Emotacycles

Element Descriptor

The emotacycle is the predictable loop that social movements go through of a big event, followed by a refractory period, followed by an even bigger event followed by a refractory period until there’s a meeting that isn’t an event that is smaller than a death spiral. Failing to understand the emotacycle means you’ll just keep riding it off a cliff.

Level descriptors

NovicePractitionerExpertNinja
you can explain the basic parameters often a emotacycle and why they happen and the negative consequences to fellow activists and interested parties.you can explain using examples from your audience’s lives in a compassionate way, how the emotacycle works, and why we need to stop writing it and deal with what about theories and straw man arguments.you have a detailed understanding of the mechanisms that support endorse and enforce emotacycles. Not just around your favourite issue in your country, but in other countries too. And you have some experience of trying to undermine emotacycles, whether successfully or not is another question.You can explain emotacycles to diverse audiences, including people who feel rightly that they’re being critiqued and have them grudgingly admit that you may just about have a point

Element Overview Essay

This is a draft. If something doesn’t make sense, or you see typos, or if you have further ideas, please email us on contact@activecitizenshiptoolkit.net

The causes of it not being understood are that most people drop out of, quote, activism unquote, after one or at most two emotacycles. And they therefore don’t stick around and see the pattern and reflect deeply and have conversations with other people about what might be causing it. There’s also a tendency when social movement organisations fail to either blame external factors was the place it was the media, it was the political parties, or the personality traits of individuals within the social movement organisation, oh, they were lazy, oh, they were disorganised, or they were power mad. There are truths in there. But they also don’t explain why this keeps on happening again and again,

the consequences: if you don’t understand the dynamics, you’ve no chance of behaving differently. And if you don’t behave differently, the same patterns are very likely to recur. Thank you.

So the fix is for the people who think that the emotacycle is real, to put it into GIFs and memes and cartoons and short stories, and to spot it when they see it. But to do that, just to say that they’ve spotted it, but to do that with compassion, because not everyone has had the advantage quote of 50 years on this benighted planet.

Development Resources

Assessment Resources