Monika Verbalyte

Monika Verbalyte

Participant in 2014
Work history 01/10/2015 - now
Research fellow
Project "Europe of the People"
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

18/02/2013 – 30/12/2014
Student assistant in the Project MEMO (Measuring Exchange Mobility Outcomes)
CHE Consult (Center for Higher Education), Berlin

09/07/2009 – 27/07/2012
Student assistant in the Project „Adoration and Admiration“
Cluster „Languages of Emotion“
Freie Universität Berlin

13/07/2011 – 30/06/2012
Student assistant
GIB (Innovation Research and Consultancy), Berlin
Study history 30/09/2011 – now
Phd candidate
Department of Sociology
Freie Universität Berlin
(since 1/07/2012 with the scholarship of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation for Freedom)

02/10/2008 – 18/11/2010
M.A. Sociology – European Societies
Department of Sociology
Freie Universität Berlin
(with the two-year scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD))

01/09/2003 – 26/06/2007
B.A. Political Science
Institute for International Relations and Political Science
Vilnius University, Lithuania

01/09/1991 – 12/07/2003
School graduation certificate
Vilnius Ozas Secondary School, Lithuania
Publications (forthcoming 2017) De- and Reconstruction of the Emotional Logic of Political Scandal. In: Scandalogy: An Interdisciplinary Field. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag.

(2016) Critical Role of Emotions in Media Events: Anger Dynamics in Political Scandals. In: Andrew Fox (Hrsg.): Global Perspectives on Media Events in Contemporary Society. Hershey: Information Science Reference, pp. 41-58.

(2016) (with Jan Delhey) Soziales Vertrauen: Wissenswertes zu einer zentralen zwischenmenschlichen und gesellschaftlichen Ressource. In: Bertelsmann Stiftung (Hrsg.): Der Kitt der Gesellschaft: Perspektiven auf den sozialen Zusammenhalt in Deutschland. Gütersloh: Verlag der Bertelsmann Stiftung, pp. 71-104.

(2015) Die Dynamik der Empörung im politischen Skandal. In: Verhandlungen der Kongresse der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Bd. 37: Routinen der Krise – Krise der Routinen. (Online Publication)

Phd Projects


The Emotional Anatomy of Political Scandal

The objective of my dissertation is to reveal the emotional logic and dynamics of the political scandal. For that purpose, I analyze how emotions are articulated in the public discourse: how they are represented, constituted, how emotions of the public and other relevant actors are handled.
Political scandal is understood as an event defined and in that sense constructed by the media. It attracts attention of and shocks the citizens, but their participation in this media event rarely exceeds the level of ritual and performance. However, to be taken seriously, scandal requires emotions, and in order to shape this arousal in the way favourable for the scandal development, it should be managed. In this respect, even the outrage dominating the scandal is not a spontaneous reaction to the violation of political norm, but a guidable and changeable parameter which is not necessarily present from the beginning of scandal but which is to elicit, to accumulate, to amplify, to intensify, to transform as the scandal progresses and to attenuate at the end.
Theories of symbolic interactionism (especially Goffman) and symbolic politics (Edelman) as well as some approaches of constructivism/post-structuralism and cultural studies build the theoretical basis of my work. My method - discourse analysis in its version closest to the symbolic interactionism and hermeneutics – is also based on these theories. However, as emotions in political discourse are rarely expressed directly, e.g. in emotion words, to be able to “catch” emotions discursively, I also make use of some insights from the theory of cognitive structures of emotion, and in order to understand emotional influence of language, its capability to move people, I also draw on the tradition of rhetoric and some works in linguistics.
Specifically, I will analyse the coverage of two German political scandals (Guttenberg and Wulff) using online editions of four newspapers different in their quality and political direction. As in cultural studies, I understand media as reflection of the public discourse which is produced and reproduced by it. In critical situations, media takes control over public emotions, dependent on the prevailing structures of the discourse. Therefore in my analysis I pay more attention not to the concrete emotions which are used in the discourse (e.g. anger, outrage, contempt, pity), but to how and when they are used, how they are culturally coded and legitimized by connecting them with generally accepted norms.

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