Article

Affective Economies

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Social Text 22.2 (2004) 117-139 How do emotions work to align some subjects with some others and against other others? How do emotions move between bodies? In this essay, I argue that emotions play a crucial role in the "surfacing" of individual and collective bodies through the way in which emotions circulate between bodies and signs. Such an argument clearly challenges any assumption that emotions are a private matter, that they simply belong to individuals, or even that they come from within and then move outward toward others. It suggests that emotions are not simply "within" or "without" but that they create the very effect of the surfaces or boundaries of bodies and worlds. For instance, in the above narrative on the Aryan Nations Web site, the role of emotions, in particular of hate and love, is crucial to the delineation of the bodies of individual subjects and the body of the nation. Here a subject (the white nationalist, the average white man, the white housewife, the white working man, the white citizen, and the white Christian farmer) is presented as endangered by imagined others whose proximity threatens not only to take something away from the subject (jobs, security, wealth), but to take the place of the subject. In other words, the presence of these others is imagined as a threat to the object of love. The narrative involves a rewriting of history, in which the labor of others (migrants, slaves) is concealed in a fantasy that it is the white subject who "built this land." The white subjects claim the place of hosts ("our shores") at the same time as they claim the position of the victim, as the ones who are damaged by an "unmerciful government." The narrative hence suggests that it is love for the nation that makes the white Aryans hate those whom they recognize as strangers, as the ones who are taking away the nation and the role of the Aryans in its history, as well as their future. We might note as well that the reading of others as hateful aligns the imagined subject with rights and the imagined nation with ground. This alignment is affected by the representation of both the rights of the subject and the grounds of the nation as already under threat. It is the emotional reading of hate that works to bind the imagined white subject and nation together. The average white man feels "fear and loathing"; the white housewife, "repulsion and anger"; the white workingman, "curses"; the white Christian farmer, "rage." The passion of these negative attachments to others is redefined simultaneously as a positive attachment to the imagined subjects brought together through the repetition of the signifier, "white." It is the love of white, or those recognizable as white, that supposedly explains this shared "communal" visceral response of hate. Together we hate, and this hate is what makes us together. This narrative is far from extraordinary. Indeed, what it shows us is the production of the ordinary...

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

Request the article directly
from the author on ResearchGate.

... Leisure worlds have become saturated with the affective intensities of a relentless corona news cycle that permeate and disrupt living rooms and digital devices. Words and images of sickness and graphs of infection rates do not simply "represent" the external world, they are produced through an affective economy (Ahmed, 2004) that circulates fear, anger, loss, and frustration with political (in)action. ...
... Home is profoundly entangled with leisure-work-care-assemblages that reconfigure choices and gendered relations that press upon us in ways that intensify or relieve anxieties. Ahmed's (2004) writing on the affective economy of fear resonates strongly with our current situation in which the personal is political. She argues that, "emotions play a crucial role in the 'surfacing' of individual and collective bodies through the way in which emotions circulate between bodies and signs" (Ahmed, 2004, p.117). ...
Article
Full-text available
The disruptive biocultural force of the coronavirus highlights the value of more-than-human perspectives for examining the gendered effects and affects on our everyday lives and leisure practices. Pursuing this line of thought our article draws upon the insights of feminist new materialism as intellectual resource for considering what the coronavirus “does” as a gendered phenomenon. We turn to this body of feminist scholarship as it enables us to attune to what is happening, what remains unspoken and to pay attention to “the little things” that may be lost in a big crisis. Writing through the complexity of embodied affects (fear, loss, hope), we focus on the challenge to humanist notions of “agency” posed by these shifting timespace relations of home confinement, restricted movement and altered work-leisure routines. We explore the tensions arising from “home” as an historical site of gendered inequality and a new site of enhanced capacity.
... In questions of reflexivity when conducting an autoethnography, self-awareness of the researcher and their subjective place are important. Reflexivity is the author's awareness of the surrounding reality or their own inner feelings, or how those feelings align with other social agents they observe (Ahmed, 2004). ...
... It was clear that my attachment to the idea of a non-evil West placed me on the side of a pro-West stance. In that sense, Ahmed (2004) is right to argue that emotions 'align individuals with communities -or bodily space with social space -through the very intensity of their attachments' (p. 119). ...
Article
Through two crossed auto-ethnographic works, this paper explores the ‘reflexive tension’ coming with the African identities in diasporic contexts and in Western academic training. As the authors have been socialized in their junior scholar careers in the literature of international relations, they revisit the aforementioned literature in light of the decolonizing literature about IR curriculum and the postcolonial literature. This article argues that it is possible to resist multiple conflicting worldviews, sometimes accept components of them, leaving some questions partly unanswered and living in the permanent tensions and interrogations of our positionality to remain open to alternative paths. To illustrate their emancipatory journeys, the authors present how their nuanced voices were completely silenced, or even inaudible, in the narratives framed by the West and their respective African communities when international events, like Charlie Hebdo shooting or the Rhodes Must Fall protest movement in 2015 affected them. This paper is an invitation to explore deeper the richness of African identities with a renewed auto-ethnographic engagement through ‘reflexive tension’ to regain agency and emancipation from the denial coming with binary narratives.
... Our article is written in this same spirit. Following Ahmed (2004) and Fox (2015), we put aside debates about what emotions are to emphasise the capacity of emotions to do things. We also set aside ontological discussions within sociology on emotions to emphasise the benefits of drawing on multiple conceptualisations, epistemologies, and methods in studying emotions in social life. ...
