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Edited by Hein-Anton van der Heijden
Chapter 14: Social movements and emotions
In the US in the 1970s and 1980s, research on social movements equated social movements with political ‘challengers’ seeking to capture or gain influence over the state in opposition to the ‘incumbents’ (Tilly, 1978). Or it posited an analogy between social movements and industry: it cast movement leaders as ‘movement entrepreneurs’ and mobilized individuals as rational actors who seek to realize their goals by choosing between different ‘movement organizations’ (McCarthy and Zald, 1977). About the same time, the sociology of emotions emerged, but was neither well-known nor appreciated. This entry starts by presenting early research on emotions and social protest, focusing on the role of anger and loyalty. Thereafter two widely received US approaches to the study of emotions in social movements and the ‘emotional turn’ receive much attention. Research on single transformative and ‘nagging’ protest events that tear up the self-congratulatory social and political fabric is presented next. Finally, I highlight emotions emerging during the interactions between social movements and various government institutions, within nation-states, and across state borders. Criticisms and remarks concerning future research directions close this contribution.
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