Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Research Student: Louise Pears

Terrorists, heroes and Homelands: how race, gender and nation are negotiated to create meaning in terrorism TV

Photo of Louise Pears

Terrorism, gender and race intersect. My research explores these intersections to consider questions such as:

  • How do the identities of terrorist, counter terrorist and hero operate in terrorism discourse?
  • How do people make meaning from terrorism texts?
  • How are gender and race implicated in terrorism discourse?

My research investigates these questions through discourse analyses of terrorism in popular culture, and focus groups with audiences of these texts. The project examines how constructions of racialised and gendered identities make sense of, and are inseparable from, terrorism discourses where threatening foreign terrorists are pitted against masculine white heroes. It also explores how the audience actively negotiate these meanings and subject positions in a focus group, to consider how people read, reproduce and resist terrorism discourses.

My PhD is funded by the Economic Social Research Council.


As part of my 1+3 programme I studied for a Masters in Gender Research at Leeds. I also hold an MSc in Gender and International Relations from the University of Bristol as well as an MA (Cantab) in Social Political Sciences from Cambridge University.

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