Cultural Sociology

Social Tragedy

The Power of Myth, Ritual, and Emotion in the New Media Ecology

Authors: Baker, S.

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About this book

A social tragedy is a collective representation of injustice. Baker demonstrates how social tragedies facilitate moral action and discusses a series of contemporary case studies – the death of Princess Diana, Zinédine Zidane's 2006 World Cup scandal, KONY 2012 – to examine their social and political effects.

Reviews

"Social Tragedy illuminates the contours of late modernity by reviving and revitalizing the social ethics of Plato and Aristotle as a means of understanding our commitments and vulnerabilities enacted through the rituals in which we find ourselves, as participants and spectators. Baker's achievements in this book are immense, linking our media-mediated experiences with classic imagery in an accessible text as thoughtful as it is insightful." - Jack Barbalet, Chair Professor in Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR China

"Philosophically sophisticated and political relevant Baker's book includes a dizzying array of case studies that fascinate and surprise, from the death of Diana Princess of Wales to Zinedine Zidane's coup de boule. A wonderful read offering a new repertoire of ideas to understand the relationship between the tragic and social life." - Les Back, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

"Social tragedy is usually mediated through pity and fear. The disturbing dislocation in order which is the raw nub of tragedy is hijacked and used as a launching pad for reflections on power, justice and democracy. Baker's book is scene-changing. By adroitly relating tragedy to myth and social transformation it provides that most unexpected thing: an optimistic reading of tragedy. Her book lays down the twin challenges of relating personal tragedy to tragic times, and offers a compelling account of why society needs the raw nub of disturbing dislocation. This is cultural sociology with its eyes wide open: a recommended and admirable achievement." - Chris Rojek, Professor of Sociology, City University, UK

"Stephanie Alice Baker's erudite, path-breaking book enlists Aristotle, Plato and Durkheim (among others) in making sense of the mediated performance of emotion, astutely applying her concept of 'social tragedy' to subjects as diverse as Lady Diana's funeral, Zinedine Zidane's infamous head-butt, English street riots, KONY 2012, Occupy and the Arab Spring. This smart cultural sociological take on collective representation makes a compelling case for social tragedy's capacity to guide moral action and stimulate political change." - David Rowe, Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney, Australia


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: Plato’s Challenge

    Baker, Stephanie Alice

    Pages 1-19

  • What is a Social Tragedy?

    Baker, Stephanie Alice

    Pages 21-45

  • Performing Social Tragedy: Exploring the “New British Spirit” a Decade Beyond the Death of Princess Diana

    Baker, Stephanie Alice

    Pages 47-73

  • Recalling Social Tragedy: Staging Zinédine Zidane’s Transgression on France’s Postcolonial Arena

    Baker, Stephanie Alice

    Pages 75-109

  • Mediating Social Tragedy: the 2011 English Riots and the Emergence of the “Mediated Crowd”

    Baker, Stephanie Alice

    Pages 111-147

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-37913-9
  • Digitally watermarked, no DRM
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • eBooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Download immediately after purchase
Hardcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-38613-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-48150-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • This title is currently reprinting. You can pre-order your copy now.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Social Tragedy
Book Subtitle
The Power of Myth, Ritual, and Emotion in the New Media Ecology
Authors
Series Title
Cultural Sociology
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-37913-9
DOI
10.1057/9781137379139
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-38613-7
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-48150-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 224
Topics