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Courtroom atmospheres: Affective dynamics in court sessions of criminal matter in Vienna
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the composition of affective atmospheres, emerging in court sessions of criminal matter in Vienna. The notion of atmosphere is used to explore collective affective qualities, emerging through the interplay between affective bodies and their environment. The focus provides as analytical frame for bringing forward the workings of affect in legal procedures. From a starting point in theories of affect and atmosphere, I cast light at how the affectively charged space is both monitored and beyond control. First, I trace affect through the lens of spatial arrangements of courtrooms. I show how the architectural and interior arrangements and aesthetics of courtrooms are expedient in creating resonance between the bodies and control over the situations, while being visual and material representations of law. Second, I trace affect in the relation between the bodies that produce atmosphere and regard for the bodily capacity to affect and be affected. I consider principles of criminal procedure structuring and disciplining affective bodies in courtrooms and the juridical labour entailing work on emotions. Third, I trace affect in the dynamics and changes of affective atmosphere by showing how atmospheric changes come about and are contested through intensification and ruptures in atmosphere. I discuss the compositions of affective atmosphere in relation to discipline and control converging with bodies entering the legal setting. The ethnographic material is collected through participant observation in one hundred court sessions, as well as through interviews with people involved. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 72
Keywords [en]
affect, atmosphere, courtroom, discipline, Vienna
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150312OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150312DiVA, id: diva2:1166777
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Available from: 2017-12-18 Created: 2017-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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