Nino Abzianidze PhD. Student Telefon: +41 (0) Adresse: Affolternstrasse 56, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland Internet: Perception of Abkhaz as Enemy by Georgian Print Media in
Table of contents I. Introduction I.II Aim of the research I.III Research Question and Hypothesis I.IV Methodology II. Theoretical Framework III. Case study IV.I Identification of perceptions of Abkhaz by Georgian media in IV. II Uncertainty of the enemy image – stable or unsteady? iV. Conclusions
3 Introduction Why Abkhaz? Problem of Abkhazia still significant Returning land factor of people Why perceptions? Crucial role of a well-defined image of the enemy Georgians vs. ??? Why media? Perceptions may vary according to the different layers of society Print media as one of the social groups
Aim of the Research Identify how Abkhaz were perceived by the Georgian print media in How well- defined was perception of the enemy image? At what extent did the enemy image imply Abkhaz? Was the perception of the enemy image affected by the government changes?
Research Questions and Hypothesis How well-defined were perceptions of Abkhaz as enemy by the Georgian print media in ? - Abkhaz as an ethnic group - Abkhaz as separatists Did the government change affect perception of Abkhaz as the enemy? Perception of the enemy by Georgian print media was not well defined i.e. was uncertain. Though, Abkhaz people were not perceived as enemy Despite the change of governments, uncertainty of the enemy image was maintained. Though, the state of war could have affected certain aspects of perceptions. 5
Research Period –Divided into three time periods Gamsakhurdia period – June-December, 1991 Military/State Council period – January-Sept., 1992 Shevardnadze period – October-September, 1993 Division made according to the government changes
Methodology The Case Study –Literary Georgia – sample of 122 articles Arguments: Tribune of writers, scholars and other public figures Published more analytical than news-based articles. As a result of government change in editorial stuff was changed ( editorial stuffs supported existing Gov.) Definitions: Articles for analyzes – articles, which concern issue of Abkhazia, including those, which concern the issue at the smallest extent Analytical articles – articles, which along with the facts contain assessments and analyzes on a certain issue. Data – citations of certain parts of relative articles.
Theoretical Framework Postulates of the CONSTRUCTIVIST approach and the IMAGE THEORY combined in the book Face of the Foe (2010) by Kjeld Hald Galster. –Twofold dimension of the enemy image –Problem of uncertainty over the enemy image
Theoretical Framework Enemy Image Tangible component Intangible component Intelligence Deep-rooted pers. Abkhaz as separatists Abkhaz as ethnic group Uncertainty about the enemy Multi-faceted enemy
st part – Identification of the perception of Abkhaz by Georgian print media Two steps of observation Abkhaz as ethnic group Abkhaz as political separatists Did the perception of Abkhaz depict clear picture of the ENEMY?
st part – Identification of the perception of Abkhaz by Georgian print media Abkhaz as ethnic group Genuine Christian Abkhaz of Georgian origins Islamist Absua came from North Caucasus in XVI and XVII centuries Citation for Evidence: In order to restore historical justice I think it is necessary to restore ancient name of Georgian inhabitants of Abkhazia and to call them Georgian Abkhaz. And those, whom we call Abkhaz today, should be called Absua Abkhaz. (Sulakauri, We should call Georgian Abkhaz and Absua Abkhaz, April 2, p. 3)
st part – Identification of the perception of Abkhaz by Georgian print media Abkhaz as political separatists Separatists – political elite, not the Abkhazian people Abkhaz political elite – provocateur of separatist sentiments among Abkhaz people Abkhaz people – Brothers and Friends Citation for Evidence: Unfortunately, we have to say that some politicians with no ability of foresight still push diligent and high moral Abkhaz man to confront Georgians. (Tasoev, 1992, Tomorrow could be late! March 8, p. 10)
st part – Identification of the perception of Abkhaz by Georgian print media Ethnic Group Abkhaz VS. Absua Separatists Ordinary people VS. Political elite
st part – Identification of the perception of Abkhaz by Georgian print media Multi- faceted image of the enemy Enemy #1 – Absua Separatists Enemy #2 - Former President and his supporters Enemy #3 – Confederation of Mountainous People Enemy #4 - Russia
nd part – Uncertainty of the enemy image – stable or unsteady? Step 1 Content analyze of the last articles of each period enemy image in the conflict remained uncertain along the whole research period Step 2 Trends of slight change in perceptions Previously Abkhaz politicians and Absua separatists After Abkhaz man and Abkhaz tend to become part of the enemy image
Conclusion –Hypothesis proved By combination results of observing Abkhaz as ethnic group and Abkhaz as separatists and adding to this all the components that enemy image implied, a picture of multifaceted enemy, which does not include indigenous Abkhaz people is obvious. –Hypothesis proved Government change did not affect major trends of perceptions of Abkhaz by the print media, i.e. multi- faceted enemy image remained uncertain. The state of war definitely caused some trends of slight change, which contributed to the uncertain and multifaceted enemy image once more. Part 1Part 2
Perspective for PhD project Aim: –Generalizing research –Extending time and scope of the research –Adding comparative component
Perspective for PhD project Shaping Political Identities through Mass Media in Post-War Settings A Comparative Study of the Caucasus and the Western Balkans –Cases of Georgia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
Perspective for PhD project Focus on representation not the perception Proposed RQ: –Do media contribute to the reconciliation of the warring parties in the post-war environment?
Perspective for PhD project Case of Georgia Focus on war periods – / Abkhaz + South Ossetians More representative media