Saiona Stoian

Saiona Stoian

  • sa_iona@yahoo.com
  • National School of Political Studies and Public Administration
  • Faculty of Communication and Public Relations
Participant in 2014
Work history April-May 2013: PR Assistant National Operetta Theater "Ion Dacian" (internship)
- Wrote the booklet for an audio CD consisting of famous French chansons, part of the „Paris, Mon Amour” show soundtrack
- Contacted and wrote letters to officials from the cities where the theatrical company toured in

July-November 2013: Intern Friends for Friends Foundation
- Wrote articles and opinion pieces promoting „Superwritings" - a narrative journalism and creative writing competition aimed at making long-form journalism more popular in Romania

November 2013- present PhD Student/ Assistant
Faculty of Communication and Public Relations
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration
Study history 2007-2010 B.A. in Communication and Public Relations Faculty of Communication and Public Relations
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration

2010-2012 M.A. in Communication and Advertising (in English)
Faculty of Communication and Public Relations
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration

2010-2012 M.A. "Theory and Practice in Image Studies”
The Center of Excellence in Image Studies - Consortium between The University of Bucharest and The University of Architecture and Urbanism "Ion Mincu"

2013-present Ph.D. in Communication Sciences
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration

Phd Projects

2014

The social imaginary of the humanitarian scenario. Media constructions of victims, heroes, perpetrators and the culture of public problems

Media`s success or failure in engaging our moral imagination and creating a public with a sense of responsibility towards others, particularly suffering others portrayed through humanitarian imagery, has been considered in recent scholarly debate as a strong indicator of the current climate in which we feel, think and act.
In this context, the purpose of the project is to discuss the media enabled standardization of the normative notions and expectations underlying the humanitarian scenario understood as a series of interactional patterns and symbolic attributes we assign to the victim, benefactor and perpetrator. Prompted by a technologically as well as culturally driven globalization and by the emergence of novel discursive genres such as sentimental political storytelling, which merges the practice of telling stories about suffering bodies with political mobilization, the mediatization of the humanitarian scenario as a means of stabilizing and naturalizing categories such as victim, hero or oppressor plays a significant part in understanding the sentimental logic according to which we pity, blame and praise others.
This broad understanding of humanitarianism as a sensibility fostered by media-projected identities and regimes of meaning which draw upon historical themes and genres, particularly melodrama, reveals the major role played by the humanitarian scenario in organizing and structuring public life and tries to account for “the less direct forms of media influence” (Couldry, 2008). A major claim of the project is that media circulation enables the humanitarian appeal, as a repertoire of images, arguments and evaluative practices, to become a key instrument in transforming situations into public problems and in dictating what stories of suffering gain visibility and who is capable of mobilizing public feeling.
Focusing on the phenomenon of transnational labour migration and the problem of the “orphans of migration” (children with both parents working abroad), the case study discusses “the melodrama of mobility” as a series of visibility patterns informing Romanian and foreign media discourse on the issue.
“The melodrama of mobility” dramatizes the structural changes Romanian society has been going through, while also revealing an ongoing negotiation of loyalties and moral affiliations, a process through which causal, political and moral responsibility is allocated and certain worldviews are reinforced. The symbolic struggle between threatened communitarian loyalties and the individual pursuit of one`s well-being abroad takes on the form of a search for exemplary victims, heroes and perpetrators mediated by the humanitarian scenario.

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