2 Gossip, rumour, and scandals In this part of the book, the analysis of the relationship between the interpersonal and the mediated dimension of the public scandal is deepened.1 The preceding chapter made it clear that these dimensions are more or less interwoven, a circumstance to which media researchers have not paid a great deal of attention because they have, as a rule, chosen to focus on the media themselves, employing a narrow definition of the ‘media’ concept. In order to acquire an idea of the inherent mechanisms of the scandal phenomenon, the focus in

in Exposed
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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.

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which people must relate can be communicated through signs, whereas a considerably greater part of our understanding of the circumstances and restrictions of the community happens through informal talk, for instance in the form of gossip. The media scandal as a phenomenon is good at revealing these often unspoken and emotionally regulated cultural agreements. It makes the boundaries of cultural life visible, allowing us to examine those boundaries by talking about them and exploring them emotionally together. The precise location of the boundaries distinguishing the

in Exposed
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3 Floorball Dad This chapter is different from the others. This is partly because the main figure in the case that is described in detail here is an anonymous private individual, partly because the story can be included in the concept of public shaming,1 with some folkloristic elements, rather than in that of a media scandal, although the two are related. Even so, the material is suitable for illustrating enduring relations between the local and the mediated, between text and talk, and between journalism and gossip. The phenomenon of public shaming is growing

in Exposed
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of kissing her teeth, shaking her head and rolling her eyes at the same time that made you feel as though whatever she was thinking about was dirtier than a cigarette floating in a sewer. As this was my first time visiting Toronto in 10 years, she felt she needed to fill me in on all of the gossip. “Imagine, Erol tell Layton an

in Sport in the Black Atlantic

authority entails the double process of an individual demonstrating a set of competencies and being recognized by others as a figure of authority through a vicious and dismantling discourse. The first section of this chapter focuses mainly on the types of skills, competencies, habitus, and performances that constitute authority. The second part concentrates on how squatters distinguish authority figures by eviscerating the individuals in question through gossip, and examines the significance of the attention that is

in The autonomous life?
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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
Gender and nationalism in the early fiction of Flora Nwapa

, collective women’s biography, ‘transsubjective, anonymous’, transgressive.29 This narrative method bears comparison with the African American writer Zora Neale Hurston’s recreation of porch-side comment and of gossip on the road.30 The critics Florence Stratton and Susan Andrade have productively read Efuru as engaged in intertextual dialogue with, respectively, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958), and with Buchi Emecheta’s fiction.31 The precise, women-centred contribution represented by Nwapa’s early work can perhaps be most effectively demonstrated, however, when set in

in Stories of women
Wharton,Woolf and the nature of Modernism

Wharton signals Woolf ’s own anxiety over a rival’s genius. And we might simply leave the transatlantic quarrel there: Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf, perhaps the two most articulate and influential literary women of the modern period, gossiping with friends. ‘Embattled tendencies’: Wharton and Woolf 203 The two women apparently never met, never talked directly across the Atlantic or, indeed, across the English Channel. We might leave them if not for the insistent sound of their voices, wrangling in letters, diaries, essays, even in novels, disrupting our view of

in Special relationships
Customary society and oral culture in rural England, 1700–1900

countryside was a composite framework binding human experience and perception, and combining oral and popular literature together to form a diversity of rural popular cultures; defined by region, type of agriculture work, gender, and age.5 In Clare’s world, word and song accompany work and leisure; chant and verse describe seasonal rituals and customs; narratives and tales fill the domestic interior; gossip and news disseminate the conversation between neighbours; knowledge is passed on and lessons learned; and the pace of village life and culture is measured by what Clare

in The spoken word