containing the qualities of myth. This paper provides a Critical Discourse Analysis of the myth of the Blitz spirit in British newspapers after the July 7th bombings; I examine how this myth was constructed and the ideological role it played after the attacks. Similar to previous revisions of the Blitz myth from 1940, I argue that social and political complexities after July 7th were suppressed by messages that sought to evoke a sense of ‘Britishness’ defined by a previous generation. Whilst the July 7th bombings were not a case of traditional warfare or attacks carried out by a foreign force, I argue that wartime analogies often supported military responses in the war on terror and evoked a foreign threat.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kelsey D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Social Semiotics

Year: 2013

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Pages: 83-99

Print publication date: 01/08/2012

ISSN (print): 1035-0330

ISSN (electronic): 1470-1219

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2012.707034


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