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Definitions of contested narratives and controversial issues

The ConCitizen Project has developed their own definitions of contested narratives and of controversial issues. The ConCitizen Project differs somewhat from other similar projects because this project combines contested narratives and controversial issues.

Below you will find our definitions of contested narratives and of controversial issues.

You will find a short description of the different ways that narratives can be contested and the different types of problems related to controversial issues.

You will find two figures showing the relations between contested narratives and controversial issues as either a contested narratives that include several controversial issues or a controversial issue with many layers of contested narratives.

Finally you will find a figure showing the core content in contested narratives and controversial issues.

Definitions

Contested Narratives

Different collective interpretations of events, figures or texts that create conflicting perceptions and feelings about the past, present and future.

Controversial issues

Issues of public importance that generate conflicting views and evoke strong emotions that result in reactions or avoidance.

Dimensions

Contested Narratives

Ways of contestation:

  • Doubted/questioned narratives
  • Competing narratives
  • Conflicting narratives
  • Dominant vs. counter narratives

Controversial issues

Types of problems:

  • Sensitivity (different types)
  • Contextualization
  • Long-term vs. short-term issues – enduring vs. situational

Contested narratives that include several controversial issues

Contested narrative

Controversial issues with many layers of contested narratives

Controversial narrative

Core content in contested narratives and controversial issues

Core content