The Centre aims to develop a rich seam of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of conflict, emotion and social justice. It brings together expertise in the disciplines of Journalism, Media, Law and the broader social sciences, adopting primarily a psychosocial and practice-based focus.
Full details of our research can be found in the dropdowns below:
Mediation and representation of conflict and disaster
The aim of the research under this theme is to explore how conflict and disaster are represented in today's media environment in mainstream, new and social media. Today’s technology allows us to witness events we would never have seen before in almost real time. But how does journalism deal with the ethical challenges posed by instant communication? How is user-generated content changing the way news stories are covered? What feelings are stirred up by such processes and how are they managed by those concerned? How do those feelings become entangled with the wider socio-political and cultural environment where discourses of risk and catastrophe provide a context for the work of journalists and other practitioners working in the field of conflict?
Public feeling and democracy
It is often said that we live in an age of anxiety, where the old social structures of selfhood and belonging have shifted and become unmoored. Such transformations have implications for our relationship to political, cultural and societal institutions and also the shaping of psychosocial identities within that shifting context. Research under this theme unpacks these ideas by looking at a number of overlapping areas that include the psychosocial drivers of polarisation and extremism; patterns of feeling underpinning the rise of different types of populism; the emotional foundations of good enough democratic processes; and questions of societal cohesion, including conflict and reconciliation, and the experience of shared values and a sense of belonging. Questions of leadership and the powerful emotions and fantasies that shape the identification with political leaders both in fictional and non-fictional contexts also contribute to the research under this theme.
The performance of emotion
This research theme addresses the ways in which emotion is performed in a variety of psychosocial settings and it analyses their representation (factual and fictional) in terrains such as political culture, film, documentary, animation and news media. Today, the boundary between public and private experience is increasingly blurred as emotional experience and its performance is increasingly prominent in different contexts. The research under this theme takes account of the ‘emotional turn’ in culture and society, and explores its impact upon the self in conjunction with the role of affect and unconscious fantasy. For example, this research addresses the performance of emotion in relation to the notion of casino politics and also narcissistic styles of leadership in age of populism and celebrity politics. Researchers under this theme also explore the emotional work of creative practitioners that address the tensions between the emotionalisation of politics and news journalism and normative values of objectivity and detachment. Those distinctions also tap into the gendering of emotion, its meanings in both public life and in more personal settings where the power dynamics of emotion take on a particular significance. Alongside more traditional forms of research, practice-based researchers under this theme set out to capture affective experience and its expression through the use of location video, the television studio, sound and animation, working across both documentary and drama.
Journalism and trauma - safety and representation of survivors of trauma
It sometimes feels as though our daily diet of news is dominated by unrelenting violence, disaster and personal tragedy. How does journalism report responsibly and ethically on these news stories and on people caught up in traumatic events? And how can journalists safeguard their own mental health when exposed to constant depictions of suffering? This research theme explores a topic that until recently was hardly discussed among journalists where a once macho culture stigmatised issues of trauma and emotion. Today, however, there is an increasing focus on how journalists can best interview people caught up in violent news stories without running the risk of re-traumatisation. This research theme investigates the tensions between journalism’s normative values of objectivity and detachment, and empathic interview techniques designed to gain the trust of victims and survivors of trauma. A related theme explores the affective dimension of journalism practice and the relationship between emotion, trauma and objectivity norms.
New affective methodologies
As events swirl around us and we try to make sense of our lives in the context of the huge, complicated narratives of the contemporary world, a single conversation, expression or gesture or even an image of the landscape we inhabit will sometimes bring events into focus. Research under this theme explores the ways in which new methodologies can be developed in order to capture the emotional complexities and affective experience of the late modern world. Such methods apply new qualitative psychosocial understandings of film, video and animation practice to communicate how people think and feel and capture the ways in which thought and feeling are inseparable when listening to and understanding the complexities of contemporary experience. The kinds of methods that are deployed under this theme include ethnography, reflexivity and free associative narrative research to acknowledge the role of affect and the interweaving of social and psychological processes in shaping the research experience and its findings. Examples of such methods in action include: participatory models of filmmaking to address conflict within the home, the use of video to turn research data into the 'felt' experience of being a patient living with pain; using art and animation to work through the relational dynamics of mother-daughter relationships in China, and hosting reflective psychosocial groups to work through the conflicts between Brexit ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’.
