The multiplicity and coherence of us

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis sets out to investigate the affective dynamics of doing community in response to terror by taking as a site of inquiry the attack in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2017. It studies how emotive expressions of multicultural openness could operate at the same time as heightened security measures were perceived as legitimate. By departing from the literature on responses to terrorism, it explores a hashtag, #openstockholm, and a ‘Love Manifestation’ through the theoretical lens of assemblages. In doing so, the thesis shows how these sites made use of a set of heterogeneous entities in order to produce strong affective expressions. Urban traits, such as the adaptability to crises, the high density of the city, and the square as a site for togetherness, were used in the assemblages in order to produce positive affective expressions. However, by drawing on xenophobic forces as an Other, together with calls for affective unity, a nationalistic boundary for the felt community were produced. In relation to the previous literature, the thesis contributes by making visible how the national community is produced affectively through both symbolic and non-symbolic aspects. Furthermore, it points to how such dynamics can be produced without an orchestrating sovereign.

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