News Media and the Emotional Public Sphere| The Emotional Economy of the European Financial Crisis in the UK Press

Tereza Capelos, Theofanis Exadaktylos, Stavroula Chrona, Maria Poulopoulou


This article examines the individual, collective, and social emotions embedded in media discussions of the financial crisis. Emotional experiences toward crises and the political institutions associated with them serve as valuable tools for understanding how citizens think and feel in the public sphere. We highlight over-time links between individual, collective, and social emotionality as we analyze the content of UK media representations of the European financial crisis from 2009 to 2012. We code editorials from journalists and commentaries from experts, public figures, and opinion leaders published in four UK newspapers and identify the valence and affective tone of individual, collective, and social expressions of anger, fear, disappointment, hope, pride, and compassion. We also examine how these interlinked levels of emotional talk underpin blame attributions. This article advances the systematic understanding of the impact of the financial crisis on public opinion and considers its contribution toward European integration attitudes as Brexit was introduced in public debates during this time.


media representations, emotions, financial crisis, affect, blame, public opinion

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