Thematic gender studies seminar ’Affective Times of Capitalism’ on Tuesday May 29, 12pm-4pm

Welcome to the thematic gender studies seminar Affective Times of Capitalism – with Guest Professor Rebecca Coleman – on Tuesday May 29, 12pm -4pm (Linna 5026-5027). Our project on affective inequalities is one of the three projects that have been organizing Coleman’s visit as a Faculty of Social Sciences Guest Professor 2017-2018.  Project member, PhD researcher Raisa Jurva will also be giving a talk at the seminar.

 

Affective Times of Capitalism

 
12.15-13.00 Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmiths, University of London): Mediated Presents: Digital Media, Infra-Structures of Feeling and the Production of ‘the Now’

13.00-13.45 Katariina Mäkinen (SOC, University of Tampere): Excited and exhausted – practices and ideals of work in mom blogging

13.45-14.15 Break

 14.15-15.00 Raisa Jurva (SOC, University of Tampere): Affective politics of progression narratives. Women talking about equality in heterosexual relationships

 15.00-15.45 Matias Nurminen (COMS, University of Tampere): Longing for the Men of Past: The Manosphere, Resisting Reading and Rewriting Masculinity

 

Please find the abstracts below:

 

Guest Professor Rebecca Coleman

Mediated Presents: Digital Media, Infra-Structures of Feeling and the Production of ‘the Now’

Digital media are now central to capitalist space-times, and are frequently described as producing a ‘real-time’, ‘live’, ‘always-on’ temporality. While seemingly referring to similar processes and experiences, these descriptions indicate a temporality that is diverse, multiple and changing. This paper addresses this temporality in terms of the present; a temporality that is both ‘now’ and on-going. It sets out one framework for conceptualising the temporal qualities of digital media, drawing on Raymond Williams’ influential work on structures of feeling and the (pre-)emergent qualities of media culture. Taking up feminist account of affect (e.g. Clough et al 2015, Berlant 2011, Paasonen et al 2015), I develop Williams’ notion of structures of feeling to offer the concept of infra-structures of feeling, to account for the amplified significance of pre-emergence, its affects and how digital media work across each other in complex architectures of texts, textures, platforms and devices. Fleshing out this concept, I analyse the presents produced by two popular digital media platforms: Twitter and Netflix. While these media produce the present differently, in both pre-emergence is central. The paper therefore concludes by inquiring into whether pre-emergence may define today’s structure of feeling and, if so, what this suggests for the affective qualities of contemporary capitalism.

 

Postdoctoral fellow Katariina Mäkinen

Excited and exhausted – practices and ideals of work in mom blogging

Professional or aspiring mom blogging is a new form of gendered work in which different processes of value production extend to and merge with everyday family life. In this presentation, I focus on Finnish mom bloggers’ accounts of their practices and ideals of work and working, as well as of the affective and emotional cost that they experience as part of their working practices. In their accounts, mom bloggers describe their work both as a sphere of autonomy and joy, and as a sphere of constant pressure and exhaustion. To make sense of these experiences, I interpret these accounts of simultaneous excitement and exhaustion as telling of an encounter or collision between the ‘old’ ideals of work as a way of ‘being part of the world’ and the new precarious structures of digital capitalism.

 

PhD researcher Raisa Jurva

Affective politics of progression narratives. Women talking about equality in heterosexual relationships

Despite diversification of intimate relationships and women friendly social policies in Finland, gendered conventions still seem to organize heterosexual relationships and maintain inequalities. In this presentation, I discuss two kinds of progression narratives that emerge in interviews with mid- to later-life Finnish women as they reflect upon heterosexual relationships. The first progression narrative depicts social-cultural changes towards more diversity in relationships and less financial or social incentive for women to be married or live in a relationship. The second progressive narrative portrays changes in women’s own relationships experiences. In this narrative, subjectivity that builds on integrity, emerges and becomes established along relationship experiences through life course. The trajectory from dependent into solid subjectivity is saturated with men’s control over women’s sexuality, their work and leisure time and also, with women prioritizing men’s desires and needs over their own. While these two kinds of progression narratives partly overlap, they mostly run parallel to each other in women’s narration and I explore the affective politics of the progression narratives. As women reflect upon power and inequalities through progression narratives, I ask, how do they enable politicizing the personal on one hand and prevent it on the other.

The study is part of Academy of Finland funded research project (2015-2019) Just the Two of Us? Affective inequalities in intimate relationships (287983): http://affective-inequalities.fi/en/

 

PhD researcher Matias Nurminen

 Longing for the Men of Past: The Manosphere, Resisting Reading and Rewriting Masculinity

The paper examines the recent phenomenon of radical masculinity, or the manosphere, which has been studied in academia only scarcely. The manosphere is a diverse collection of mostly online communities and movements that promote for example self-improvement, seduction and dating tips, but also on the flip side misogyny, racism and antifeminism. The radical movements, like neomasculinity and Men Going Their Own Way, seem to share a special interest in storytelling and using narratives to their advantage as tools: Nurminen proposes that the radical manosphere communities appropriate narratives to recruit new members and that they tell reminiscing counter-narratives about their conceptions of masculinity.

Nurminen analyses the manosphere’s use of narratives from two interrelating aspects: From an intertextual perspective, he contrasts their strategies to the feminist literary theory of resisting reader (Fetterley 1978). The manosphere groups attempt to read popular narratives from masculinity’s point of view to justify their misogynistic worldview.  From the perspective of master narratives and counter-narratives (Bamberg & Andrews 2004), the manosphere utilizes and re-utilizes narratives to build counter-narratives against the status quo in the western world. Nurminen claims that the manosphere seeks to reclaim through counter-narratives the lost master narrative of the uncontested male orientation in western society.

 

 

For more info, please contact: Minna Nikunen (minna.nikunen@uta.fi) or Marjo Kolehmainen (marjo.kolehmainen@uta.fi)