Fired Up, Ready to Go: The Effects of Group-Based and Intergroup Emotions in Politics
Burge, Camille Danielle
Emotions matter in public opinion and political decision-making. Existing literature examines how individuals experience emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, and disgust, and how these emotions shape a wide range of public opinion and political participation variables. However, this emphasis on individuals provides us with an incomplete picture because ordinary politics are so far removed from our individual lives. That is, much of how we think and behave in the political arena surrounds our membership in groups whether they are gender, partisan, racial, religious, sexual orientation, or otherwise. Thus, presenting us with the following questions: how does group identity shape how we experience emotions? What are the implications of group-based and intergroup emotions for public opinion and political participation? My dissertation uses a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the political ramifications of group-based pride, shame, and intergroup anger among African-Americans. It addresses how eliciting these emotions affect group attitudes, policy opinion, political participation, and Black Nationalist ideology. Findings from this dissertation indicate that the experiences of group-based pride, shame and intergroup anger among African-Americans lead to changes in intra-and-intergroup attitudes, while the experiences of group-based pride and intergroup anger are associated with changes in political participation. These findings provide us with a more nuanced understanding of how individuals think and behave in the political arena.