Collective memory: September 11th now and then

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In the new millennium, newspapers in Brazil, France, and the United States have transformed their digital editions to facilitate reader participation and exchange. This research explores how these venues were used by readers to discuss 9/11/01. Over ten years have passed since September 11, 2001 in which the events have been interpreted and reinterpreted over time. Drawing data from 2001 and 2011, the analysis compares immediate understandings of the events with similar commentary on the anniversary a decade later. The data are drawn from three internationally recognized newspapers: O Estado de São Paulo, Le Monde, and The New York Times. This study examines differing interpretations of the events from both longitudinal and comparative cultural perspectives. Using a comparative case study approach, the research explores how Brazilian, French, and Americans congregate in digital spaces to debate September 11th in 2001 and again in 2011. In comparing the discourse in each forum, the study identifies commonalities and differences across the three case studies. The work explores how ideological discourse is used in the immediate aftermath of 9/11/01 and ten years later in 2011. In so doing, the work sheds light on the stability and enduring nature of identity work and identity categories in digital discourse fora.