Shocked or Satiated? Violent Imagery Traumatizes Rather than Motivates Veteran Activists

Sociologists James Jasper and Jane Poulsen have argued that activists’ deployment of emotionally triggering ‘moral shocks’ can stimulate recruitment for movements, particularly for those which are less successful in recruiting through social networks. Others have suggested that, more than a recruitment tool, these moral shocks are useful for sustaining activist motivation. I wondered, however, if activists might actually find violent imagery in campaigning to do the opposite. Perhaps it demotivated, instead?

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