Emotions, Genre, Justice in Film and Television
Routledge – 2011 – 148 pages
Popular film and television are ideally suited in understanding how emotions create culturally shared meanings. Yet very little has been done in this area. Emotion, Genre, and Justice in Film and Television explores textual representations of emotions from a cultural perspective, rather than in biological or psychological terms. It considers emotions as structures of feeling that are collectively shared and historically developed.
Through their cultural meanings and uses, emotions enable social identities to be created and contested, to become fixed or alter. Popular narratives often take on emotional significance, aiding groups of people in recognizing or expressing what they feel and who they are. This book focuses on the justice genres – the generic network of film and television programs that are concerned with crime, law, and social order – to examine how fictional police, detective, and legal stories participate in collectively realized conceptions of emotion. A range of films (Crash, Man on Fire) and television series (Cold Case,Cagney and Lacey) serve as case studies to explore contemporarily relevant representations of anger, fear, loss and consolation, and compassion.
‘E. Deidre Pribram’s well-written and engaging work is a return to the traditional Cultural Studies way of doing representational research and is perhaps surprisingly to some predominantly a refreshing read. Emotions, Genre, Justice in Film and Television: Detecting Feeling is at first glance a return to a well-tread perspective, but it could also potentially be the start of a new cinema research focus on justice and emotion on a much larger scale.’ – Helle Kannik Haastrup, MedieKultur
Introduction 1: Emotion As Action 2: Circulating Anger 3: The Justice Genres 4: The Social Imaginary Of Justice 5: Cold Comfort: Loss and Consolation 6: Selective Compassion and National Identity
Deidre Pribram is Assistant Professor in Communication Arts & Sciences at Molloy College.