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Narrative identity and Homeland
Louise Pears

Drawing on narrative theory, this chapter bridges understandings of security, popular culture and identity to show how stories matter. It argues that television shows are a site where gendered, raced, and nationalised identities are narrated, and particular subjectivities created. It applies this critical narrative approach to an analysis of the television series Homeland, a popular drama that tracks the efforts of the CIA to thwart the latest terrorist threat to America. This analysis considers both the meaning within Homeland and the process of meaning-making by members of the show’s British audience; in doing so, it moves away from understanding audiences as passive consumers of ideological messages contained in texts, to understanding how audiences negotiate their understanding of the show and themselves. It also considers how these terrorism stories articulate gendered and racialized boundaries of inclusion and exclusion. This links security and identity, politics and culture, texts and audiences. Although it demonstrates the articulation of identity within security stories, it also draws attention to ways that audiences can resist those identities.

in The politics of identity