Affect, Technoscience and Textual Analysis : Interrogating the Affective Dynamics of the Zika Epidemic through Media Texts

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Oikkonen , V 2017 , ' Affect, Technoscience and Textual Analysis : Interrogating the Affective Dynamics of the Zika Epidemic through Media Texts ' , Social Studies of Science , vol. 47 , no. 5 , pp. 681-702 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312717723760

Title: Affect, Technoscience and Textual Analysis : Interrogating the Affective Dynamics of the Zika Epidemic through Media Texts
Author: Oikkonen, Venla
Contributor organization: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Gender Studies
Date: 2017-10-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 22
Belongs to series: Social Studies of Science
ISSN: 0306-3127
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312717723760
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/308920
Abstract: Science and Technology Studies has become increasingly interested in the roles of affect and emotions in science and technology. Researchers have examined, for example, emotions in the production of scientific knowledge, patients’ or users’ affective experiences of technologies, and emotionally charged cultural representations of science. However, less attention has been paid to the underlying affective dynamics that connect these sites, experiences and representations. This article builds on the premises that, first, unpacking these underlying affective dynamics is pivotal to understanding emerging technoscientific phenomena, and, second, that such affective dynamics often need to be accessed through cultural texts such as media. This necessitates developing tools of textual analysis that can capture cultural emotions, affective intensities and the tensions and resonances that arise when affective intensities and culturally circulating emotions become entangled. To this end, the article develops methods of textual analysis through a case study: the affective dynamics underlying the Zika epidemic. Focusing on the New York Times coverage of the epidemic, the article identifies affective concentrations centering on temporality, invisibility, and the dissolution of material boundaries. It shows that there are considerable tensions both within and between these concentrations, and that such tensions engender affective intensities and emotional investments. By combining discursive and non-discursive dimensions of the affective dynamic of Zika, the analysis contributes to the growing STS methodological literature on affect and emotion in technoscience.
Subject: 518 Media and communications
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion


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