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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

2 - Anger (Mis)Management?

Summary

Chapter Two examines the psychology of anger, its expected effects on behavior, and the prevalence of anger in political messaging. Drawing on different traditions in social psychology, this chapter breaks down the distinct attitudes underlying the emotion of anger, and I provide a theoretical account of why the emotional sentiment of resignation cultivated among African Americans inhibits the emergence of anger as this group surveys the political environment. I investigate a range of campaign messages and speeches from political elites over the years to highlight the why’s and how’s behind elites’ attempts to activate various emotions within the intended public—specifically anger. I conduct emotion discourse analyses of these messages in order to identify the emotional sentiments that are cultivated and reinforced within primarily white and black audiences. The chapter begins the exploration of the racial divide in the activation of political anger by surveying trends from the open-ended findings from the original survey experiment titled the 2018 Race, Anger and Participation (RAP) Study.