Recent scholarship has revived the notion that collective action is subject to both rational and emotional processes and that any account that fails to examine emotional dynamics risks a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamics of collective action. Yet few studies have theorized the mechanisms through which emotions enable collective action. Without a proper identification of such mechanisms, any attempt to "bring emotions back" risks failing to address the complex but critical relationship between emotions and rational action and reverting to the classic "overly emotional" accounts of collective action. This article develops an emotions theory of preference formation by which emotions provide a commitment mechanism for activism by altering the salience hierarchy of personal identities and preferences. To bring empirical evidence to bear upon the theory, I examine the testimonials written by some visitors to the grave of Park Sung Hee, who cremated herself in South Korea in 1991.

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