The madness that is the world: young activists' emotional reasoning and their participation in a local Occupy movement

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

Abstract

The focus of this paper is young people’s participation in the Occupy protest movement that emerged in the early autumn of 2011. Its concern is with the emotional dimensions of this and in particular the significance of emotions to the reasoning of young people who came to commit significant time and energy to the movement. Its starting point is the critique of emotions as narrowly subjective, whereby the passions that events like Occupy arouse are treated as beyond the scope of human reason. The rightful rejection of this reductionist argument has given rise to an interest in under- standings of the emotional content of social and political protest as normatively con- stituted, but this paper seeks a different perspective by arguing that the emotions of Occupy activists can be regarded as a reasonable force. It does so by discussing find- ings from long-term qualitative research with a Local Occupy movement somewhere in England and Wales. Using the arguments of social realists, the paper explores this data to examine why things matter sufficiently for young people to care about them and how the emotional force that this involves constitutes an indispensable source of reason in young activists’ decisions to become involved in Local Occupy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-182
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Review
Volume63
Issue numberS2
Early online date30 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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emotion
participation
protest movement
protest
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energy
event
time

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mizen, P. (2015). The madness that is the world: young activists' emotional reasoning and their participation in a local Occupy movement. Sociological review, 63(S2), 167-182, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.12267. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Keywords

  • young people
  • emotion
  • social movements
  • occupy
  • reason reasoning

Cite this

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abstract = "The focus of this paper is young people’s participation in the Occupy protest movement that emerged in the early autumn of 2011. Its concern is with the emotional dimensions of this and in particular the significance of emotions to the reasoning of young people who came to commit significant time and energy to the movement. Its starting point is the critique of emotions as narrowly subjective, whereby the passions that events like Occupy arouse are treated as beyond the scope of human reason. The rightful rejection of this reductionist argument has given rise to an interest in under- standings of the emotional content of social and political protest as normatively con- stituted, but this paper seeks a different perspective by arguing that the emotions of Occupy activists can be regarded as a reasonable force. It does so by discussing find- ings from long-term qualitative research with a Local Occupy movement somewhere in England and Wales. Using the arguments of social realists, the paper explores this data to examine why things matter sufficiently for young people to care about them and how the emotional force that this involves constitutes an indispensable source of reason in young activists’ decisions to become involved in Local Occupy.",
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The madness that is the world : young activists' emotional reasoning and their participation in a local Occupy movement. / Mizen, Phil.

In: Sociological Review, Vol. 63, No. S2, 12.2015, p. 167-182.

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

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