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University of Chicago Press
Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP's Fight against AIDS

Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP's Fight against AIDS

by Deborah B. Gould


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Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP's Fight against AIDS

In the late 1980s, after a decade spent engaged in more routine interest-group politics, thousands of lesbians and gay men responded to the AIDS crisis by defiantly and dramatically taking to the streets. But by the early 1990s, the organization they founded, ACT UP, was no more—even as the AIDS epidemic raged on. Weaving together interviews with activists, extensive research, and reflections on the author’s time as a member of the organization, Moving Politics is the first book to chronicle the rise and fall of ACT UP, highlighting a key factor in its trajectory: emotion.

Surprisingly overlooked by many scholars of social movements, emotion, Gould argues, plays a fundamental role in political activism. From anger to hope, pride to shame, and solidarity to despair, feelings played a significant part in ACT UP’s provocative style of protest, which included raucous demonstrations, die-ins, and other kinds of street theater. Detailing the movement’s public triumphs and private setbacks, Moving Politics is the definitive account of ACT UP’s origin, development, and decline as well as a searching look at the role of emotion in contentious politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226305301
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/30/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 536
Sales rank: 575,650
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Deborah B. Gould is assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Why Emotion?

I. The Affects and Emotions of Mobilization

Chapter 1. Pride and Its Sisters in Early AIDS Activism

Chapter 2. A Shifting Emotional Habitus and the Emergence of the Direct-Action AIDS Movement

II. Activism as World-Making

Chapter 3. The Pleasures and Intensities of Activism; or, Making a Place for Yourself in the Universe

Chapter 4. The Emotion Work of Movements

III. The Feelings of Decline

Chapter 5. Openings and Movement Decline

Chapter 6. Solidarity and Its Fracturing

Chapter 7. Despairing

Conclusion: Moving Politics

Appendix: Lesbian and Gay Newspapers Researched

Glossary with Notes on Terms



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