United by Anger


  • Vincent Steinbach FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany


Sociology of knowledge, online videos, emotional repertoires, empirical research


Start of my reflections is the situation definition of a health crisis and pandemic at the beginning and during the CoVid-19 pandemic. In order to arrive at the assessment that one was in a pandemic, specific knowledge must be recognised as valid. That the recognition of the validity of knowledge about the CoVid-19 pandemic (and later about vaccines) has not been without problems was confirmed by numerous demonstrations around the world. Among many other media formats, I assume that online videos had an influence on the dissemination of knowledge in the period. Therefore, I explore the question of how creators stage content in their videos as valid knowledge. I look specifically for affective addresses in the videos. I examine the staging strategies qualitatively on the basis of online videos that were published during the CoVid-19 pandemic and that (want to) transport knowledge in some form and thus make a discourse contribution to the status definition for and against the crisis. In comparison with other dimensions of staging (aesthetic, narrative, power-related), the affective dimension in particular offers opportunities for mobilisation. On the one hand, the affective dimension contains something like 'truthiness' in the sense of a validity that is felt and arises from a gut feeling. Said feeling is produced by various factors. On the other hand, the affective dimension also includes sentimental, communicative forms such as the anticipation of loss (specifically: limiting contact, economic losses, etc.). Depending on how much one is affected by sentimental forms, one either recognises the situational definition of the crisis or not. In the last consequence the disregard leads first to the experience of exclusion (e.g. conspiracy theorist!) from the public discourse and in a second step to a form of political resistance bottom-up, which opposes the situational definition of the crisis. The resistance is connected through the recognition of common feeling through sentimental communicative forms in the videos. These sentimental forms refer to shared emotional repertoires that adapt to each other in the long run through exchange and form enduring social structures like specific milieus with individual emotional repertoires.


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Emotions, Truth Claims and Journalistic Narration