Rural Perspectives On Terrorism: A Study Based in Western Montana
Since the World Trade Center bombings on September 11, 2001, terrorism has become a familiar word to many American citizens. However, while terrorism is present in countries all over the world, and conducted by actors of various religions, races, gender, and ethnicities, Americans’ perception of terrorism and terrorists are partially influenced by the American media in varying ways. This research investigates conceptions of terrorism through qualitative methods using in-person, semi-structured, guided interviews with eight rural Montanan citizens. The data collected from the eight participants aid the understanding of how these individuals, who have never experienced terrorism firsthand, perceive and understand terrorism. Pivotal concepts of Orientalism, developed by Edward Said, provide the theoretical framework used to support this research. Findings complement the literature on media and terrorism and provide further application and critique of Orientalism to contemporary issues on terrorism.