Death Matters pp 221-239 | Cite as

Frames of Death: Media Audience Framing of a Lethal Drone Strike

  • Henrik FürstEmail author
  • Karin Idevall Hagren


This chapter presents an analysis of a video clip of a lethal drone strike on YouTube. Two cultural frames are identified—seeing the killing either as legitimate or illegitimate. The first audience framing views the uploader’s framing as legitimate by constructing (1) a moral response where death through drone strike is justified and the killed lives are constituted as unlivable, and (2) an aesthetic and affectual response where the death is enjoyed as drone porn. The second audience framing (1) contests the uploader’s frame and constitutes the lives as livable, and (2) responds to the contested kill with drone horror. The study shows the characteristics of war propaganda in a time pervaded by highly technologized warfare, by discourses of terrorism, and by new digital modes for communication.


Drone porn Frame analysis Judith Butler Symbolic boundaries YouTube 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Scandinavian LanguagesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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