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Laughing Saints and Righteous HeroesEmotional Rhythms in Social Movement Groups$
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Erika Effler

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226188652

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226188676.001.0001

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Introduction: How Do Chronically Failing Altruistic Social Movement Groups Persist?

Introduction: How Do Chronically Failing Altruistic Social Movement Groups Persist?

(p.1) One Introduction: How Do Chronically Failing Altruistic Social Movement Groups Persist?
Laughing Saints and Righteous Heroes

Erika Summers Effler

University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates altruistic social movement groups and the day-to-day interactions in two altruistic social movement organizations in order to understand how such groups maintain intensity of involvement. It focuses on the process of maintaining the energy required to carry out good work; to maintain a sense of responsibility for others, commitment to the work, and cooperation among group members; and the ability to deal with failure. The purpose of this study is to understand the emotional dynamics of such groups, and how group dynamics either motivate the production of collective goods or drain participants of their feelings of efficacy and enthusiasm. The findings from this research are also relevant to the recent and increasing focus on the role of emotions in social life within the field of sociology. Furthermore, this text illustrates how these groups survived unfavorable political conditions, internal conflict, and fluctuations in their resources, through a combination of adjusting to their local environment and working on their local environment so that it adjusted to them.

Keywords:   social movements, emotional dynamics, sociology, local environment, groups

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