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

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Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Psychology
Early online date24 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2020


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.

    Research areas

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

ID: 147348051