The terror attacks in Norway in July 2011 led to massive popular mobilisation as
particularly expressed in thousands of memory messages displayed at spontaneous
memorial sites. This article is based on a review and analysis of all messages,
collected in Oslo and in the area around Utøya Island, using the concepts ‘critical
event’, ‘national identity dynamic’, ‘depoliticisation’ and ‘domestic alien’. Results
show that the predominant theme in the messages of peace and compassion is partly
made possible by subordinate themes of depoliticisation and of alienating the
perpetrator from majority, national community, thus contributing to the ongoing
construction of a Norwegian, national identity.
Taylor & Francis, 2014.
terror attacks, critical event, national identity dynamic, depoliticisation, domestic alien, Norway