... Some affect theorists, like Massumi (2002), distinguish autonomic, precognitive, pre-personal and always-emerging intensities (affect) from internal experiences that are cognitively recognised and labelled as emotions (Leys, 2017). Others position emotions as just one form of affect, among a range of sensations that link bodies to spaces, environments and other bodies (Ahmed, 2004;Fox, 2015). Although conceptualisations vary, the affective turn has informed critiques of psychological and sociological understandings of emotions, as static, individualistic and anthropocentric (Fox, 2015), with affect theorists emphasising subjectivities as intertwined, unfolding, embodied and always becoming (Blackman et al, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Scholars studying emotions in social life typically work mono-logically, within a paradigmatic camp, drawing on distinct theories of emotion. In isolation, each offers a singular conceptualisation of emotions in social life. Working multi-logically, in contrast, offers richer, comparative insight into the layered meanings of emotion relevant to a social context. Rather than treating them as incommensurate, we not only argue for the benefits of drawing on multiple paradigms, methods and theories of emotions in social life, we offer a worked example of a post-paradigmatic methodology for analysing emotions in social life that values multilogicality and epistemic flexibility. Setting aside debates about what emotions are, we work from the premise that different conceptualisations of emotions do things: shape what we see and ignore, and discursively position people. We show how multiple theories and concordant methods can – and should – be applied to studying emotions in social life in the same study. In this empirical illustration of a methodological innovation, we map theories and methodologies of emotions in social life against four research paradigms and against four phases of a study into the emotional dimensions of interprofessional practice, depicting the realisations afforded through a post-paradigmatic methodology for analysing emotions in social life.
... Mientras que nos enfocamos en la importancia de trabajos sobre capacidad, es necesario notar el trabajo de raza y afecto alrededor de lo emocional y la 'cualidad del sentir' que son extremadamente importantes en el espacio teórico de raza y afecto. Algunos ejemplos de esta labor crucial son el trabajo de Sara Ahmed (2004) alrededor de Franz Fanon, la negritud y el miedo, y el trabajo de Jose Muñoz (2006) acerca de 'sentirse marrón.' Estos teóricos hacen sus investigaciones donde el afecto excede a la idea de emoción, aunque muchas veces permanece atado a experiencias o propiedades características de cuerpos individuales y sujectos humanos. ...
Article
Full-text available
We question the question of affect and race as one that has already built itself upon blackness and anti-blackness, such that the question a priori for an affect theory seeking to address race, we argue, is that of black ontology. We first examine various works in affect theory that theorize race through new mechanisms of discourse, works that theorize interpersonal and emotive affects, and works that have contributed to a biopolitical understanding of race, affect, and assemblage. Delving deeper into a Deleuzian legacy of affect as capacity we assert that the theoretical works of afro-pessimism and black optimism (as black ontology) allows for generative thought around the materializations, value, and productions of racialized capacity—specifically the affective capacity of blackness. This work points to a vital direction for affect theory that can no longer dismiss or transcend race in a bid for a universal masked/marked posthumanism.
... Indeed, the dominant strand within the study of child-animal relations reports on the positive effects that pets have on children's socio-emotional skills and wellbeing (Daly & Morton, 2003;Jacobs Bao & Schreer, 2016;Vidovic et al., 1999). The anthropocentric hierarchization of species is noninnocently entangled in these "affective economies" (Ahmed, 2004) and assemblages of biopower, highlighting the importance of a deeper examination of the productions and practices of care. Those animals not fit for the human temporalities and spaces of care become dropouts of the companion animal industry complex-"rescue" animals (if not euthanized). ...
Article
Full-text available
Childhood scholars have for some time worked toward the idea that instead of being situated in their own micro worlds, waiting rooms, or margins, children should be viewed and accounted for as full participants of society. This special issue aligns with this aspiration, while broadening the notion of what counts as society. It asks how to live and care in a society that does not consist of adult human individuals only, but instead counts children and other-than-human animals in the realm of the social and the societal. By inviting authors to think about child-animal relations and care, we wish to shed light on the ways in which other animals are relevant for human children’s lives, and vice versa, and to argue for the importance of these relations for society in the conflicting times we live in now.
... In this article, we define and conceptualize emotions as not situated within the individual alone. Feminist theories of emotion articulate that emotions are not just individual but also relational (Ahmed, 2004), collaborative (Boler, 1999), and shared (Ahmed, 2010). Similarly, Micciche (2007) reminded us that "emotion is experienced between people within a particular context (and so resides both in people and in culture)" (pp. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study draws on sociocultural and affect theories to understand findings from our investigation of secondary English education preservice teachers' (PSTs') experience with communal video analysis sessions (VAS). We organize the article by first theorizing reflection in teacher education research and its relation to video analysis. Then, we describe our qualitative case study methodology and report on our findings to the question of how (dis)comfort shapes PSTs' communal reflections by using illustrative participant vignettes. Through analysis of a communal VAS around PSTs' teaching practices and follow-up interviews with the PSTs, the Michelle M. Falter & Meghan E. Barnes 65 authors found that video analysis provides a nonevaluative supportive environment that enables reflection and growth when a sense of community is preestablished. This article demonstrates the affordances of staying within "comfort zones" for PSTs as they reflect upon their teaching practice within a group VAS. Several tensions around the organization of professional learning communities for reflective video analysis with PSTs are unpacked in relation to this finding.
