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Fear, hope, anger, and guilt in climate activism

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare J. Kleres
Åsa Wettergren
Publicerad i Social Movement Studies
Volym 16
Nummer/häfte 5
Sidor 507-519
ISSN 1474-2837
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 507-519
Språk en
Länkar www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.108...
Ämnesord Fear, hope, anger, guilt, emotion, social movements, collective action, social-movements, emotional man, Government & Law, Sociology
Ämneskategorier Sociologi

Sammanfattning

Analyzing fear, hope, anger, and guilt in climate activism, we consider these pivotal emotions to climate activists. The way they are managed affects activists' motivations and mobilizing strategies. This argument builds on the theoretical premise that emotions energize and orient all actions. Qualitative interviews were carried out with climate activists in Denmark, Sweden, and at two UNFCCC Conferences of Youth. Our analysis shows that fear motivates action by raising awareness of the threat of climate catastrophe. The paralyzing potential of fear is mediated by hope: Hope propels action while (collective) action generates hope and manages fear. The danger-alerting capacity of fear is embraced 'internally', but rejected as an effective emotion in mobilization. Instead, a hopeful positive message' is emphasized by activists from the Global North. Anger is treated cautiously as an emotion to be pacified/transformed and guilt/blaming is largely rejected too. There is a different pattern in the southern narratives. Here hope, guilt, and anger combine to manage acute fear. Hope lies in collective action but also in the angry ascription of responsibility to the North. Contrasting the North, acute fear is thus managed by anger. Different patterns of emotion management derive from different political and socio-material contexts/experiences.

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