Gun Violence: Emotional Reactions and a Willingness To Mobilize

Master's Thesis


Mass shootings and other forms of gun violence continue to affect the United States in ways that do not compare to other countries. The highly emotional nature of the gun control debate in the U.S. presents a unique opportunity to explore the effects of emotions on collective action that has previously been undertheorized in the field. This study uses data from an original experimental survey to analyze three issues: the variation in emotional reactions to different forms of gun violence, the variation in a willingness to mobilize for gun-related issues, and the effects of racial identity on these potential patterns of variation. I find evidence that any form of gun violence will evoke strong emotional reactions but there is no significant difference across treatment groups; the willingness to mobilize is largely unaffected by the type of gun violence; and that there are suggestive differences in how white people compared to Black people react to gun violence that warrant further investigation. Lastly, I explain these results as effects of a pervasive and unique gun culture in the United States.


Attribute NameValues
Author Natalie Bourman-Karns
Contributor Erika Summers-Effler, Committee Member
Contributor Rory M. McVeigh, Research Director
Contributor Kraig Beyerlein, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name Master of Arts
Banner Code
  • MA-SOC

Submission Date 2021-12-07
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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