Political Violence in the Macrosystem: A Thematic Analysis of Northern Irish Newspapers
According to social-ecological theory, the macrosystem refers to the overarching forces that project meaning and information to society (Bronfenbrenner, 1977). Assessing individual development in contexts of political violence requires a systematic macro-level measurement. Prior research on post-accord Northern Ireland measured the macrosystem by coding news reports about peace and conflict from 2006-2011 (N = 6,082) and assessing trends in intergroup relations over time. The current study selected a sample of articles from this dataset (n = 144) and used a thematic analysis to identify the major themes comprising these trends. Reports that were coded as politically tense discussed policing and justice, memory, intractability, disruptions to family and community, othering, and violent imagery. Reports coded as positive discussed cooperation, leadership, systemic transformation, reflection, and optimism. By identifying the most salient features of political violence in the macrosystem, this study may inform future research on the processes through which macro-level factors influence individual development.
Research Director(s)E. Mark Cummings
Committee MembersLaura Miller-Graff Cindy Bergeman
- Master of Arts
- Master's Thesis
- Psychology (PHY)