By Benjamin Lamb-Books
This e-book is an unique program of rhetoric and moral-emotions idea to the sociology of social routine. It promotes a brand new interdisciplinary imaginative and prescient of what social activities are, why they exist, and the way they reach achieving momentum over the years. Deepening the affective size of cultural sociology, this paintings attracts upon the social psychology of human emotion and interpersonal conversation. in particular, the ebook revolves round the subject of anger as a special ethical emotion that may be made to play an important motivational and generative services in protest. The chapters improve a brand new concept of the emotional strength of protest rhetoric, together with how abolitionist performances of heterodoxic racial and gender prestige imaginaries contributed to the escalation of the ‘sectional clash’ over American slavery.
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Additional resources for Angry Abolitionists and the Rhetoric of Slavery: Moral Emotions in Social Movements
Even when anger erupts at a perceived insult to the self, from a personal experience of a status–power threat, the trigger is often the perception of injustice, some unfairness or perceived moral violation of reciprocity and the social order over and above self-interests. As for the internal emotional dynamics of social movements on the other hand—the social–psychological processes of intensification—the production of egocentric anger is very effective in sustaining momentum, even more so than altruistic anger by itself.
This is certainly not an unprecedented insight. But it seems to be a forgotten one or, at best, an underappreciated one in recent studies of social change. MIN(D)ING THE MORAL EMOTIONS Moral emotions are embodied dispositional responses toward the fulfillment or violation of certain socioemotional expectations at least partly innate to human beings. In other words, we human mammals are especially sensitive to social slights and offenses. Though sociologists more often focus on the culturally constructed components of emotion, the emotional brain seems at least partly hard-wired to be responsive to community, reciprocity, and status offense.
In this way, abolitionist protest rhetoric seamlessly blurs altruistic and egocentric moral emotions together. AFFECT, BIG RHETORIC, CREATIVITY: A NEW ABCS OF SOCIAL CHANGE ‘Indignant hearts’ abounded in abolitionism. While the presence of anger has been well observed in previous social movement research, as reviewed above, I approach it as one of the moral emotions in this work, giving a more foundational role to them and the rhetorical creativity they stimulate 42 B. LAMB-BOOKS and are stimulated by.