... We acknowledge that our affective reading is our own and that others may transact with the students' fragments of experience and note intensities of affect differently. Using Ahmed's (2004) concept of sticky objects, we embraced the "becoming-with the data" (Taguchi, 2012, p. 265) as we transacted with and traced ordinary affects as they became saturated with personal and social tensions (i.e., intensified) for our participants and resonated deeply and affectively for us, the researchers, and flowed out to our local community, too. Following Wetherell's (2012) lead, rather than coding, which evokes strict structures, we sought patterns; patterns highlight the habits, sensory rhythms, and repetitions of everyday social life. ...
Article
The authors argue that attending to the affective dimensions of everyday life for Latino immigrant youth offers a disorientation away from the circulation of fear around immigration in the United States, and a new orientation that links together the intimate affective images and narratives of the everyday that are less oppressive and rooted in and branch out to hope and solidarity. To demonstrate the importance of the affective, the authors conducted a post‐qualitative research inquiry interested in animating lifeworlds of seven Latino immigrant youth living in the context of North Carolina. The authors used process and nonrepresentational affect theories to analyze the data, tracing the rogue intensities and surface tensions of ordinary affects across and through the different students and their writing to highlight the students’ fragments of experience as Latino youth in America today. Specifically, the authors drew on Ahmed’s affect theory of sticky objects and sweaty concepts as they analyzed students’ words against the discourse of fear and hate. In tracing the affects that circulate around three sticky objects—immigration, families, and America—the authors witnessed and experienced the moments of tension in students’ affective lives. Doing this work with narratives of first‐generation immigrants exposes the effect that embodied memories have on present‐day experiences. The authors maintain that attunement to the affective realm produces a humanizing practice of literacy research and provides counteraffects of hope, gratitude, and life that speak to the more‐than‐representational written narratives.
... The experience of this informant may also bring up reflections on the power of memory and for how long the memory of sensation produces or reproduces embodiments of disgust. Disgust involves history as it forces one to deal with what seems to be generally rejected (Ahmed 2004). Nausea, sense of contamination, disgust, and the other psychological reactions that Bilal felt after he ingested food that is purported to be contaminated or haram makes him cautious because of an experience mediated by knowledge. ...
Article
Full-text available
The interplay of food, people, and market in the multi-religious and multi-ethnic neighborhood of Madina Zongo, Accra, results to some extent in food exchange. In a plural setting like Madina Zongo, an important aspect of their co-existence is the sharing of food; in so doing people claim their identities and mark boundaries; consequently, food in this sense becomes a potential for conflict. My primary aim in this paper is to focus on pig feet (trotter) sellers by drawing attention to their conflicting experiences and encounters in selling trotter. Pig feet (trotter) is a commodity that comes through a global network and is considered haram and unclean by Muslims. Actions by religious practitioners, thereby, play a pivotal role in provoking these experiences and, for this reason, it is prone to triggering tensions. In this paper, I explore the embodied encounters between these traders in the market (inhabited by people of different religious traditions) and, to some extent, the buyers and how this triggers religious sensibilities and at the same time evokes strong responses among those frequenting the space (e.g., market women and customers) and those (trotter sellers) who live in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods. In my analysis on tensions and pollution, I take into consideration groundworks by authors such as Mary Douglas’ Purity and Danger, Sara Ahmed’s and Deborah Durham’s notion of disgust and the anthropology of imagination, and inspired works on materiality such as the Latourian Actor-Network Theory (ANT) which draws attention to the agency of the non-human. This paper studies how religiously contested and so-called “contaminated” foodstuffs such as pig feet (trotter) result in boundary-making practices among members of the market and Zongo community. I argue that ideas of purity are influenced largely by cultural and religious convictions which seems not to be compromised by religious practitioners. The paper also investigates strategies people/sellers develop to negotiate these social relations.
... expands upon the idea of governmentality as having the capability to make subjects responsible and to bring about autonomation, which opens up free space for individuals to be included as autonomous actors in more sophisticated control. This means that the governmentalisation process should be deployed through media as the technology of affect (Pereira, 2019), not only to spread culture symbolically and expressively through informational communication (Baker and Hesmondhalgh, 2013) but also through mobilisation or manipulation affect to elicit new subject dispositions and align individuals with communities (Ahmed, 2004, Rudnyckyj, 2011. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This article examines affective technology to understand the significance of creative labour in Indonesia multinational oil and gas companies in the city of Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. Methodology: The data is gathered from desk studies by reviewing policies, monographs, and printed documents, and ethnographic observations to understand the social and cultural context.
Article
Affect theory has met with an uneven welcome in communication studies, although attending to affect (i.e., the fluctuating intensities of encounter) could enhance the scope and impact of communication inquiry. This article makes a case for sustained engagement at the field level, across subfields. I argue that affect confronts a premise at the heart of our discipline today: the claim that communication is constitutive as opposed to mere transmission. By engaging with affect, we can recuperate potential eclipsed by this contrast and cultivate communication theory that: (a) informs transmission as a constitutive activity, (b) expands what counts as communication beyond human language and social interaction, and (c) recovers disappeared ways that power operates communicatively. Retuning communication in this way, we can inform what remains enigmatic in affect theory: how communicability happens. Arguably, the capacity to understand and intervene in the present moment depends on developing communication theory of this kind.
