"Time's up!": Framing collective impatience for radical political change

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Abstract

Grievance is a prominent feature of mobilization for radical political change. Existing scholarship, however, does not pay sufficient attention to the temporal texture of grievance narratives. Temporally “flat” narratives of grievance are ill equipped to provide either the cognitive or emotional stimulus for major political reorientation. In response to this issue, the article develops the concept of collective exhaustion master frames. These are frames that narrate the aggrieved community's arrival to a threshold of collective impatience. Such narratives have two functions—to legitimize radical departures from prevailing political habits (a cognitive task) and to stimulate collective impatience with the political status quo (an emotional management task). In addition to developing the concept of exhaustion frames, the article demonstrates its empirical relevance by outlining five distinctive framing episodes, starting with the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The conclusion outlines the future directions for the study of collective impatience and points to the range of implications for political psychology and adjacent disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-770
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Psychology
Volume41
Issue number4
Early online date24 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • framing
  • discourse analysis
  • temporality
  • grievance
  • emotion
  • political change
  • mobilization
  • social constructivism

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