Anna Meeuwisse. Foto: Patrik Hekkala

Anna Meeuwisse


Anna Meeuwisse. Foto: Patrik Hekkala

For love and for life: emotional dynamics at the World Congress of Families


  • Sara Kalm
  • Anna Meeuwisse

Summary, in English

The article explores the relationship between emotions, collective identity and mobilisation in conservative social movements through an analysis of the World Congress of Families’ (WCF) 13th international conference, held in Verona in March 2019. WCF promotes Christian family values and brings together anti-gay, anti-feminist and anti-abortion activists, religious leaders, and politicians from around the world. We attended the congress and base our analysis on observations and theories on social movements and emotions. Both positive and negative emotions as well as symbols and metaphors were used as building blocks in the emotional work that holds this conservative movement together. In order to provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms we show how passive emotions are turned into active, how the differences between ‘us’ and ‘them’ are constructed, and how the combination of positive and negative emotions helps motivate action.


  • Social Work


  • collective identity
  • conservative social movements
  • emotional dynamics
  • positive and negative emotions
  • pro-family mobilisation




  • ISSN: 2043-7897