Balázs Kiss

Identity Change in Ninety Minutes. The Emotional Dynamics of Leader-Follower Interactions at a Political Rally

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Emotions; Political Identity; Mass Rally; Crowds; Thomas Scheff.

The paper will explain the outburst of rage against the leader of the Hungarian Socialist Party at a leftist rally in 2013 in Budapest. In order to do that, the analysis will lean on Henri Tajfel's claim that social identity has three components: knowledge, evaluation and emotion, also on the lessons the so called affective turn in social sciences has taught, as well as on the recent interest in the crowds and crowd behaviour in sociology. With the theories of interaction ritual chains and the frustration - shame - anger cycle elaborated by Randall Collins and Thomas Scheff respectively, it is possible to understand the importance and the dynamics of emotions in interactions and in the surprisingly rapid changes of identity. The study is based on empirical investigation, which measured the emotional aspect of the interactions between politicians and the crowd at the rally. It used content analysis to register the three components of political identity and scrutinized the lengths and directions of the crowd reactions as well as the speed of turn-takings, because they indicate the liking and disliking and the synchronization within the audience and between the speakers and the crowd.

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