Bodies on the Edge. Approaching a Facebook Photo Album with Images of an “Extreme Weekend”

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Roswitha BRECKNER, Sociology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
When looking at images in Social Media, the depiction of bodies plays a major role. They are part of almost every thinkable social context: professional and public up to private and even intimate, even if these distinctions have become blurry. Among these contexts, so-called party-images are an interesting phenomena. They show situations of joy and happiness, but also bodies and faces that do not appear nice at all, indicating drug use of different kinds and showing gestures and interactions ‘on the edge’. It is not clear where these situations, which can be seen as a moment of group crisis (Turner), are leading and who is or is not in control of the situation. Dealing with a concrete Facebook Photo Album which was titled by the album producer as ‘extreme weekend’, I will explore a) what it meant for the situation that these images were made, and b) what it meant to the album producer to show these images to her Facebook friends. A combination of Visual Segment Analysis (Breckner), Figurative Hermeneutics (Müller), and Biographical Case Reconstruction based on a narrative biographical interview (Rosenthal) will be drawn upon in order to answer these questions.