Anger’s Volumes: Rhetorics of Amplification and Aggregation in #MeToo

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Abstract

Building an archive of avowed public engagements with anger in the #MeToo movement, this article lends conceptual specificity to understanding anger regulation through the rhetorical vocabulary of volume. Volume illuminates how anger is rhetorically rendered available for some to mobilize around while simultaneously limiting the emotional expression—and thus the political potential—of others. Specifically, volume illuminates how anger waxes and wanes through public life along raced, gendered, and classed lines that too often elevate the righteous expression of privileged anger while ignoring or silencing the anger of those most marginalized. Two forms of volume regulate public anger: the amplification and diminishment of affective intensity or sound and the aggregation and dispersion of bodies, interests, and collective energies. Volume invites critics to assess how different angers circulate under the heading of a social movement to determine how they can suture collective norms of emotional expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-346
Number of pages20
JournalWomen's Studies in Communication
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

Keywords

  • #MeToo
  • Angry rhetoric
  • pathos
  • public emotion
  • race
  • volume

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