Article
How do soldiers recall and voice their wartime experiences when the war they fought is under scrutiny? How do they inscribe the recollection of private affairs in a potentially contested colonial past? Drawing from an ethnography of war memory and focusing on an artillery unit’s deployment in the Portuguese colonial war in Angola, in 1971, this article tackles both the soldiers’ memories and the military reports about the unit’s length of service. It articulates and contrasts the formulaic order of the official account with the veterans’ affective storytelling, to unearth the cracks that run beneath the reconfiguration of colonial war violence in Angola. Soldiers’ narratives, it will be argued, avoid the wars’ dystopic potential by dislocating attention to the affective reverberation of the past and by silencing accounts of bloodshed. And yet, they are unable to fully de-politicize their wartime stories, as soldiers unwittingly disclose episodes of sexual violence against African women, hence exposing the enduring entanglements of sexuality, race and colonialism.
This article expands the existing research on the boys’ love (BL) cultural phenomenon by analysing two popular BL films, A Round Trip to Love and Uncontrolled Love, and one TV series, Addicted, all streamed online in 2016. Previous research has explored the various aspects of BL such as cultural globalization from below, the online publishing industry and censorship, and the theme of incest and queer sexuality. This article turns a greater attention to the dialectical relationship between affect, queer desire and neoliberalism by unpacking further the affective work that BL performs in contemporary China. BL is both structurally constrained by the economic infrastructure of heteronormative kinship norms in neoliberal China and residual forms of socialism, as well as offering alternative modality of affective tendency that exceeds these structural impediments. Conceptually, this research explicates three forms of affective work in BL in contemporary China, namely affective imprisonment, queer affective reparation and affective overcoming, in order to illuminate the relationship between affect, queer desire and neoliberalism in contemporary China.
Article
COVID-19 has resulted in new global geographies of death ranging from cellular to global scales. These geographies are uneven, reflecting existing inequalities and failures of governance. In addition to death and bereavement, the pandemic has generated varied forms of loss and consolation, as well as negative and positive affective atmospheres, whereby emotions are mobilised and politicised. Understanding these emotional-affective topographies and ‘emotional-viral-loads’ is vital to wellbeing, resilience, and unfolding policy interventions locally and globally.
Article
This article addresses how one girl uses social media to document her experience of the Syrian war. She contends that making sense of her networked media participation through the frame of democratic practice offers a way of understanding youth culture that moves beyond narratives of agency. Drawing on Sarah Ahmed’s recent work, I consider the sticky quality of Bana Alabed’s twitter posts, arguing that she is both Bana Alabed the embodied girl, and Bana Alabed the cultural construction as filtered through and made sticky by her girlhood. I address the contemporary climate surrounding media, girlhood, and difference in order to argue that Bana’s writing – both on Twitter and in her book, Dear World – constitute what Muñoz or Ranciere might call democratic practice.
Article
Gail Jones’s fiction has received major critical attention due to its engagement with trauma, memory, modernity, the visual arts, and the Australian process of Reconciliation. This article seeks to extend the focus of research on Jones’s work by looking at her little-discussed representation of forced migration. For this purpose, it examines how Jones’s 2013 short story “The Ocean” and 2015 novel A Guide to Berlin respectively tackle the 2001 refugee Tampa affair and the 2013 Lampedusa refugee tragedy. It first offers an overview of the precarity suffered by contemporary asylum seekers and refugees and how this has been explored and fictionalized by contemporary writers. It then analyses and discusses the main narrative and stylistic strategies that Jones uses in order to represent the ties that bind together refugees and non-refugees in mutually dependent relationships, which challenge Australian and European governments’ fostered xenophobia aimed at tightening border controls.
Article
The Australian White Ibis (Ibis) ( Threskiornis molucca) is one of three endemic Ibis species in Australia. In a short time frame beginning in the 1970s, this species has moved from inland waterways to urban centres along the eastern and southeastern seaboards, Darwin and the Western Australian southwest. Today Ibis are at home in cities across the country, where they thrive on the food waste, water resources and nesting sites supplied by humans. In this article, the authors focus on Sydney to argue that the physical and cultural inroads of Ibis, and the birds’ urban homeliness, are resignifying urban surfaces and the multispecies ecologies in which contemporary Australians operate. They explore how the very physical and sensory presence of Ibis disrupts the assumptions of many urban Australians, and visitors from overseas, that cities are human-centric or human-dominant, non-hybrid assemblages. They also introduce to this discussion of disrupted human expectations a cultural parallel, namely, the recent rise of Ibis in popular culture as an icon-in-the-making of the nation and as a totem of the modern Australian city itself. This trend exemplifies an avian-led revisualization of urban spaces, and is notable for its visual appeals to Ibis kitsch, and to working class or ‘bogan’ sensibilities that assert their place alongside cosmopolitan visions of being Australian. Sometimes kitsch Ibis imagery erupts across the urban landscape, as occurs with many Ibis murals. At other times it infiltrates daily life on clothing, on football club, university and business logos, as tattoos on people’s skin, and as words in daily idiom, confirmed by terms such as ‘picnic pirates’, ‘tip turkeys’ and ‘bin chickens’. The article uses a visual vignette methodology to chart Ibis moves into Sydney and the realms of representation alike, and thus to reveal how new zoöpolitical entanglements are being made in the 21st century.
Article
Written in weekly instalments, Michelle Munyikwa's Covid‐19 diary reflects upon the experience of an unfolding pandemic from her dual role as a medical trainee and anthropologist living in the United States. Her observations centre on everyday encounters with scenes or objects that reflect the growing crisis, from the absence of masks outside patient rooms to emergent forms of care through telemedicine. The diary follows the author as she experiences grief, ambivalence and disorientation in the first weeks of the pandemic.
