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What is Judith Butler's argument in Frames of War?

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Judith Butler's Frames of War explores how western society perceives loss of human life through war, abandonment, starvation, incarceration, and war. Butler explores how, when, and why people determine loss of life/quality of life as acceptable within the above framework. Butler urges readers to ask themselves when this loss of life is considered grievable and when it is considered as acceptable or as a necessary consequence in order to protect more societally valued lives. For instance, for hundreds of thousands of people who are incarcerated in the U.S., their loss of freedom is considered to be acceptable as their lives have been deemed as less valuable through societal conditioning and media portrayals of incarcerated people. Butler argues that the media, in particular, has depicted wars waged by Western nations in a way in which the human suffering caused by the wars is heavily normalized, and that the loss of these lives is considered acceptable due to devaluing of non-white/European lives.

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Judith Butler’s Frames of War is generally a thoughtful examination of the prevailing wars, with a keen focus on...

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