Alberto J. Ribes
March 8, 2011
People in the contemporary global social realm are increasingly working, attending, watching, participating in, sympathising with, supporting, organising and studying global media events. These events could be considered as being naturally global and mediated through new technologies while implying certain collective ritual performances, both spectacular and cyclical. Furthermore, they produce their own emotional climate and emotional dynamics, and they have been portrayed as special moments in which cultural meaning is (re)shaped and made clearly visible. This article draws upon neo-durkheimian and post-durkheimian approaches together with certain insights from the sociology of emotions in an effort to present a post-durkheimian theory of global media events. Specifically, it focuses on global media events in terms of cultural meanings and cognition, emotion and ritual performances. I will explore what Hoover refers to as the actual form or constitution of the phenomenon itself, its elements, its extents, its limits as a way of rethinking global media events. It also discusses the breach-outcome problem, which has dominated this field. Perhaps, the myth of the social coherence and social continuity has obscured our knowledge of global media events. These discussions will lead me to consider whether it is reasonable to consider global media events as increasingly autonomous global social situations that may constitute a global media event culture.