Antonia Thies: “Sentimentality and State-Society Relations: The Consolidation of Collective Identities in Gulf Monarchies”
Sentimentality and State-Society Relations: The Consolidation of Collective Identities in Gulf Monarchies
Antonia’s research project examines the forms and functions of sentimentality in the consolidation of collective identities using the example of selected Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait). The project analyzes the role of emotions and affects, as well as sentimentality as a relational code of communication that oscillates between the present and the past. It aims to examine the new negotiation processes of state-society relations in the Gulf in the course of the emerging post-oil era. Concurrently, it aims to fill the gaps in the current state of research regarding possible non-material aspects of the durability of political orders. Accordingly, an investigation will be conducted into the extent to which memory practices in the course of new heritage projects achieve an activation of emotional knowledge stocks, which take place through recourse to past repertoires. The project examines the loci of the sentimental in the arts and cultural sector as well as around national holidays. An investigation of the reciprocal character of the sentimental is therefore indispensable and thus places the focus of this study on bottom-up analyses of the perceptions and thus affective reactions of the population in the context of individual countries.