Article
Historically, Drag Race has mobilised stories about homophobia, family violence, racism and femmephobia that produce drag as a technology of recovery: a means of rising above trauma, in line with media scholarship on the centrality of personal trauma narratives in reality TV. Queer scholars have argued that this imperative to tell positive stories silences more melancholic, ‘negative’ voices; of the tension between the need to speak of ‘damage’, and a ‘related and contrary desire to affirm queer existence’. Seen as the embodiment of the histrionic, dramatic drag queen villainess and dubbed ‘the whistle-blower of the season’, Season 10 queen The Vixen subverted familiar trauma narratives, engendering an opening up around narratives of trauma, racism and transmisogyny. This paper examines The Vixen’s absence and her re-emergence on social media, reading her viral tweet declaring ‘no-one is cancelled’ as a provocation that unsettles dominant accounts of mental health, survival and trauma. I argue that in speaking up for the ‘trash, garbage and cancelled’ subject, The Vixen speaks to Heather Love’s call for a queer politics that consider injury as something that might be ‘lived with, not necessarily fixed’. In this sense, her flawed star persona resonates with a mad scholarship that constituting a productive mad and queer politics of vulnerability.
Article
The 2008 collapse of the Icelandic banking sector has become a defining moment in the nation’s contemporary history. The event revealed the role of neoliberal economic reconfigurations in the construction of social and temporal experience, particularly by highlighting the public’s investment in, and aspiration for, a bright economic future during the early-2000s. Drawing on our independent ethnographic work, we collectively trace the enormous growth and decline of the Icelandic economy over the last two decades and examine the ways the collapse has produced new feelings, associations and expectations that continue to frame the past, present and future. In doing so, we explore and problematize the interdependencies between temporality and everyday social practices amid crisis. We argue that, despite the economy strengthening over the last decade, a sense of economic uncertainty has remained, with many Icelanders anticipating another collapse. We conclude by discussing the unfinished nature of crisis and role of public forecasting as a means for contending with ongoing economic insecurity.
Article
After two violent episodes in the cities of Aktobe and Almaty during the summer of 2016, Islamic extremism resurfaced forcibly as an object of securitization in Kazakhstan. By focusing on anti-terror simulations and the performance of a theater play in the city of Aqtau, in this paper I argue that encounters with security measures and performances are formative moments for people’s sensual apprehension of “the threat” and “the state” through the circulation of affects and emotions, lending a visceral dimension to the understanding of (in)security. Rather than uncritically enhancing the need for further securitization, the affective encounters were constitutive of wider political assessments, and of the very sense and meaning of “security”.
Article
Full-text available
Virtual Reality (VR) film has been described as an empathy machine. Filmmakers and producers have claimed that VR film’s immersive qualities can amplify empathy for victims of humanitarian crises and move the viewer to support humanitarian aid organizations. This paper questions these transformative assumptions about VR film. We call attention to how humanitarian VR films are techniques that promote emotional styles like empathy through the script of suffering and hope. Through analysis of humanitarian VR films, the use of character, narrative, and formal VR film devices, we show how empathy is created. Thereby, we focus specifically on the simulation of particular locales, intimate encounters with the suffering Other, and gratification of viewer needs. The paper concludes that humanitarian VR films simulate an engagement with global problems when, in fact, they are catering to the emotional needs of people engaging with those problems. The global citizen as a feeling self becomes caught in interpersonal affective textures, which obscure geopolitical causes of humanitarian crises. Hence, the paper questions empathy as a universal way to better the world and diverges from the celebration of humanitarian VR film as a universal empathy machine.
Article
Full-text available
This study focuses on public signage on Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors, Florida – a homonormative space that privileges the representation of the experiences and needs of particular groups of gay men to the exclusion of other sexualities. I use a linguistic landscape methodology to conduct a multimodal critical discourse analysis in which I identify prevalent affective regimes discursively surfacing in public signage on Wilton Drive. My research interest lies in the question of how affective regimes are produced through signage practices, and how they shape social representation in this homonormative space. After a theoretical outline of the concepts of linguistic landscape, affect and affective regimes, I illustrate and analyze the discursive construction of three types of affective regimes that are particularly common in this context: love, tolerance and homonationalism. The analysis shows how the three affective regimes contribute to making Wilton Drive a space in which specific social normativities prevail, but also takes a critical look at the downsides of such discursive constructions.
Article
Purpose This study aims to discuss the ethical and political possibilities offered by the presence of teaching artists (TAs) and visual artwork in racially and culturally diverse high school literacy (English Language Arts) classrooms. Design/methodology/approach This study explores episodes from two separate ethnographic studies that were conducted in one teacher’s critical literacy classroom across a span of several years. This study uses a transliteracies approach (Stornaiulo et al. , 2017) to think about “meaning-making at the intersection of human subjects and materials” (Kontovourki et al. , 2019); the study also draws on critical scholarship on art and making (Ngo et al. , 2017; Vossoughi et al. , 2016). The TA, along with the materials and processes of artmaking, decentered the teacher and literacy itself, inviting in new social realities. Findings TAs’ collective interpretation of existing artwork and construction of new works made visible how both human and nonhuman bodies co-produced “new ways of feeling and being with others” (Zembylas, 2017, p. 402). This study views these artists as catalysts capable of provoking, or productively disrupting, the everyday practices of classrooms. Social implications Both studies demonstrated new ways of feeling, being and thinking about difference, bringing to the forefront momentary possibilities and impossibilities of complex human and nonhuman intra-actions. The provocations flowing from the visual artwork and the dialogue swirling around the work presented opportunities for emergent and unexpected experiences of literacy learning. Originality/value This work is valuable in exploring the boundaries of literacy learning with the serious inclusion of visual art in an English classroom. When the TAs guided both interpretation and production of artwork, they affected and were affected by the becoming happening in the classroom. This study suggests how teaching bodies, students and artwork pushed the transformative potential of everyday school settings.
