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Performing the Repentant Lover in the Courtroom: An Analysis of Oscar Pistorius’ Recreation of Hegemonic Masculinity

  • Alexandra MachtEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Michel Foucault (1980) presented social theorists with a consideration of power as existing everywhere. Furthermore, Jonathan Heaney (J Polit Power 6:355–362, 2013) recently asserted that emotions and power should be considered conceptual counterparts. I propose that what Foucault referred in terms of the omnipresence of power refers to its deeply social connection to emotions. One emotion, in particular, romantic love, has captured the sociological imagination not only at the level of personal relationships but also in connection with capitalism, as an ideology spurring consumption and influencing the construction of discourses and places. This chapter presents an analysis of the trial of Oscar Pistorius and the analysis plays on two levels: (a) firstly, through his courtroom interactions with members of the defence, and (b) through my eyes as a viewer, witnessing the trial on television. The televised South African courtroom becomes a space for the portrayal of a power-suffused masculine identity, which is emotionally constituted through emotional control and emotional release.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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