Zizi Papacharissi. Prelude to Affective Publics

Papacharissi, Zizi. Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics. New York, Oxford, 2015.

To remember:

  • There is an interesting, captivating connection between affect and ideology, feeling and belief, emotion and reason. These three groupings reflect imbricated yet distinct layers of engagement with public affairs … they are pairings of co-occuring tendencies (3).
  • newer media invite people to feel their own place in current events, developing news stories, and various forms of civic mobilization. The storytelling infrastructure of platforms like Facebook or Twitter invites observers to tune into events they are physically removed from by imagining what these might feel like for people directly experiencing them. Storytelling devices … convey a sense of immediacy that makes us feel like we are there, wherever there may be (4).
  • Newer media follow, amplify, and remediate that tradition of storytelling. They permit meaning-making of situations unknown to us by evoking affective reactions. Tuning in affectively does not mean that reactions are strictly emotional; they may also be rational. But it does mean that we are prompted to interpret situations by feeling like those directly experiencing them, even though, in most cases, we are not able to think like them (4).
  • Affective attunement is defined by its evanescent nature … our experience of [another’s] reality is precisely that: imagined. It lacks the gravitas of actuality … Still we respond affectively, we invest our emotion to these stories, and we contribute to developing narratives that emerge through our own affectively charged and digitally expressed endorsement, rejection, or views … As our developing sensibilities of the world surrounding us turn into stories that we tell, share, and add to, the platforms we use afford these evolving narratives their own distinct texture, or mediality (4).

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