Chapter
Zeitdiagnosen einer „Gesellschaft der Angst“, die Angst zum charakteristischen Gefühl westlicher Gesellschaften erklären, scheinen eine maßgebende Deutung der Gegenwart zu liefern. Zugleich erfahren sie jüngst vermehrt Kritik, die hauptsächlich auf identifizierte empirische und theoretische Leerstellen verweist. Vor diesem Hintergrund rekonstruiert der Beitrag zunächst zentrale Thesen aktueller Angstdiagnosen. Anschließend werden Befunde soziologisch-empirischer, kulturwissenschaftlicher sowie modernisierungs- und affekttheoretischer Angstforschungen skizziert, die einerseits wichtige Ergänzungen zu den Angstdiagnosen anbieten, andererseits deutlich machen, dass Angst als höchst komplexes soziales, politisches und kulturelles Phänomen weiterer Forschungen bedarf. Der Beitrag plädiert daher abschließend für eine interdisziplinäre Gesellschaftswissenschaft der Angst, die das Spektrum sozial- und kulturwissenschaftlicher Angstforschungen verknüpft, um die vielfältigen Bedeutungen der Angst in der Gegenwartsgesellschaft zu erhellen.
Article
In this article, we discuss three ways that emotional content was presented, registered, performed, and communicated in a secondary social studies classroom discussion. In an analysis of a classroom discussion about representative democracy, we focus on the articulated and embodied emotional and affective content that manifested in students’ sharing of views about same-sex marriage. While the discussion was ostensibly about the students’ beliefs and their alignment with those of their elected representatives, we focus on three particular emotional registers circulating within it: aggression, withholding, and reversals. We claim that interpreting and articulating such emotional processes, and considering them as inherent parts of (rather than extra to) political discussions, may help researchers and teachers acknowledge and accommodate the emotional realities of confronting the social and political world of classrooms.
Article
Although it may appear quite obvious the natural link between migration and emotions, it has been largely ignored in migration analyses that tend to focus on the neo-liberalist projects that restructure sites of production and consumption [Brooks, Ann, and Ruth Simpson. 2013. Emotions in Transmigration: Transformation, Movement and Identity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan]. There can be no overemphasizing the necessity of bringing into the center stage the role of emotions in migrant life as they are implicated in particular identity claims. This paper heeds the call of Wetherell, Margaret [2012. Affect and Emotion: A New Social Science Understanding. London: Sage] for an affective-discursive turn by finding ways that will make grasping emotions in discourse a viable and potent research agenda through the lens of practice Taking emotion as “dramatistic role” [Sarbin, Theodore. 1986. “Emotion and Act: Roles and Rhetoric.” In The Social Construction of Emotions, edited by Rom Harré, 83–97. Oxford: Basil Blackwell], I analyze two texts: a state-produced document for Filipino migrants and a particular blog content of a Filipino migrant in New Zealand to demonstrate how the feeling of guilt is bound up in power relations in constructing the ideal Filipino migrant identity.
Article
The journal Der Yid was the first Yiddish periodical officially tied to a Zionist body. This article follows the shared genealogy of early Zionism and diasporic nationalism as expressed in Der Yid, and offers a revision to common notions on Yiddish cultural and political revival around the turn of the twentieth century. In contrast with a tendency to highlight a sharp divide between these movements, this article emphasizes the points of intimacy and convergence between the ostensibly opposing ideological and lingual choices of Hebraism-Zionism and Yiddishism-diasporism. More specifically, it analyses a controversy between Yiddishists and Hebraists, particularly Ahad Ha`am, generated by the very title of the journal during its first year of publication: Who is Der Yid – the Jew? Who is the ultimate imagined national readership and national collective of a Yiddish-language journal? By probing the populist, sentimentalist discourse that the journal produced, this article argues for a renewed evaluation of the presumably dichotomous constructions of Hebrew versus Yiddish, or Zionism versus diasporic nationalism.
