Emotions and Social Movements Activism

Friday, 20 July 2018: 12:30
Oral Presentation
Tova BENSKI, Social Sciences, College of Management Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel
Throughout history, social movements and mobilizations have played crucial roles in fostering or resisting economic, political, social and/cultural changes. Since the 1960s, there has been a growing academic interest in social movements that has generated different approaches, starting with the earlier Collective Behavior concerns with mobs, to structural strain models, to Resource Mobilization (RM), Political Process, Political Opportunity Structure theories, and Framing theories in the US, and the various New Social Movements (NSM) theories in Europe. In a sense, these theoretical formulations reflected both the changing theoretical and empirical fashion and knowledge that has accumulated since the 1960s, and the changing character of the social movements of the time. History and knowledge. These theories have explored various aspects of social movements starting with explaining their mobilization, to their organizational dilemmas, identities and culture. Despite the "cultural turn" in social sciences in the 1990s, social movements theories retain a "cognitive" focus and did not look at emotional processes or gave salience to emotions within their analyses. More recently, there has been a renewed interest in the emotional aspect of social movements mobilizations and activity, In this presentation, I would like to further enhance this direction of research and will focus on "Human Dignity" or more specifically on the violations of human dignity as the main situational factor stimulating the emergence of clusters of emotions that lead to mobilization. I will demonstrate this on the most recent progressive movements of Arab Spring, Southern Europe and OWS.