Emotional Management in Spanish Institutions: When Institutional Trust Draws New Horizons

Emotional Management in Spanish Institutions: When Institutional Trust Draws New Horizons

Simone Belli
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJCESC.2017040104
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This paper seeks to explain how and why people join social movements. In a study of the Occupy movement, the authors set out to demonstrate that participation is a function of emotional attachments between participants – attachment through shared emotions regarding the loss of trust in traditional institutions and belief in efficacy of alternative, open, institutions. Using the concept of second-order emotions, the authors argue that the movement through horizontal democracy helps to regulate emotions through recognition of those emotions. The researchers argue that, in addition to a distrust of traditional institutions, social rituals in the Occupy movement serve to fortify collective emotions and create strong bonds between participants.
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On Trust And Emotion Management

For Fessler (1999), the second order emotions are a reaction to the subjective experiences of other individuals. Subjective experience is some means of measuring internal states that cannot be observed by the scientist (LeDoux & Brown, 2017). These have an important role in emotion management, considering that emotion management is not a conclusion to a process, but a phase of a continuing cycle of activity (Barbalet, 2011). Second-order emotional practices represent a tool (Jakupcak, 2003), “an instrument of freedom rather than a tool of self-oppression” (De Sousa, 1990: 446), where we cease to think of our emotions as inevitable and to view them as open to modification. A person may 'regulate' anger against an institution, constructing trust, promoting rewarding actions, sharing knowledge and information, etc.

For Barbalet (2011), emotions can be regulated in an implicit social regulation and through processes of self-monitoring, in an explicit way. Emotions can only be regulated interactionally with other subjects and so require cooperation among individuals in trust relations as a social movement, hundreds of persons fighting together for the same cause. The regulation of the person’s activism draws on other emotions, such as anger or love, and is composed by other second-order emotions such as sincerity, trust or blame. Emotional states that are not so basic can be termed as second order emotions (Lahankar, 2009).

People rarely express fear, anger, jealousy, chagrin, joy, and so on, by using the corresponding words in a self-description (Harré, 2009). An angry person might verbally show anger by shouting “F##k the politicians!” but not “I am angry with them” without turning red in the face. First- and second-order emotions in our narratives emerge in multiples ways, rarely using the corresponding words. This matters for how we recognize our usage of these second-order emotions in our narratives. Spiraling out first-order emotion, there are all sorts of second-order emotions which depend on tacit knowledge of the first-order emotions. Harré (2009) suggests analyzing which words are common in the expression of emotions. What do the uses of the words “rage” and “anger” have in common? What about “anger” and “love”? Second-order emotions help us answer these questions, analyzing what words and expressions have in common in the context of these emotions. The latter is a prime ingredient in the grounds for describing one’s emotional experience. The first-order emotion is always a kind of process where this emotional process is composed by second-order emotions.

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