Article
Full-text available
This article looks at the photographic parts of the archive of racial biology in Uppsala, Sweden. This material is approached both through works by Swedish Sámi artist Katarina Pirak Sikku as well as through close engagements with the archive itself and its historical circumstances. In the article, the focus is on affective and emotional relations to the archival photographs and the events of their creation. I argue that Pirak Sikku’s profound emotional and physical working through of this material has opened a path for others to engage with this archive beyond only seeing it as a concretisation of a highly problematic and dangerous “scientific” practice. Furthermore, I suggest that examining the emotional, embodied and affective aspects is necessary to achieve further understanding not only of this particular archive, but also of harrowing periods of history in general. Finally, I show how an engagement such as that by Pirak Sikku is able to open up perspectives from which care and inquisitiveness can be seen to triumph over even the deepest injustices.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this article is to analyze the reactions of some mainstream Israeli politicians to a celebrity marriage between Tzahi Halevi, a Jewish Israeli actor, and Lucy Aharish, a Palestinian Israeli TV personality. Drawing upon the notion of stance, we unveil the affective trouble generated by this heterosexual union vis-à-vis the Israeli national project. More specifically, we tease out the kaleidoscopic collage of politicians’ affective (dis)attachments in relation to Halevi, Aharish and a variety of socioculturally relevant categories such as the Israeli nation. This affective patchwork, we argue, is itself the product of a tension that is at the very heart of the Israeli nation-state, that between the policing of Jewishness as the defining principle of the Israeli national imagined community, on the one hand, and the upholding of the democratic imperative to equal treatment and recognition, on the other. Available Open Access: please copy and paste the following link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10350330.2020.1810555
Chapter
This chapter examines Bana Alabed’s harnessing Twitter to construct an activist self. It analyzes the intriguing ways technological and affective affordances made it possible for a 7-year-old Syrian girl to report from a war zone. Alabed has evolved past the trope of innocent suffering child typical of human rights narratives, and on to a discourse of peace and fraternity which has awarded her several prizes. Mediation—and the role her mother has played—as well as imagery to convey trauma should be further addressed and problematized. The chapter closes with a reflection on names. Like Malala, Bana is mainly known by just her first name. Getting to know these girls on a first-name basis is crucial for the degree of empathizing that may be reached.
Article
Using the New Yorker story Cat Person, and the babe.net story I went on a date with Aziz Ansari, it turned into the worst night of my life, we explore the possibilities of consent in a context of gender inequality and white supremacy, where women’s physical safety is in danger when in the presence of men, where men have significantly more cultural capital and privilege than women, where white women most easily access narratives about agency and violability, and where the emotional labor in heterosexual relationships falls on women. The article argues for the importance of seeing consent as part of an affective economy, rather than a simple matter of choice and agency, and insists on a contextualizing of consent in the #metoo movement that is attentive to the cultural logics of patriarchy and whiteness.
Article
Full-text available
Our article explores how diasporic journeys and identities are remembered and represented through the visual narratives of DiasporaTürk, a Turkish diasporic media presence consisting of a Twitter account, an Instagram page, and two books. These engagements revive past (dis)affects and highlight the contemporary relevance of nostalgia, sorrow and victimization as key themes in the migration experience of ‘guest-workers’ from Turkey. The evidentiary force of the index, inhabiting fictional characters while looking like factual and archival material, seems thus to both acknowledge and validate migrated ‘guest-workers’, who, as subaltern groups, have otherwise received little praise or recognition in Turkey or ‘host’ countries. At the same time, while converging past and present (dis)affects associated with Turkish migration, DiasporaTürk contributes to reaffirming the reduction and homogenization of official/normative collective memories of migration via concrete visibilities/presences and invisibilities/absences.
Article
Digital media are widely recognised as essential to the maintenance of transnational families. To date, most accounts have focused on the role of digital media practices as producing and sustaining transnational relationships, through, for example, the practices of ‘digital kinning’. In this article, we extend that body of work by drawing attention to the specific role of the emotions that are circulated through digital media interactions and practices. We use data from ethnographic interviews with older migrant adults to consider how people who fled civil wars and resettled in Australia bridge the distances between ‘here’ and ‘there’. Our analysis draws attention to the circulation of affect, arguing that it is the capacity of digital media to circulate emotions and support affective economies that gives substance to and defines the surfaces and boundaries of transnational families, and constitutes the mutuality of being that underpins familyhood at a distance.
Article
Full-text available
This collection brings together key themes that integrate the scholarship on migration, digital media, and emotion. Drawing from a variety of conceptual, theoretical, and methodological traditions that cross-cut academic disciplines, the articles in this issue explore the emotional facets of digitally mediated migrant socialities in a variety of socio-cultural and geographic locales. These examinations raise important questions about how digital media ubiquity shapes global migration experiences and multicultural media publics at various scales. How are relations of intimacy and care at a distance articulated and experienced through social media? What does it mean to imagine home as a digitally mediated experience? In what unexpected ways are platforms reshaping migrant subjectivities? In this introductory article we address these and other questions, outlining how we believe the study of emotion can help us think more comprehensively about the digital mediation of migrants’ social lives in the current media age.
Article
Full-text available
For all the academic and policy interest in Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency, the coping strategies of civilians who survive amid everyday violence have received relatively little attention. Focusing on the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a pro-government militia fighting Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, Agbiboa explores how and why the group emerged, the nature of its relationship with the state and local communities, and how counterinsurgent vigilantism affects the prospects for peace. A focus on vigilantes and civil militias vis-à-vis the state points to the vital role of civil-military cooperation for effective counterinsurgency campaigns and for reducing state violence against civilians. At the same time, it underscores the precariousness of protection both in terms of increasing the targeting of civilians by vengeful insurgents as well as the tendency for civilian defense groups to “turn bad” and become threats to the communities they were expected to protect.
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the affective economy of (un)belonging, revealed by the UK decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU). Emerging social science research on so-called ‘Brexit’ focuses on the anticipated effects of a stricter UK immigration regime on the lives of EU citizens and families. Against the background of the country’s postcolonial melancholia, and drawing from my ethnographic fieldwork in England (2018–2019), this paper discusses how British and mixed-migration status, mixed (race) couples narrate the impact of the poll’s outcome on their affective orientations towards Britain and the EU. It shows how race inflects partners’ different perception of Brexit as a historical rupture or as an event in a continuum; as a loss of entitlement to mobility in space, or of the legitimacy of permanence in place; as a lingering danger, or a magnifier of existing patterns of violence. By putting black and mixed-race partners’ narratives center stage, this paper traces three scenes of expression of their perceived contested and precarious belonging to Britain: the ordinariness of racism in Britain, the mistrust in the durability of the boundaries of inclusion drawn by the British state, and a heightened alertness for fear of escalating racist and homophobic violence.
