Emotions in context: Revolutionary accelerators, hope, moral outrage, and other emotions in the making of Nicaragua's revolution
- Cite this article as:
- Reed, JP. Theory and Society (2004) 33: 653. doi:10.1023/B:RYSO.0000049194.07641.bb
Building on the social movement/revolutions and recent social movement emotions literature and using interviews and oral history from revolutionary Nicaragua, I make a case for recognizing the significance of emotions when studying revolutions. The essay aims for a contextual understanding of the role of emotions in the making of revolution during the insurrectionary period in Nicaragua. These are examined from the vantage point of “revolutionary accelerators” the conflictual event-contexts from which revolutionary actors emerge. Through the historical analysis of testimonies associated with a number of politically significant events that changed the course of political dynamics in 1970s Nicaragua, the piece illustrates: (1) how events function as generators of revolutionary action and (2) how event-related emotions such as anger and fear, but primarily moral outrage and hope, contribute to a transformation in consciousness that leads potential participants to define their circumstances as needing their revolutionary involvement. It also attempts to demonstrate how the latter two emotions—moral outrage and hope—are dominant under different event-contexts. Lastly, the relationships between these emotions and how these are connected to revolutionary accelerators are similarly explored.