Emotions can play an important role in the perception of grievances, yet we know little about how environmentalists strategically utilize emotions to bolster activism and garner support. Drawing on social movement and environmental sociological research, we analyze how moral shocks can be used to mobilize activists against environmentally destructive activities. We study the case of Libkovice, Czech Republic, where environmentalists battled against the coal industry to save a city from being razed to access coal reserves. The data come from in-depth interviews, organizational and documentary video, and archival documents. Findings indicate that environmentalists drew upon symbols of destruction, such as threats to the local church, to fuel anger and mobilize the campaign. Results show how symbolic environmental campaigns can serve as beacons for future protest.
Alison E. Adams is Assistant Professor of Community & Environmental Sociology in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida. Her research interests center on environmental sociology and social movements. She is currently examining community conflict surrounding environmental issues such as industrial contamination and controversial land use decisions. Her work has been published in outlets such as Social Forces, Mobilization, The Sociological Quarterly, and Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas E. Shriver is Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University. His primary research and teaching interests are related to environmental sociology, social movements, environmental health, and environmental justice. He is currently working on several projects related to energy, environment, and social movements. Most notably, he is conducting research on coal and climate change in the North Bohemian Coal Mining Basin of the Czech Republic. E-mail: email@example.com
Landen Longest is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University. Her research interests include environmental sociology and environmental health with a particular focus on gender. She is currently examining cases of contested illness related to coal ash contamination. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org