cover of book
 

Gestures of Concern
by Chris Ingraham
Duke University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-1-4780-0951-1 | Cloth: 978-1-4780-0858-3 | eISBN: 978-1-4780-1217-7
Library of Congress Classification JA75.7.I54 2020

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In Gestures of Concern Chris Ingraham shows that while gestures such as sending a “Get Well” card may not be instrumentally effective, they do exert an intrinsically affective force on a field of social relations. From liking, sharing, posting, or swiping to watching a TED Talk or wearing an “I Voted” sticker, such gestures operate as much through affective registers as they do through overt symbolic action. Ingraham demonstrates that gestures of concern are central to establishing the necessary conditions for larger social or political change because they give the everyday aesthetic and rhetorical practices of public life the capacity to attain some socially legible momentum. Rather than supporting the notion that vociferous public communication is the best means for political and social change, Ingraham advances the idea that concerned gestures can help to build the affective communities that orient us to one another with an imaginable future in mind. Ultimately, he shows how acts that many may consider trivial or banal are integral to establishing those background conditions capable of fostering more inclusive social or political change.
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