Social Rage: Emotion and Cultural Conflict

Social Rage: Emotion and Cultural Conflict

Social Rage: Emotion and Cultural Conflict

Social Rage: Emotion and Cultural Conflict

Synopsis

This book defines and describes the meaning of social rage by examining the influence of social forces such as economic conditions, population diversity and power shifts. The role of media, in particular its encouragement of social rage through sensationalism, is also handled in this book. The author apporaches the issue of social rage on both an individual and a collective level with the goal of revealing its motivations and its impact.

Excerpt

Scholars have written recently of societal-level “meanness,” the “culture of argument,” “righteous rage,” and other topics relevant to what I have elected to term “social rage.” These recent discussions suggest that social rage is more prominent now than in the past, although this is not necessarily true. While these timely analyses focus on, among other things, the temporal nature of social rage, pointing out that the 1980s and 1990s are a time of prominent social rage, we find that we have experienced such times before, interspersed with times of decreased social rage.

Using examples of political behavior, media behavior, behavior of the religious fringe, crime and crime-control policies, anti-minority actions, and the survivalist right movement, this study attends to the measures and meanings of social rage. In an attempt to understand whether social rage is indeed a broad-scale social phenomenon, or merely seems to be wide-ranging, I have cast about for measurements of social rage, obtrusive though they may be. Interpreting the signs of social rage assists in a query of how we know social rage when we see it and the degree to which social rage fluctuates.

We can consider the meanings of social rage in light of relevant emotions and behaviors, causality, and outcomes. One of my hoped-for contributions has been a discussion of what constitutes social rage, for example, what behaviors and emotions are included in social rage. Applying the sociological imagination to what is known empirically, and through the insight of my students and colleagues, I have arrived at a definition of social rage as well as the notion that social rage encompasses

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