Doing Emotion through Digital Media

An Ethnographic Perspective on Media Practices and Emotional Affordances

in Ethnologia Europaea
Christopher Bareither Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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This article develops an ethnographic approach for analyzing the entanglements of digital media and emotions in everyday life. Using the practice of taking selfies at the “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” in Berlin as an example, it engages in a discussion of practice and affordance theories as well as ethnographic approaches to the study of emotions. In three related sections, it offers a particular conceptualization of “media practices” which builds upon the concept of “affordances,” an introduction to the analysis of “emotional practices,” and a section proposing the ethnographic concept of “emotional affordances.” This concept, the article argues, can serve as a key link in understanding doing emotion through digital media.

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