Making sense of emotions and affective investments in war: RT and the Syrian conflict on YouTube

Chatterje-Doody, P. N. and Crilley, R. (2019) Making sense of emotions and affective investments in war: RT and the Syrian conflict on YouTube. Media and Communication, 7(3), pp. 167-178. (doi: 10.17645/mac.v7i3.1911)

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Within the context of an ‘affective turn’ in media studies and the social sciences, this article explores the methodological challenges of researching emotions when studying online videos of conflict. Our study focuses on videos of the Syrian conflict shared on YouTube by the Russian state funded international broadcaster, RT. We propose that the concept of affective investment is a useful pivot between online videos of conflict and audience responses to them. Our study interrogates the role that affective investments play in 1) RT’s YouTube representations of the Syrian conflict, and 2) audience comments on these videos. We draw attention to the important intersections of RT’s representations of the conflict and audiences’ affective investments in those representations, and draw attention to the methodological issues raised. Our empirical focus is two critical junctures in the Syrian conflict: the commencement of Russia’s military intervention; and following the announcement of plans to withdraw Russian troops. We conclude by discussing the utility of affective investments in war when assessing online coverage of conflict, and suggesting avenues for further development.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The research upon which this article was based was conducted under the auspices of ‘Reframing Russia for the Global Mediasphere: From Cold War to ‘Information War’?’, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, ref: AH/P00508X/1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Crilley, Dr Rhys
Authors: Chatterje-Doody, P. N., and Crilley, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Media and Communication
Publisher:Cogitatio Press
ISSN (Online):2183-2439
Published Online:09 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Media and Communication 7(3): 167-178
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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