Emotions and Social Movements: Twenty Years of Theory and Research
Posted: 16 Jul 2011
Date Written: August 2011
The past 20 years have seen an explosion of research and theory into the emotions of protest and social movements. At one extreme, general theoretical statements about emotions have established their importance in every aspect of political action. At the other, the origins and influence of many specific emotions have been isolated as causal mechanisms. This article offers something in between, a typology of emotional processes aimed not only at showing that not all emotions work the same way, but also at encouraging research into how different emotions interact with one another. This should also help us overcome a residual suspicion that emotions are irrational, as well as avoid the overreaction, namely demonstrations that emotions help (and never hurt) protest mobilization and goals.
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