Heart, Mind & Body: #NoMorePage3 and the Replenishment of Emotional Energy (with Lauren McCarthy)

This webinar will be hosted via Zoom, please register using the link.

Emotional energy is key to disruptive institutional work, but we still know little about what it is, and importantly, how it is re-fuelled. This empirical paper presents an in-depth case study of ‘No More Page 3’ (#NMP3), an Internet-based feminist organisation which fought for the removal of sexualised images of women from a UK newspaper. Facing online misogyny, actors engage in ‘emotional energy replenishment’ to sustain this disruptive institutional work amidst emotional highs and lows. We introduce ‘affective embodiment’ – the corporeal and emotional experiences of the institution – as a mediator in how actors replenish emotional energy. Alignment with others’ embodied experiences, often provoked through online abuse, means emotional energy is replenished through ‘affective solidarity’ (movement towards the collective). Misalignment with others’ embodied experiences, surfaced through tensions within the movement, means actors seek replenishment through ‘affective solitude’ (movement away from the collective). This study contributes to theorisation on institutional work and emotional energy by re-centring the importance of the body alongside emotions and cognition, as well as offering important lessons for online organising.