Compassionate Celebritization: Unpacking the “True feelings” of the Danish people in the media reporting on a deportation case

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstrakt

This article introduces the concept of compassionate celebritization as a framework for analyzing how Danish media reporting on a deportation case enacted a transformation of its subjects, a young child, and her mother, from deportable migrants to celebritized Danish citizens. I suggest that the reporting subjected the migrants to a process of celebritization premised on the affectivity of the white Danish public’s compassionate intervention in their situation. The analysis demonstrates how celebritization unfolded compassion as a “true feeling” of the Danish people, orientating emotionally towards the migrants as worthy objects of white Danish compassion, most significantly through the positing of the figure of “the innocent child.” Additionally, the reporting framed the compassionate intervention as a restoration of a forgotten Danish humanitarianism. This happened through a displacement of the object of emotion to the Danish public itself, and an orientation towards it of pride and being moved by the efforts made to intervene. The celebritization also became a celebrated revelation of the “true” character of the Danish people, which gained the momentum to act as a force for good in the face of the inhuman decision made by the state authorities.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftFeminist Media Studies
ISSN1468-0777
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 29 sep. 2020

Emneord

  • celebritization
  • migration
  • whiteness
  • affect
  • nation

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