Framing a ‘social problem’: emotion in anti-abortion activists’ depiction of the abortion debate

Ntontis, Evangelos and Hopkins, Nick (2018) Framing a ‘social problem’: emotion in anti-abortion activists’ depiction of the abortion debate. British Journal of Social Psychology. ISSN 0144-6665 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Social psychological research on activism typically focuses on individuals’ social identifications. We complement such research through exploring how activists frame an issue as a social problem. Specifically, we explore anti-abortion activists’ representation of abortion and the abortion debate’s protagonists so as to recruit support for the anti-abortion cause. Using interview data obtained with UK-based anti-abortion activists (N=15) we consider how activists characterised women having abortions, pro-abortion campaigners, and anti-abortion campaigners. In particular, we consider the varied ways in which emotion featured in the representation of these social actors. Emotion featured in different ways. Sometimes it was depicted as constituting embodied testament to the nature of reality. Sometimes it was depicted as blocking the rational appraisal of reality. Our analysis considers how such varied meanings of emotion shaped the characterisation of abortion and the abortion debate’s protagonists such that anti-abortion activists were construed as speaking for women and their interests. We discuss how our analysis of the framing of issues as social problems complements and extends social psychological analyses of activism.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Activism, framing, emotion talk, abortion, anti-abortion argumentation
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Evangelos Ntontis
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2018 09:33
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2018 09:33
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/73513

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