“God Hates Your Feelings”: Neutralizing Emotional Deviance within the Westboro Baptist Church

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing on individual and peer-group interviews, participant observations, and analysis of media content, we examine the habitual emotional deviance and neutralization techniques employed by the Westboro Baptist Church. We argue that their notoriety is attributed to their persistent, intentional, and unapologetic disregard for cultural feeling rules including incongruous emotional responses to events, fusion of culturally oppositional sentiments, and denigration of “sacred” groups and symbols. Interviews reveal that while claiming to embrace their deviant status, members engage in common neutralization techniques including denial of responsibility for the pain and discomfort they cause, appealing to higher loyalties, and denial of victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1455
Number of pages17
JournalDeviant Behavior
Volume38
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2017

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Hate
neutralization
hate
baptism
deviant behavior
god
Emotions
church
Interviews
Peer Group
Crime Victims
peer group
interview
participant observation
loyalty
victimization
pain
symbol
Pain
responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

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