Love, Anger and Hate of the Red Shirts: The Contestation of Meanings of Politics and Justice

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Thannapat Jarenpanit


          This article focuses on the cultural emotions of the red shirt supporters after the contexts of military coup in 2006. The patterns of emotions seen within the red shirt groups can help reveal their internal differences, and also the divisions and conflicts that exist there in. I will examine this issue by focusing on an analysis of the affective emotions of love (a positive emotion), anger and hate (negative emotions) displayed by the red shirt groups from Chiang Mai and Bangkok. These emotions can reflect the contestation of meanings of politics, democracy and justice among the social sub-groups and individuals who joined the red shirt protests during the last decade of Thailand’s political conflicts. This situation, containing different cultural emotions and political meanings, has led to a deeply divided Thai population in terms of the country’s politics and society. To understand the diversity of social characteristics and actions that exist within the red shirt groups, one cannot see emotions as static; as emotions vary in terms of their meanings, levels and dynamics, based on the contexts and cultures within which they are experienced.


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