Emotions and mass media

An interdisciplinary approach

Authored by: Katrin Döveling , Christian von Scheve , Elly A. Konijn

The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  October  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415481601
eBook ISBN: 9780203885390
Adobe ISBN: 9781134017683

10.4324/9780203885390.ch1

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Abstract

Falling in love with Lara Croft, shedding tears on Jack’s final cry of ‘Never let go, Rose’ before sinking under icy waters (Titanic, 1997), cheering on Barack Obama’s election, shouting out loud to soccer player Ronaldo who fails to score, going over the moon while watching Jackson’s This is it – these examples are all about characters we almost exclusively know via the media, whom we have never met in real life, yet, we are clearly moved by them emotionally. In fact, many such characters, events, and narrations often are fictional constructions. This is considered a most intriguing phenomenon of today’s mass media – the potential to ‘play’ with our emotions while in fact nothing ‘real’ needs to be going on. Mass media are technically construed means to convey messages, yet they do not ‘have’ emotions themselves.

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