Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Affect in Media and Communication Studies: Potentials and Assemblages

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Abstract:  After a general mapping of the different understandings of affect, this article focuses on two aspects of a Deleuze-Guattarian understanding of affect which are of particular relevance for media and communication studies. The first is understanding affect as potential. It is through the forces of encounter that bodies are affected and that these affections then can be turned into action, into their capacity to affect. The second is understanding the perpetual becoming that takes place through continual encounters between bodies; with each encounter, the body changes, however slightly and subtly. The concept of assemblage that allows one to grasp these dynamics and complexities is discussed as an approach towards a much more complex theoretical grounding for processes of agency and power. Working with affect in media and communication studies, a three-fold strategy will be presented: to analyse how media generate affects and capitalise on them; to analyse what media do—in the sense of mobilizing potential; to analyse phenomena of mediated communication as assemblages. The article ends with challenges and new paths for conducting research on affect.

Keywords:  affect; affections; assemblage; communication; media; structure of feeling; virtual/actual



© Brigitte Hipfl. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.