In recent years sociologists have made great strides in studying the emotions that pervade social life. The study of social movements has lagged behind, even though there are few arenas where emotions are more obvious or important. We hope to understand this lag as well as make some suggestions for catching up. To do this we examine the history of scholarship on social movements, finding that emotions were poorly specified in the early years, ignored entirely in the structural and organizational paradigms that emerged in the 1960s, and still overlooked in the cultural era of the 1980s and 1990s. Despite isolated efforts to understand the emotions of social movements, they remain today a fertile area for inquiry.

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