University of Sussex
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The impact of different ways of communication on bicommunal relations in Cyprus

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posted on 2023-06-07, 16:13 authored by Christiana Karayianni
This thesis examines how the relationship between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities has been shaped by the way the media and related structures mediate their communication. This is a multi-method study based on data gathered from interview, print, broadcast and online material offering a new synthesis and analysis of the mediation of a century of turbulent bicommunal relations. The thesis begins by developing a theoretical framework to address these questions of mediation and offers a critical review of the historiography of bicommunal relations on the island. Three core empirical chapters follow. The first aims to understand the role of faceto- face communication in bicommunal relations based on interviews with both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The second focuses on the representation of the Turkish-Cypriot community in the Greek-Cypriot print and broadcast media based on textual and discourse analyses of both extraordinary events and mundane coverage. This empirical study identifies the shifts of the hegemonic discourses in the Greek-Cypriot public sphere and the media rituals that are/were enacted in order for the discourses to be legitimised. Finally, the third chapter analyses samples of online bicommunal communication before and after the easing of ‘border’ restrictions in 2003. It highlights the ways the new media can be used to move beyond those media rituals that confirm certain myths and to reenhance the normalisation of bicommunal coexistence. Overall, the thesis’s findings suggest that the Greek-Cypriot print and broadcast media’s symbolic power increased in certain historical periods of conflict and that through this power they territorialised people’s reality and the process of assigning meanings to the other. It should be noted though, that this territorialisation is not homogenous, it is rather a product of conflict among local discourses. Finally, putting together the findings deriving from all three empirical studies leads to the suggestion that new media tools help/ed overcome a territorialisation process and in a sense recapture the dynamics of oral everydayness of the common past of the two Cypriot communities.


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  • Media and Film Theses

Qualification level

  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • dphil


  • eng


University of Sussex

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