Peer-Reviewed Article on Digital Affect Cultures: New Technologies and Global Flows of Emotion

Research on the processes of mediatization aims to explore the mutual shaping of media and social life and how new media technologies influence and infiltrate social practices and cultural life. We extend this discussion of media’s role in transforming the everyday by including in the discussion the mediatization of emotion and discuss what we conceptualize as digital affect
culture(s). We understand these as relational, contextual, globally emergent spaces in the digital environment where affective flows construct atmospheres of emotional and cultural belonging by way of emotional resonance and alignment. Approaching emotion as a cultural practice, in terms of affect, as something people do instead of have, we discuss how digital affect
culture(s) traverse the digital terrains and construct pockets of culture-specific communities of affective practice. We draw on existing empirical research on digital memorial culture to empirically illustrate how digital affect culture manifests on micro, meso, and macro levels and elaborate on the constitutive characteristics of digital affect culture. We conclude with implications of this conceptualization for theoretical advancement and empirical research.

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