In your face! Analysing public political performance as communication

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dc.contributor.author Rättilä, Tiina
dc.date.accessioned 2012-12-05T07:25:13Z
dc.date.available 2012-12-05T07:25:13Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.isbn 978-951-44-8969-3 -
dc.identifier.issn 1456-954X -
dc.identifier.uri http://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/67917
dc.description.abstract Väitöstutkimus analysoi julkisia poliittisia performansseja poliittisena viestintänä. Poliittiset performanssit voidaan ymmärtää julkisissa tiloissa toimeen pantuina ’näytöksinä’, joiden tavoitteena on luoda arkisiin rutiineihin yllättäviä katkoksia ja synnyttää uutta toimintatilaa jonkin yhteiskunnallisen ongelman esiin nostamiseksi. Performanssit synnyttävät katkoksia monin tavoin, mutta erityisen leimallista niille on näkyvän, vallalla olevan visuaalisen järjestyksen murtaminen tuomalla siihen erilaisia ’häiritseviä’ (disruptive) elementtejä: resistoivia kehoja, valtaa parodioivia kuvia, karnevalistista protestointia, katuteatteria jne. Poliittisten performanssien viestintä perustuu puheen sijaan tai ohella toimijoiden oman kehon ja sen kantamien erilaisten visuaalisten merkkien julkiseen esittämiseen, joskus hyvin äärimmäisellä tavalla, kuten esimerkiksi nälkälakoissa ja polttoitsemurhissa. Väitöskirjassa tällaista viestintätyyliä kutsutaan visuaaliseksi ja esteettiseksi politikoinniksi. Tutkimuksessa analysoidaan useita esimerkkejä performatiivisesta poliittisesta viestinnästä ja kehitetään teoreettisia ideoita sen ominaispiirteiden tulkitsemiseksi. fi
dc.description.abstract In this doctoral thesis I study a phenomenon which I have titled as public political performance. By public political performance I refer to a public event (a ’show’, display, demonstration) the purpose of which is to expose in public and challenge those social-political norms, practices, and relations of power which usually remain invisible in the sway of routine political life. I am interested especially in how performance works as a form of non-linguistic, or wider than linguistic, political communication. I theorize and analyze, through several illustrative examples, performances from three perspectives: as corporeal (bodily), visual, and aesthetic communication. In construction of theory I use and partly rework ideas from thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jacques Ranciere. The study shows that public political performance is a sensitive, even volatile phenomenon because it often manifestly exposes the fundamentally violent power structure of society – as when, for example, street demonstrations induce strong counter reactions from the police and political authorities – and puts this order under critical public scrutiny. Political authorities do not take such challenges lightly, which is why public performances sometimes instigate serious political controversies. The key theoretical ideas of the study relate to performance as something done and en/acted. On the one hand, performance discloses the nature of politics as a ‘doing.’ This means in simple terms that, in order to subsist, the political world needs to be done, performed, and ‘iterated,’ every time anew. The term performative describes this social-constructivist side of politics. That the constitution of the social and political power is based not on any ‘natural’ ground but on continuous re/iteration of certain ways and routines is often revealed only when it is visibly and noticeably disrupted. This is what political performance typically does. On the other hand, performance signifies a particular kind of public show which resembles but does not equal theatrical shows. Performance is theatrical in being an ‘art-like’ communicative act, yet it is more surprising and unpredictable compared to regular theatre and, because of this, usually more difficult to approach and interpret. Political performance as a contingent and sometimes oddly appearing public event with a surprise effect brings forth the importance of disruption for politics. It alerts us to situations where the normalized political performatives are being visibly questioned by bringing into public space – ‘in your face’ – diverse disrupting elements like resisting bodies, parodying images, and carnevalism. The relationship between these two, performatives and performances, creates an edgy and ‘chiasmatic’ political space from which much of political life gains its driving force. This basic idea and relationship constitute the key starting point for this study’s theoretical reflections. Political performance is an important subject for political studies for several reasons. The purely knowledge-based reason is that that in directing attention to the corporeal and visual aspects of politics and political communication, performance brings into view phenomena and conceptual possibilities which are too often ignored by political researchers and theorists. The relevance of performance for the field can also be justified from another perspective, through reference to its political and democratic significance. The discussions and analyses carried out in the study show that there are political circumstances where citizens see public performance as the only available means of participation in political communication, with other channels of communication forbidden or marginalized. There are also situations where citizens create, through setting up a performance, space for public communication and action where it has not existed before. Political performance as a way of contesting existing political realities can therefore have special value for political freedom. Political and democratic theory needs to understand, I shall argue, also that category of political action which performs political freedom rather than asks for it. en
dc.format.extent 219 -
dc.language.iso fi -
dc.publisher Tampere University Press -
dc.relation.isformatof 978-951-44-8968-6 -
dc.subject Performanssi fi
dc.subject Performatiivi fi
dc.subject Kehollisuus fi
dc.subject Visuaalisuus fi
dc.subject Esteettisyys fi
dc.subject Performance en
dc.subject Performative en
dc.subject Corporeality en
dc.subject Visuality en
dc.subject Aaestheticity en
dc.title In your face! Analysing public political performance as communication -
dc.title.alternative Performanssi tulee iholle! Analyysi julkisesta poliittisesta performanssista kommunikaationa -
dc.type.ontasot fi=Väitöskirja (monografia) | en=Doctoral dissertation (monograph)| -
dc.identifier.urn URN:ISBN:978-951-44-8969-3 -
dc.relation.numberinseries 1781 -
dc.seriesname Acta Universitatis Tamperensis -
dc.administrativeunit fi=Johtamiskorkeakoulu | en=School of Management| -
dc.relation.issnprinted 1455-1616 -
dc.seriesname.electronic Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis -
dc.relation.numberinserieselectronic 1255 -
dc.publisher.electronic Tampere University Press -
dc.subject.study fi=Valtio-oppi | en=Political Science| -
dc.date.dissertation 2012-12-14
dc.onsale 1 -

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