Dissent and emotional management in a liberal‐democratic society: The kent stateiconic photograph

Robert Hariman, John Louis Lucaites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public discourse in contemporary Western democracies is constructed, studied, and policed according to a general suppression or suspicion of emotional display, which then can become a mode of dissent. These tendencies are evident in the use of visual images in the public media. An icon of emotional public protest —the young woman screaming over the murdered Kent State student on the ground before her—reveals how visual practices and emotional display are important for democratic life. The iconic photograph constitutes citizenship as an emotional construct while it shapes emotions according to norms of public order. This representation of dissent provides resources for advocacy and change, but it also is vulnerable to narratives of fragmentation and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-31
Number of pages27
JournalRhetoric Society Quarterly
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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