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'Dear Menie.' Emotions and engagement of Menie Grégoire's listeners

Authors
Journal
Réseaux The French journal of communication
0969-9864
Publisher
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
Volume
4
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3406/reso.1996.3308
Disciplines
  • Literature

Abstract

Summary: This article examines reactions to Menie Grégoire's radio confession programme (RTL, 1967-1981). The author argues that when biographical suffering is projected into the public sphere the listener's moral engagement needs to be questioned in a specific way, and that such questioning clarifies the different frameworks of participation contracted between the programme and its public. By studying a corpus of listener mail, three forms of engagement in the programme are identified: pity, appropriation and indignation. Each of these experiences introduces a particular way of representing personal problems in the public sphere (consolation, understanding and justice) and accompanies specific descriptions of ordinary uses of the programme. Hence, the question of social learning through the media cannot be understood independently of listeners' emotional involvement and justifications vis-à-vis the programme.

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