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Doing Emotion, Doing Policy; the emotional role of “grassroots” community activists in poverty policy-making

Anderson, Rosie (2013) Doing Emotion, Doing Policy; the emotional role of “grassroots” community activists in poverty policy-making. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham.


URL of Published Version: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/Research/BelowtheRadarBtR/Emotionalroleofcommunityactivistsinpolicy/tabid/1005/Default.aspx


This paper examines different understandings of the emotional role played by activist or ‘grass-roots’ participants for those involved in policy-making. Drawing on findings from an ethnographic study of an interrelated cluster of anti-poverty policy-making forums in Scotland it considers both what informants understand by ‘emotion’ and its role in policy-making from the point of view of informants themselves. In particular it focuses on discussions and observations from the inception phase of this research project in which the nature of emotion was considered and some of the explicit and tacit ‘rules’ about who may be ‘emotional’, when they may do that and how emotion is to be expressed socially. This paper looks at two key aspects of informants’ practice; the special expectations policy forum participants have of activists and community organisation representatives around behaviour and language associated with ‘the emotional’; and participants’ understandings of the relationship between emotion, authenticity and legitimate decision-making when making policy. It concludes by considering how this examination of grassroots emotionality could assist in conceptualising emotional practice and power in policy-making and suggesting some key challenges for both researchers and practitioners.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Third Sector Research Centre

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Date:01 May 2013
Series/Collection Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Keywords:Participation, policy making, community activist, emotion, grass roots organisations.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
Copyright Holders:Third Sector Research Centre
ID Code:1796

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