The Global Circulation of Affect: The Case of Iodide Tablets

  • Katja ValaskiviEmail author
  • Anna Rantasila
  • Mikihito Tanaka
  • Risto Kunelius


This chapter examines the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster through circulation of affect in a hybrid media environment. Using the news coverage of potassium iodide tablet buying sprees in the Northern Hemisphere in March 2011 as its case study, this chapter examines how affect sticks and circulates in the news coverage, as areas outside Japan anticipated and speculated about the possible nuclear fallout from Fukushima Daiichi. The chapter introduces the notion of affective discipline and uses it to illustrate how distinct cultural tropes are used to manage circulation of affect during a crisis. Moreover, this chapter suggests that acts of affective discipline render visible the dual role of the public in crisis reporting: represented as panicky but addressed as rational.


Circulation of affect Hybrid media environment Potassium iodide tablets Fukushima disaster 


  1. Ahmed, S. (2004a). Affective economies. Social Text, 79(22), 117–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed, S. (2004b). The cultural politics of emotion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ahmed, S. (2010a). Creating disturbance. Feminism, happiness and affective differences. In M. Liljeström & S. Paasonen (Eds.), Working with affect in feminist readings. Disturbing differences (pp. 31–44). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Ahmed, S. (2010b). Happy objects. In M. Gregg & G. J. Seigworth (Eds.), The affect theory reader (pp. 29–51). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Alexander, J. C. (2012). Trauma. A social theory. Cambridge, UK: Polity.Google Scholar
  6. Assmann, A., & Assmann, C. (2010). Neda – The career of a global icon. In A. Assmann & S. Conrad (Eds.), Memory in a global age. Discourses, practices and trajectories (pp. 225–242). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chadwick, A. (2017). The hybrid media system: Politics and power (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chung, S., & Lee, S. (2016). Crisis communication strategy on social media and the public’s cognitive and affective responses: A case of Foster Farms salmonella outbreak. Communication Research Reports, 33(4), 341–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coleman, R., & Wu, H. D. (2010). Proposing emotion as a dimension of affective agenda setting: Separating affect into two components and comparing their second-level effects. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 87(2), 315–327. Scholar
  10. Couldry, N. (2003). Media rituals: A critical approach. London: Routledge. Scholar
  11. Gamson, W. A., & Modigliani, A. (1989). Media discourse and public opinion on nuclear power: A constructionist approach. American Journal of Sociology, 95(1), 1–37. Scholar
  12. Gregg, M., & Seigworth, G. J. (2010). An inventory of shimmers. In M. Gregg & G. J. Seigworth (Eds.), The affect theory reader (pp. 1–25). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Jasanoff, S., & Kim, S.-H. (2009). Containing the atom: Sociotechnical imaginaries and nuclear power in the United States and South Korea. Minerva, 47, 119–146. Scholar
  14. Langlois, G., Elmer, G., McKelvey, F., & Deveraux, Z. (2009). Networked publics: The double articulation of code and politics on Facebook. Canadian Journal of Communication, 34(3), 415–434. Scholar
  15. Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the virtual: Movement, affect, sensation. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Oikkonen, V. (2017). Affect, technoscience and textual analysis: Interrogating the affective dynamics of the Zika epidemic through media texts. Social Studies of Science, 47(5), 681–702. Scholar
  17. Paasonen, S. (2015). A midsummer’s bonfire: Affective intensities of online debate. In K. Hillis, S. Paasonen, & M. Petit (Eds.), Networked affect (pp. 27–42). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Pantti, M., Wahl-Jorgensen, K., & Cottle, S. (2012). Disasters and the media. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  19. Papacharissi, Z. (2014). Affective publics. Sentiment, technology, and politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rantasila, A., Sirola, A., Kekkonen, A., Valaskivi, K., & Kunelius, R. (2018). #fukushima five years on: A multimethod analysis of Twitter on the anniversary of the nuclear disaster. International Journal of Communication, 12, 928–949.–8036/20180005.
  21. Riis, O., & Woodhead, L. (2010). A sociology of religious emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Scholar
  22. Rost, K., Stahel, L., & Frey, B. S. (2016). Digital social norm enforcement: Online firestorms in social media. PLoS One, 11(6). Scholar
  23. Solove, D. J. (2007). The future of reputation: Gossip, rumor, and privacy on the internet. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Sumiala, J., Tikka, M., Huhtamäki, J., & Valaskivi, K. (2016). #JeSuisCharlie: Towards a multi-method study of hybrid media events. Media and Communication, 4(4), 97–108. Scholar
  25. Sumiala, J., Valaskivi, K., Tikka, M., & Huhtamäki, J. (2018). Hybrid media events: The Charlie Hebdo attacks and global circulation of terrorist violence. Bingley: Emerald Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tarde, G. (1901). L’opinion et la foule. Paris: F. Alcan.Google Scholar
  27. Weart, S. R. (2012). The rise of nuclear fear. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wetherell, M. (2015). Trends in the turn to affect: A social psychological critique. Body & Society, 21(2), 139–166. Scholar
  29. Zelizer, B., & Allan, S. (Eds.). (2011). Journalism after September 11 (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katja Valaskivi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Rantasila
    • 1
  • Mikihito Tanaka
    • 2
  • Risto Kunelius
    • 1
  1. 1.Tampere UniversityTampereFinland
  2. 2.Waseda UniversityTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations