Over the past few decades, we have witnessed the growth of movements using digital means to connect with broader interest groups and express their points of view. These movements emerge out of distinct contexts and yield different outcomes, but tend to share one thing in common: online and offline solidarity shaped around the public display of emotion. Social media facilitate feelings of engagement, in ways that frequently make people feel re-energized about politics. In doing so, media do not make or break revolutions but they do lend emerging, storytelling publics their own means for feeling their way into events, frequently by making those involved a part of the developing story. Technologies network us but it is our stories that connect us to each other, making us feel close to some and distancing us from others.
Affective Publics explores how storytelling practices facilitate engagement among movements tuning into a current issue or event by employing three case studies: Arab Spring movements, various iterations of Occupy, and everyday casual political expressions as traced through the archives of trending topics on Twitter. It traces how affective publics materialize and disband around connective conduits of sentiment every day and find their voice through the soft structures of feeling sustained by societies. Using original quantitative and qualitative data, Affective Publics demonstrates, in this groundbreaking analysis, that it is through these soft structures that affective publics connect, disrupt, and feel their way into everyday politics.
About the Author
Zizi Papacharissi is professor and head of the Communication Department at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her books include A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age (Polity Press, 2010), A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites (Routledge, 2010), and Journalism and Citizenship: New Agendas (Taylor & Francis, 2009). She has also authored over 40 journal articles, book chapters or reviews, and serves on the editorial board of eleven journals, including the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and New Media and Society. Papacharissi is the editor of the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and the new open access Sage journal Social Media and Society.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: The Present Affect
Chapter Two: Affective News and Networked Publics
Chapter Three: Affective Demands and the New Political
Chapter Four: The Personal as Political: Everyday Disruptions of the Political Mainstream
Chapter Five: Affective Publics