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Distant Suffering
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  • Cited by 478
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Kogen, Lauren 2019. News You Can Use or News That Moves?. Journalism Practice, Vol. 13, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Scheibelhofer, Paul 2019. Refugee Protection and Civil Society in Europe. p. 193.

    Cantat, Celine and Feischmidt, Margit 2019. Refugee Protection and Civil Society in Europe. p. 379.

    Burrell, Kathy and Hörschelmann, Kathrin 2019. Perilous Journeys: Visualising the Racialised “Refugee Crisis”. Antipode, Vol. 51, Issue. 1, p. 45.

    Bobel, Chris 2019. The Managed Body. p. 169.

    Feischmidt, Margit and Zakariás, Ildikó 2019. Refugee Protection and Civil Society in Europe. p. 59.

    Corcoran, Mary S 2019. Spectacular suffering: Transgressive performance in penal activism. Theoretical Criminology, p. 136248061881979.

    Doboš, Pavel 2019. The problem of different post-colonial spatial contexts in television news about distant wartime suffering. International Communication Gazette, p. 174804851882260.

    García-González, Macarena 2018. Post-representational Cultural Memory for Children in Chile: From La Composición to Bear Story. Children's Literature in Education,

    Chernobrov, Dmitry 2018. Who is the modern ‘traitor’? ‘Fifth column’ accusations in US and UK politics and media. Politics, p. 026339571877621.

    Vollmer, Bastian and Karakayali, Serhat 2018. The Volatility of the Discourse on Refugees in Germany. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, Vol. 16, Issue. 1-2, p. 118.

    Gilroy, Paul 2018. “Where every breeze speaks of courage and liberty”: Offshore Humanism and Marine Xenology, or, Racism and the Problem of Critique at Sea Level. Antipode, Vol. 50, Issue. 1, p. 3.

    Ågerup, Karl 2018. Knowing an Arab: Yasmina Khadra and the aesthetics of didactic fiction. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 59, Issue. 2, p. 180.

    Hinkson, Melinda 2018. In and Out of Place: Ethnography as ‘Journeying With’ Between Central and South Australia. Oceania, Vol. 88, Issue. 3, p. 254.

    Golemboski, David 2018. The impartiality of Smith’s spectator: The problem of parochialism and the possibility of social critique. European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 17, Issue. 2, p. 174.

    Cronin, Anne M. 2018. Public Relations Capitalism. p. 75.

    Vignato, Silvia 2018. The effects of a merciful heart. South East Asia Research, Vol. 26, Issue. 1, p. 85.

    Rae, Maria Holman, Rosa and Nethery, Amy 2018. Self-represented witnessing: the use of social media by asylum seekers in Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres. Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 40, Issue. 4, p. 479.

    Markham, Tim 2018. Affective solidarity and mediated distant suffering: In defence of mere feltness. International Journal of Cultural Studies, p. 136787791881061.

    Xu, Bin 2018. Commemorating a difficult disaster: Naturalizing and denaturalizing the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China. Memory Studies, Vol. 11, Issue. 4, p. 483.


Book description

Distant Suffering, first published in 1999, examines the moral and political implications for a spectator of the distant suffering of others as presented through the media. What are the morally acceptable responses to the sight of suffering on television, for example, when the viewer cannot act directly to affect the circumstances in which the suffering takes place? Luc Boltanski argues that spectators can actively involve themselves and others by speaking about what they have seen and how they were affected by it. Developing ideas in Adam Smith's moral theory, he examines three rhetorical 'topics' available for the expression of the spectator's response to suffering: the topics of denunciation and of sentiment and the aesthetic topic. The book concludes with a discussion of a 'crisis of pity' in relation to modern forms of humanitarianism. A possible way out of this crisis is suggested which involves an emphasis and focus on present suffering.

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