Feeling Intensely and Changing Radically. How Emotions Felt in Protest Lead to a Cultural Change

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: 411
Oral Presentation
Alice POMA , Social Science, UPO and EEHA-CSIC, Seville, Spain
The aim of the paper will be to present our proposal of analysis that links the emotions felt in protest and the transformations of consciousness and behaviour considered as outcomes of the protest.

Aware of the emotional intensity these experiences have and the importance of incorporating this dimension to the analysis, our objective will be to show how emotions motivate, discourage, radicalize and generate new outcomes out of the experience of struggle, giving a new meaning to the experience of protest. In order to do this, we will analyse the role of emotions in crucial moments of the protest, in which people decide to take part in the struggle and devote themselves to it, changing their way to see the world and their relationship and bond with other people in a process that leads to transformations of consciousness and behaviour and, finally, to their empowerment.

Based on previous empirical research where we have studied different experiences of movements, protest and resistance in Spain and Mexico (indignados, #yosoy132, two Oaxaca’s women collectives, Mexican anarcho-punk movement and a few resistances against dams and environmental conflicts in both countries) we propose an analysis that inverts the look to ordinary people who participate in these experiences in order to understand their deepest and least visible dynamics which macro-structural literature cannot perceive. The methodology that we have developed throughout our research is based on depth interviews, life story telling, focus groups and narrative analysis of the biographical material.

All in all, we want to prove that the emotional dimension is vital to understand and analyse the change of worldview that ordinary people experience when participating in protest and resistance; as well, it leads to a change in the perspective where protests are seen.