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RN11_01c_P: Emotions, Civic Action and Social Movements I
2:00pm - 3:30pm
Session Chair: Monika Verbalyte, Freie Universität Berlin
Location:PB.3.6 PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences
136 Syggrou Avenue
17671 Athens, Greece
Building: B, Level: 3.
Emotion and Body language in and against the “liberal” participation. Public speaking of farmer grassroots organizations in the transnational Roundtable on sustainable palm oil.
This communication relies on a movie sequence from a participative session in the transnational Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).We took the video in a plenary session composed of around 800 participants, mainly European and Asian organisations, debating on sustainability issues to foster a global standard for sustainable palm oil. This sequence shows the moment when an Indonesian farmer took the floor to state very unknown concerns of family farmers and local communities affected by the expansion of palm oil plantations in Indonesia. Although considered important by the small farmers delegation, this public speaking was perceived as a failure by many of the other participants and was disqualified. For European participants, even for European NGO representatives who recognized that the content of the message was appropriate, this public speaking was perceived as “too emotional”. For Asian companies, it was seen as ”impolite”. We used this video sequence and other ones showing other participants speaking in plenary sessions (firms, international NGOs, State representatives) in an interactive research. Indonesian farmers participating in the roundtable commented the different selected movie sequences. We also realized interviews with participants commenting the speech of the Indonesian farmer. This work was essential to reveal forms of emotions and body language that are disqualified in the liberal participation promoted in the Roundtable. Strong body emotion of people who reported on violations of their rights and the adverse conditions that they suffer related to their place-based attachments embarrassed non-rooted international community. This latter prefers a smooth body language in a way to avoid confrontation and to compose commonality through detached options of participants, which resulted in the exclusion of farmer and local community’ voices.
Regulation of emotions and values. The case of organic farming collectives
Denise Van Dam1, Jean Nizet1, Michel Streith2, Séverine Lagneaux3
1University of Namur, Belgium; 2University of Clermont-Ferrand, France; 3Catholic University of Louvain
This contribution analyzes how the leading members of four collectives in organic farming, making part of the organic social movement, mobilize cognitive, affective and value resources to overcome negative emotions that emerge from conflicts or dysfunctions within their organization. What happens when the leading members are in the throes of strong emotions (anger, contempt, shame, resignation) because of violent conflicts or persistent dysfunctioning within their collectif? This situation can have serious repercussions on the survival of the collective. The study has been conducted in Belgium and in France.
Our research method is essentially qualitative: individual in-depth interviews of six stakeholders per collective and participation in meetings and group activities. Every interview was done by two researchers (me and a collegue). We used the technic of the critical incidence (Flanagan, 1954).
Our analyses grid takes into account the trigger event, the emotional feelings, the strategies to regulate the emotions (emotion focused strategy and situation focused strategy), the consequences on the emotional feeling and on the engagement.
The research invalids the leading role of cognitive reframing and shows the importance of values both in the “emotion focused” strategy and in the “situation focused” strategy. Values are present in the whole emotional episode, from the triggering event of the negative emotion to the passing of the emotion.
Trade Unions, Mobilization and Affect – Re-thinking Labor Struggle from an affect theoretical Perspective
Katja Larissa Chmilewski
University of Vienna, Austria
Drawing on the example of most recent labor disputes in the German hospital sector, this paper aims at conceptualizing processes of political mobilization from an affect theoretical perspective.
Against the background of an emotional turn in the Social Movement Studies, the focus on emotions (Flam 2005, Flam/King 2005, Goodwin et al. 2001, 2007) and affect (Gould 2004; 2009) became essential for understanding political in/action. In this paper it will be asked if these insights can also make a contribution to the field of trade unions organizing and mobilizing against precarious working conditions. While in the field of Labor Revitalization Studies the erosion of trade unions power in countries of the global North is discussed in the context of social transformation processes and the need for a renewed perspective is emphasized, the role of emotions and affect for understanding collective action and political mobilization, has so far been little considered in this debate. Referring to the emotional turn in the Social Movement Studies and by bringing this debate into dialogue with the Labor Revitalization Studies and further (queer)feminist theories of affect, it will be discussed if affect and emotion can be conceptualized as a resource in collective mobilization against precarious working conditions.
The discussion of theoretical concepts will be enriched and exemplified by referring to most recent labor disputes of nursing staff in German hospitals.
Dangerous bodies, matter and emotions: public assemblies and embodied resistance
Mona Lilja1, Mikael Baaz2
1University of Gothenburg Karlstad University, Sweden; 2University of Gothenburg
Across the globe resistance is played out by bodies that occupy pavements, streets and squares. The participants in public assemblies, are taking part in various emotional processes while coming together to struggle against, for example, disenfranchisement, effacement and abandonment. In embodied, coordinated actions of resistance the gathering itself signifies something in excess of what is being said at the event; there is a distinction between forms of linguistic performativity and forms of bodily performativity. By bringing in the concepts of emotions, this paper will explore how and why resisting bodies signify something else/more than the vocalised or linguistic demands that they are making.