Article
Full-text available
In this article I review theoretical approaches that attend to the entanglements between affect and labor in late capitalism. I examine the concepts of affective, reproductive, emotional, and intimate labor, with a focus on what each model illuminates and obscures. While recognizing substantial differences among many forms of affective work, I highlight the relocation of the boundaries between production and reproduction, and public and private selves, as essential common themes among them. Bringing affect into labor changes the ways scholars address traditional debates and categories surrounding workers’ consent, alienation, and exploitation. The intersections of insights into labor and affect provide tools to research the contemporary transformations of work and the tensions and alignments between affective investments and political projects of emancipation from capitalist appropriation of labor.
Article
Full-text available
Following Baum’s (1997) proposition that planning be understood as “the organization of hope” there has been limited scholarly engagement with what might be involved in fostering hope through planning practices. Reflecting on three years of participatory action learning and research on a deprived housing estate in Sheffield in northern England, we explore core challenges raised by appealing to hope as an objective of community-led planning. Overall, we argue for further work to explore how the organizational technologies of planning relate to core dimensions of hope, including the ways in which unevenly developed capacities to aspire shape diverse modes of hoping.
There is a long history of work on racial passing that I cannot discuss here. For a summary, see Sara Ahmed, “Passing through Hybridity
  • Theory
There is a long history of work on racial passing that I cannot discuss here. For a summary, see Sara Ahmed, “Passing through Hybridity,” Theory, Culture, and Society 16 (1999): 87–106.
The Citizen and the Terrorist Michael Dillon, The Politics of Security
  • Letti Volpp
Letti Volpp, " The Citizen and the Terrorist, " UCLA Law Review 49 (2002): 1575. 27. Michael Dillon, The Politics of Security (London: Routledge, 1996), 34. See also Anthony Burke, In Fear of Security (Annandale, New South Wales: Pluto).
State of the Union address 2002, www.whitehouse.gov/ news/releases 33. We can consider George W. Bush's powerful utterance " you are either with us or against us " as a demand for mimicry
  • George W Bush
George W. Bush, State of the Union address 2002, www.whitehouse.gov/ news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.html (accessed 23 July 2002). 33. We can consider George W. Bush's powerful utterance " you are either with us or against us " as a demand for mimicry. In this narrative, those who are
Guarding the Gates Homeland Insecurities
  • R Aristide
  • Zolberg
Aristide R. Zolberg, " Guarding the Gates, " in Understanding September 11, ed. Craig Calhoun, Paul Price, and Ashley Timmer (New York: New Press, 2002), 296. 25. Ahmad, " Homeland Insecurities, " 99.
Penguin, 1976), 1:248. 5. Ibid., 252; emphasis mine. 6. Ibid., 254. 7. Ibid. 8. For an exploration of this argument, see Sara Ahmed
  • Karl Marx
Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, trans. Ben Fowkes (Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1976), 1:248. 5. Ibid., 252; emphasis mine. 6. Ibid., 254. 7. Ibid. 8. For an exploration of this argument, see Sara Ahmed, Differences That Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 97– 98.
address to the Australian Defence Association, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs
  • John Howard
John Howard, address to the Australian Defence Association, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, 25 October 2001, www.dfat.gov.au/icat/pm_251001_ speech.html (accessed 23 July 2002).
Statement by the president in his address to the nation, www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases 31. For an analysis of how Neighborhood Watch involves techniques of knowledge, which work to recognize " strangers " as " bodies out of place
  • George W Bush
George W. Bush, Statement by the president in his address to the nation, www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html (11 September 2001). 31. For an analysis of how Neighborhood Watch involves techniques of knowledge, which work to recognize " strangers " as " bodies out of place, " see Sara Ahmed, Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (London: Routledge, 2000).
address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases
  • George W Bush
George W. Bush, address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html (accessed 20 September 2001).
Article
In Bodies That Matter, renowned theorist and philosopher Judith Butler argues that theories of gender need to return to the most material dimension of sex and sexuality: the body. Butler offers a brilliant reworking of the body, examining how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the "matter" of bodies, sex, and gender. Butler argues that power operates to constrain sex from the start, delimiting what counts as a viable sex. She clarifies the notion of "performativity" introduced in Gender Trouble and via bold readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud explores the meaning of a citational politics. She also draws on documentary and literature with compelling interpretations of the film Paris is Burning, Nella Larsen's Passing, and short stories by Willa Cather.
Article
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been more than one thousand incidents of hate violence reported in the United States. How do we understand the emergence of this violence in a context of national tragedy? What are the seeds of this violence, and how has the political climate following September 11 allowed them to grow? Of course, there are no easy answers to these questions. This Article suggests that September 11 facilitated the consolidation of a new identity category that groups together persons who appear "Middle Eastern, Arab, or Muslim." This consolidation reflects a racialization wherein members of this group are identified as terrorists and disidentified as citizens. The stereotype of the "Arab terrorist" is not an unfamiliar one. But the ferocity with which multiple communities have been interpellated as responsible for the events of September 11 suggests there are particular dimensions converging in this racialization. The Article examines three: the fact and legitimacy of racial profiling; the redeployment of Orientalist tropes; and the relationship between citizenship, nation and identity.