Conflict resolution, transitional justice, truth and marginalised communities
For survivors of conflict and human rights abuses, the normality of their everyday life, family and social fabric may be lost forever. Each has an individual story of suffering and loss and of lessons learnt, though often such voices are not heard. Research under this theme unpacks the theory and practice of so-called ‘conflict resolution’ and ‘transitional justice’, and also the emotions that underpin them, to explore the meaning and interplay between the perspectives of individuals and affected communities using rights-based and other approaches. The ubiquity of displaced peoples and the psychosocial struggles they face are also found in cultural and media representations where discourses of marginalisation are articulated and contribute to the environment in which the experiences of suffering, loss and hope take place, thereby providing a further context for this area of research.
News from the Centre for the Study of Conflict, Emotion and Social Justice
Fowler-Watt, K. The auto/biographical journalist and stories of lived experience, Career Construction Theory and Life Writing Special Edition of Life Writing.
Jukes, S., 2019. Reporting Global While Being Local - Commentary for Special Issue of Journalism Studies. Journalism Studies, 20(12), pp.1798-1802.
Kang, K., 2019. On the problem of the justification of river rights. Water International, 44 (6-7), 667-683.
Kang, K., 2019. Reformulating ‘Holism’ in hydropower decision-making. Systems Research and Behavioural Science.
Richards, B., 2019. Beyond the angers of populism. Journal of Psychosocial Studies 12(1-2):171-183.
Richards, B., 2019. The postmodern election. In, Daniel Jackson, Einar Thorsen, Darren Lilleker and Nathalie Weidhase, eds. (2019) UK Election Analysis 2019: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Early reflections from leading academics. Bournemouth: CPMR, Bournemouth University.
Yates, C., 2019. ‘The Psychodynamics of Casino Culture and Politics’. Journal of Psychosocial Studies, (12) 3: 217-230.
Yates, C., 2019. Emotion, Affect, in Stavrakakis, Y. (Ed.) Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory. New York: Routledge.
Yates, C., 2019. Unleashing Optimism in an Age of Anxiety. In, Daniel Jackson, Einar Thorsen, Darren Lilleker and Nathalie Weidhase, eds. (2019) UK Election Analysis 2019: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Early reflections from leading academics. Bournemouth: CPMR, Bournemouth University.
Prof Stephen Jukes - Professor of Journalism
Dr Jenny Alexander - Senior Lecturer in Media and Advertising
Dr Catalin Brylla - Lecturer (Academic) in Film and Television
Dr Roman Gerodimos - Associate Professor of Global Current Affairs
Dr Antje Glueck - Lecturer in Multi-Media Journalism
Martine Hardwick - Lecturer (Academic) in Law
Dr Trevor Hearing - Principal Academic
Andrea Jarman - Senior Lecturer (Academic) in Law
Dr Kenneth Kang - Postdoctoral Researcher in Public International Law
Dr Melanie Klinkner - Principal Academic in Law
Dr Max Lowenstein - Senior Lecturer (Academic) in Law
Dr Jamie Matthews - Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media
Gaye Orr - Lecturer (Academic) in Law
Prof Barry Richards - Professor of Political Psychology
Dr Ellie Smith - Researcher on AHRC Funded Project
Dr Chindu Sreedharan - Principal Academic in Journalism & Communication
Dr Sue Sudbury - Principal Academic in Media Production
Michael Sunderland - Lecturer (Academic) in Multimedia Journalism
Professor Einar Thorsen - Professor of Journalism and Communication
Dr Christa Van Raalte - Head of Department - Media
Dr Savvas Voutyras - Lecturer (Academic) in Politics
Jonathan Whittle - Lecturer (Academic) in Law
Prof Candida Yates - Professor of Culture and Communication
Michael Koufalitakis (MRes)
Siobhan Lennon Patience
Luke Nwibo Eda