Monday, May 28, 2007

Jack Lule's Seven Master Myths

According to Lule, journalists tend to invoke one of seven master myths in constructing their stories. Lule's book Daily News, Eternal Stories, Guilford, 2001) traces these myths in stories from the New York Times published during the 1980s and 90s. Lule delineates these meta-narratives parially order to call attention to the biases they may encode.

For example, stories about Mother Teresa cast her in the role of the selfless Good Mother -- a narrative frame that excluded facts that might make her appear less sympathetic. Conversely, stories about controversial boxer Mike Tyson invoked the Trickster myth, making him seem less than human.

However, Lule's larger purpose is to argue that the journalists who cast news in these mythical terms are invoking older stories that serve essential cultural functions.

The Victim
The Hero
The Good Mother
The Scapegoat
The Trickster
The Other World
The Flood

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