Political demonstrations boost feelings of empowerment

John Drury, a professor of social psychology at Britain's University of Sussex, conducted a series of in-depth interviews with activists and discovered that involvement in political demonstrations boosted feelings of empowerment, connectedness, and wellbeing. "Positive experiences engender positive emotions like joy and contentment," says Drury. "These emotions are not only psychologically good but they are linked with the absence of depression, anxiety and stress." When people engage in large-scale protests, they sense they can change history. "Collective action can therefore be a life-changing, uplifting, and life-enhancing experience."

Source: Snell, Marilyn Berlin, "The Power of Protest," Sierra, May/June 2003, 13

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