By Benjamin Lamb-Books
This booklet is an unique program of rhetoric and moral-emotions conception to the sociology of social pursuits. It promotes a brand new interdisciplinary imaginative and prescient of what social events 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 verbal exchange. in particular, the e-book revolves round the subject of anger as a distinct ethical emotion that may be made to play the most important motivational and generative features in protest. The chapters strengthen a brand new thought of the emotional energy 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 info for Angry Abolitionists and the Rhetoric of Slavery: Moral Emotions in Social Movements
In reception fields, status-differentiations and rhetorical agencies mutually condition each other. In other words, status significations and imaginaries are being appealed to, performed, and renegotiated through discourse. This is an ongoing and highly emotional process structured by the relational, interactional ‘status-power matrix’ (a temporal process much more fluid than Bourdieu’s ‘field’ concept; see Chap. 7 for more detail). Status is a highly transposable currency that can be exchanged through creative rhetorical performances (as well as other forms of discourse not relevant to this paper).
On the other hand, many mid-century sociologists conflated status deterministically with large reified social structures like class and ethnicity (and with social networks, for a more recent iteration of this tendency, see Collins 2000). The public contentious gatherings of social movements are typically comprised of political outsiders or nonelites who participate in symbolic demonstrations external to the headquarters of power (Goldberg 1991; Staggenborg 2011; Tarrow 2011). Grassroots protesters either lack access or refuse the resources of coercion.
Because of racial and gendered inequalities, some expressions of anger were not tolerated among minority groups subordinated by and within the movement (Chaps. 5 and 6 extend this point). Many black abolitionists were tired of constant disrespect in everyday civil society and chronic stereotyping by their white colleagues. Some feared for the lives of their families or feared of their own possible abduction by slave-traffickers. In general, the abolitionists were frustrated with their relative powerlessness and found anger to be an effective emotion for summoning continued confidence and strength when the situation seemed to be worsening.
Angry Abolitionists and the Rhetoric of Slavery: Moral Emotions in Social Movements by Benjamin Lamb-Books