Thrilling Risk Attracts Involvement

Erika Summers Effler

in Laughing Saints and Righteous Heroes

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226188652
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226188676 | DOI:
Thrilling Risk Attracts Involvement

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This chapter identifies the emotional techniques the two groups, the Catholic Worker community and STOP, used to attract member involvement in high-risk actions and to manage the members' subsequent positive and negative emotional reactions. Both groups attracted involvement by creating opportunities for high-risk action. The story about the Catholic Workers illustrates how they continually exposed themselves to the contingencies of poverty when they placed themselves “in God's hands.” Sometimes they were able to feed a hungry neighbor, but just as often they did not have the resources to grant such requests. Other times they engaged in potentially dangerous interactions in under-policed areas. The Catholic Workers' uncertain circumstances created intense interactions, exhilarating emotion, a sense of purpose, and, in the most powerful cases, mystical experiences. A comparison of dynamics that attract involvement in these groups suggests how risk followed by success generates feelings of thrilling expansion.

Keywords: emotional techniques; Catholic Work; risks; involvement; STOP

Chapter.  20763 words. 

Subjects: Organizations

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