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The Girl in the Corner: Aesthetics of Suffering in a Digitalized Space
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2071-349X
HUMlab, Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4240-6490
2015 (English)In: Narratives of Suffering: Meaning and Experience in a Transcultural Approach / [ed] Lolita Guimarães Guerra, Jose A. Nicdao, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2015, 105-115 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Internet may provide the means for otherwise marginalized groups – such asyoung people with mental health problems – to make their voices heard in public,and online representations are therefore an important source for studying howemotions are conceptualized and communicated in these groups. In an on-goingstudy of YouTube video montages on the subject of self-injury, we have found oneemblematic and frequently occurring character: a girl sitting alone in a corner, onthe floor, with drawn up knees and head bent down. Images of this character arewidespread, not only on YouTube but also on blogs, discussion forums and websites.Together with her likewise sitting ‘sisters’ – the girl on the swing, the girl on the pierand on the railway track – she is taken to represent young people’s unhappiness, painand misery. Our chapter sets out to explore in greater detail how this characteremerges as a signifier of gendered suffering in online contexts. We argue that itcontributes to an aestheticization of suffering that often seems to emanate from therejection of conventional ideals and hegemonic definitions of normality; theembracing of suffering might, thus, be used as a strategy for achieving socialdistinction. Also, we suggest in our chapter that the girl in the corner and similarrepresentations may be seen as facilitating certain emotional identifications,especially as regards gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2015. 105-115 p.
Keyword [en]
Aesthetics, emotions, gender, girls, femininity, identity, Internet, social media, suffering, representation.
National Category
Cultural Studies Art History Gender Studies Ethnology
Research subject
Humanities; Social Sciences, Gender Studies; Humanities, Art science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46044ISBN: 978-1-84888-361-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-46044DiVA: diva2:850912
Conference
4th Global Conference: Suffering: A Making Sense Of Project 10-12 November 2013
Projects
Media Places research program
Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2015-09-02 Created: 2015-09-02 Last updated: 2017-01-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf