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Online Shaming and Life in the Public Eye: Navigating the Grey Zones in the Politics of Social Disapproval


Online Shaming and Life in the Public Eye: Navigating the Grey Zones in the Politics of Social Disapproval

Kamar, Céline (2021) Online Shaming and Life in the Public Eye: Navigating the Grey Zones in the Politics of Social Disapproval. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Smartphones and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) have become omnipresent in Western societies. A public social media profile can reach a global audience, but the opposite is also true, a public social media profile can receive comments from all over the world. Should a social media user emit a post or statement that goes viral for being controversial, they will be subjected to a wide array of responses ranging from approval to disapproval to denigration (Ronson, 2015). A tension lies in the contemporary and cultural tendency to experience social disapproval as degrading, and this thesis will undertake the exploratory challenge of examining if and how a distinction can be made between expressing a difference of opinion and commenting in a way that puts down others for not meeting one’s approval. To do so, the following study conducted an emotional discourse analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Kleres, 2010; De Courville Nicol, 2011) of 219 tweets, displaying varying tones and intensities, in response to statements from Quebecoise singer-songwriter Safia Nolin. Combining my analysis with an interdisciplinary emotions-oriented approach (Armon-Jones, 1988; Hochschild, 1983; Thoits; 1989; Freund; 1990; Scheff, 1990; Davis, 2012; Feldman-Barret, 2018), I used the work of De Courville Nicol (2011; 2021; 2021a; 2021b; 2021c) to study the links between social disapproval, contemporary anxiety, feeling rules, and socio-emotional norms. In my analysis, I present the finding that Safia Nolin’s statements display signs of social, generalized, and separation anxiety. I then expand on the argument that the tools to counter those anxieties were embedded in audience members' advice, as users systematically oriented the singer towards the feeling rules of positive relationality for social anxiety, positive realism for generalized anxiety, and positive individuality for separation anxiety.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kamar, Céline
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:October 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):De Courville Nicol, Valérie
Keywords:Sociology of emotions; celebrity studies; contemporary anxiety; shame; emotional discourse analysis
ID Code:989116
Deposited By: Céline Kamar
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 14:46
Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 14:46


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