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Open Access (free)
Living with scandal, rumour, and gossip

This book illuminates the personal experience of being at the centre of a media scandal. The existential level of that experience is highlighted by means of the application of ethnological and phenomenological perspectives to extensive empirical material drawn from a Swedish context. The questions raised and answered in this book include the following: How does the experience of being the protagonist in a media scandal affect a person’s everyday life? What happens to routines, trust, and self-confidence? How does it change the basic settings of his or her lifeworld?

The analysis also contributes new perspectives on the fusion between interpersonal communication that takes place face to face, such as gossip and rumours, and traditional news media in the course of a scandal. A scandal derives its momentum from the audiences, whose engagement in the moral story determines its dissemination and duration. The nature of that engagement also affects the protagonist in specific ways. Members of the public participate through traditional oral communication, one vital aspect of which is activity in digital, social forums.

The author argues that gossip and rumour must be included in the idea of the media system if we are to be able to understand the formation and power of a media scandal, a contention which entails critiques of earlier research. Oral interpersonal communication does not disappear when new communication possibilities arise. Indeed, it may be invigorated by them. The term news legend is introduced, to capture the entanglement between traditional news-media storytelling and oral narrative.

Open Access (free)
Mia-Marie Hammarlin

members of her family. This brutal murder of a journalist opens Nobel Prize laureate Heinrich Böll’s novel The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, which sold well and occasioned debate in West Germany when it was published in 1974. The reader follows the repercussions of the cynical headlines in everyday life, described in a documentary style characterised by ironic distance. Scenes depict the concealed and open loathing to which Miss Blum is subjected. Neighbours whisper, gossip, and spread malicious rumours about her, she who was previously, before the scandalous articles

in Exposed
Open Access (free)
The principles of Observational Cinema
Paul Henley

The Village (1968) . In reality shot over three months, this film presents scenes of everyday life as if they were happening over a prolonged summer weekend, culminating in the victory of the rowing crew, right, in the Dingle Regatta Hockings and McCarty wanted to encourage their audience to become as immersed as possible in the life of the village and to make sense of it from the inside, in the manner of an anthropologist newly arrived in the field. It was precisely because

in Beyond observation
Open Access (free)
Mia-Marie Hammarlin

acceptable from the unacceptable, at a given point in time and in a certain context, is rarely crystal-clear from the start. If it had been, and the boundaries had been beyond dispute, there would have been very little need for degradation rituals in the form of mediated scandals and public shaming. The scandal serves as a point of support in everyday life, a foothold from which we can push off and look at vital questions together. Emotions are both individual and shared, and they shape our understanding of ourselves and our travelling companions in the continuously

in Exposed
Mia-Marie Hammarlin

1 In the middle of the media storm This part of the book presents fundamental themes in the interviews with the central figures of the scandals and their partners. I initially focus on the changes in everyday life that each scandal involved for those affected by it and the emotions it engendered. Initially, the emphasis is on the experience of actually being at the centre of a scandal and on the feelings of loneliness, guilt, shame, grief, and anger that came to dominate the lives of several of those affected. I will use everyday life as a starting-point, where

in Exposed
From Vietnam to the war in the Persian Gulf
John Storey

everyday life. What we remember does not stay the same; memories are forgotten, revised, reorganised, updated, as they undergo rehearsal, interpretation and retelling. Moreover, the more important the event remembered, the more it is vulnerable to reconstruction, as it will be more frequently rehearsed, interpreted and retold. Halbwachs’ third point is to argue that remembering is always present

in Memory and popular film
Paul Henley

subjects as bull-fights, clown routines, boxing matches, military parades, politicians on walkabout and even some historical and biblical fictions, there are also many views of the routines of everyday life, some of them involving the members of the Lumière family. These everyday subjects include children eating a meal, people boarding a train, a game of cards, women washing clothes in a stream, men repairing a road, horse-drawn carriages passing through a flooded street and, perhaps the most famous Lumière view of all, for being supposedly the very first, the view of

in Beyond observation
Open Access (free)
History, legend and memory in John Sayles’ Lone Star
Neil Campbell

, as it seems removed from and irrelevant to his own experience, Chet like Sam, must uncover the history of and division within his own family and see its complex relationships to everyday life. When Chet visits Otis’s Black Seminole Indian museum, a hybrid mix of escaped slaves and Native Americans whose ‘border’ identities reveal notions of origin or essence inadequate, he asks about one John Horse

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)
Authorship, praxis, observation, ethnography
Paul Henley

, but also with ‘ordinary’ members of the group in question. This form of total participation influences the mode of observation employed: it should not be the dispassionate, objectifying gaze of the laboratory scientist but rather an embedded observation that depends as much on aural as on visual engagement with the subjects. The principal focus of this ‘participant-observation’ will normally be the recurrent and the customary aspects of everyday life: exceptional circumstances are also of interest, of course, but they will be related back to the

in Beyond observation
Paul Henley

Police , produced by Roger Graef but shot and directed by Charles Stewart, who had worked as a cameraman on a number of Disappearing World films. Over nine 45-minute parts, this series followed the day-to-day activities of a Thames Valley police station in Reading. But these were merely the most celebrated of a large number of extended series that were broadcast around this time on British television, which dealt with everyday life in institutions such as schools, hospitals, naval ships and railway stations. 6

in Beyond observation