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ISBN: 9789198376852 Year: Pages: 208 Language: English
Publisher: Lund University Press
Subject: Ethnology --- Media and communication --- Information theory
Added to DOAB on : 2019-11-14 11:21:03
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This book situates witchcraft drama within its cultural and intellectual context, highlighting the centrality of scepticism and belief in witchcraft to the genre. It is argued that these categories are most fruitfully understood not as static and mutually exclusive positions within the debate around witchcraft, but as rhetorical tools usedThis 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.

Keywords

Scandal --- Media scandal --- Public shaming --- Rumour --- Gossip

Envy, Poison, and Death

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ISBN: 9780199562602 Year: Pages: 436 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562602.001.0001 Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press Grant: Leverhulme Trust
Subject: History --- Law --- Religion --- Gender Studies --- Ethnology --- Biology
Added to DOAB on : 2020-06-10 23:58:16
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At the heart of this book are some trials conducted in Athens in the fourth century BCE. In each case, the charges involved a combination of supernatural activities, including potion-brewing and cult activity; the defendants were all women. Because of the brevity of the ancient sources, and their lack of agreement, the precise charges are unclear; the reasons for taking these women to court, even condemning some of them to die, remain mysterious. This book takes the complexity and confusion of the evidence not as a riddle to be solved, but as revealing multiple social dynamics. It explores the changing factors—material, ideological, and psychological—that may have provoked these events. It focuses in particular on the dual role of envy (phthonos) and gossip as processes by which communities identified people and activities that were dangerous, and examines how and why those local, even individual, dynamics may have come to shape official civic decisions during a time of perceived hardship. At first sight so puzzling, these trials come to provide a vivid glimpse of the sociopolitical environment of Athens during the early to mid-fourth century BCE, including responses to changes in women’s status and behaviour, and attitudes to particular supernatural/religious activities within the city. This study reveals some of the characters, events, and local social processes that shaped an emergent concept of magic: it suggests that the legal boundary of acceptable behaviour was shifting, not only within the legal arena, but also with the active involvement of society beyond the courts.

Keywords

Athens --- women --- magic --- religion --- law --- courts --- trial --- fourth century --- emotions --- envy --- phthonos --- gossip

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