Blogging While Angry: The Sustainability of Emotional Labor in the Asian American Blogosphere
The Asian American blogosphere has developed to encompass a variety of voices regularly providing readers with news items, opinions, and personal narratives of life in Asian America. In this article I investigate the relationship between emotion and activism in order to better understand the potential for using blogs as part of a sustainable social movement, as well as to theorize the kind of labor that activism can entail. This study is based on interviews with 15 bloggers who have created or written for blogs that focus specifically on Asian American issues. Through an analysis of the bloggers’ interviews and their blogging archive, I argue that emotion can play a foundational role in generating activist interventions and building the necessary community required for contributing to social change, but can also have a deleterious impact on the individuals involved. It is only through recognizing the ambivalent role of emotion within the affective labor of activism online that we can work toward more sustainable participation and impact.