|dc.description.abstract||In this thesis I will be analyzing these events and want to find out what the portrayals and
reactions to them show about Norwegian society and most specifically components of a
conceived Norwegian cultural identity. I will not be looking at these events through a
firsthand account provided by, for example, the soldiers who carried out these actions. I will
instead be studying these events and the reactions to them through the mediated picture
presented by the Norwegian press. This gives me with the opportunity to look at these events
from a different angle and perspective. I will hopefully also be able to observe the
relationship between society and the media. Specifically the role that this relationship plays
in displaying, reflecting, and producing components a Norwegian cultural identity.
My research question for this thesis is:
• How does the mediated picture of events from 2010-2011 concerning actions carried out by
members of the Telemark Battalion portray aspects of a conceived Norwegian cultural
I also have two sub-questions that will be explored:
• How does this mediated picture reflect and create aspects of peacefulness as a component
of Norwegian cultural identity?
• How does this mediated picture reflect and create aspects of Christian cultural heritage as a
component of Norwegian cultural identity?
The “to Valhall" media debate brought forth a number of intriguing points and reactions. In
this thesis I have analyzed a number of them and found that they were symptoms of
something else that was lying beneath the surface. Beneath the surface was a desire to defend
the foundational cultural components of peacefulness and Christian cultural heritage that are
central to the Norwegian self-image. It also included questions surrounding what kind of role
Norway is to play in the international arena, as well as what role Norwegian professional
soldiers are to have.
Concerning the relationship between the media and society, this mediated debate displayed
how the newspapers decide what kinds of stories they will print and what these stories will
contain. Due to this, they hold a key role in directing how a societal debate plays out. At the
same time, individuals themselves take the information that they consume from the media
and use what works from them and interpret the content based on their worldview. They use
this information in their society interactions as well as in their cultural identity formation.
This combination was vital in bringing fourth the ideas that were “beneath the surface” in this
“to Valhall” debate from 2010-2011. It provided society the opportunity to look at these
events as well as themselves in diverse and complex ways.||nb_NO