By Benjamin Lamb-Books
This ebook is an unique software of rhetoric and moral-emotions idea to the sociology of social activities. It promotes a brand new interdisciplinary imaginative and prescient of what social pursuits are, why they exist, and the way they achieve achieving momentum through the years. Deepening the affective measurement of cultural sociology, this paintings attracts upon the social psychology of human emotion and interpersonal communique. particularly, the booklet revolves round the subject of anger as a distinct ethical emotion that may be made to play an important motivational and generative services in protest. The chapters improve a brand new idea of the emotional energy of protest rhetoric, together with how abolitionist performances of heterodoxic racial and gender prestige imaginaries contributed to the escalation of the ‘sectional clash’ over American slavery.
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Additional info for Angry Abolitionists and the Rhetoric of Slavery: Moral Emotions in Social Movements
The rhetorical talents abolitionists had for mesmerizing audiences, their charisma, stemmed from the accumulated learning of many oratorical occasions. Many of their creative rhetorical experimentations, whether witty zingers or lines that fell flat, have been historically recorded. Newspaper accounts of their speeches that include applause lines and hissing read like an instruction manual in eloquence. Through a close affective-hermeneutical reading, the performative and emotional dynamics of charisma can be uncovered (for methodological details, see Appendix).
Especially enraging to former lawyer Wendell Phillips and his colleagues, Sims was held prisoner within the walls of the downtown courthouse. Making an example out of him, the makeshift prison was guarded by hundreds of subpoenaed soldiers. Especially anathema to Bostonian republican sentiments was the vivid imagery of standing armies and federal force. Heavy metal chains were draped across the front doors of the courthouse. Adding insult to injury, this could be nothing but an omen of the nefarious national ambitions of southern politicians so willing to infringe upon the rights of northerners.
Moral emotions are dependent upon social expectations and predisposed toward corrective action. They are a communicative mode of our embodied engagement with events in the social world. While partly ‘hard wired’ in humans, moral emotions are not ‘naturally’ directed toward the dispossessed or enslaved. They had to be re-wired through new imaginary maps, which is to say, by new moral cartographers and practical map-readers. Moral emotions were attached to the slave by moral entrepreneurs and their rhetorical performances over time.