Politics, affect and intimacy : the mediated sentencing of Metiria Turei
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Citation:Robson, M. (2017). Politics, Affect and Intimacy: The mediated sentencing of Metiria Turei. Pūrātoke: Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Creative Arts and Industries,1(1), 139-146. ISSN: 2538-0133. Unitec ePress. Retrieved from: http://www.unitec.ac.nz/epress
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4037
This essay shifts current discussions of political analysis from the informative to the affective, using intimacy as a conceptual lens through which to consider matters of the public sphere and their mediated repurcussions. Earlier this year, in the lead-up to the 2017 general election, Metiria Turei (the former co-leader of the Green Party) publicly admitted having committed benefit fraud in the early 1990s. Although the statement was made strategically – in the hopes of eliciting a political conversation about the failings of the welfare state – Turei was soon after met with a tsunami of vicious scrutiny from mainstream media outlets, which eventually led to her resignation as co-leader of the party. Using the Turei scandal as a case study, this essay examines the myriad functions that ‘private’ matters can have in the public realm, from the transformative to the destructive; the formative to the divisive. Robson unpacks the discursive frameworks through which Turei’s loudest critics cast their sentences, considering the ways in which they illuminate the pedagogies of privilege (whiteness, masculinity, class) that continue to overwhelm and inform ‘objective’ journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand. Ultimately, this essay showcases the vast complexities of public intimacies, inviting the reader to reflect on both the transformative potential of affective politics and the persisting power structures that continue to contort their enactment.
Keywords:Turei, Metiria (1970-), Green Party (N.Z.), New Zealand general election (2017), public/private, mass media, social media, politicians, mediated life, New Zealand journalism, white privilege
ANZSRC Field of Research:160608 New Zealand Government and Politics, 160512 Social Policy, 2001 Communication and Media Studies
Copyright Holder:Unitec ePress
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