Investigating the emotions evoked within student activists when singing struggle songs: a study of student protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Adams, Mapula Mantsha.
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This study investigated the emotions evoked within student activists when singing struggle songs during university protests. The study made use of a qualitative exploratory research design to get an in-depth understanding of students‟ emotional experiences. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with five student activists from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg campus). The data collected was analysed using thematic analysis. This study found that the spiritual aspect of these songs evokes negative and positive emotions within student activists. The negative emotions experienced were anger and pain, while the positive emotions were pride and hope. The reflective space that these songs provided for students allowed them to acknowledge their emotions. This provided catharsis to the students‟ anger and pain. The positive emotions evoked by the singing of these songs allowed for the recognition of previous victories. This gave them hope and reminded them of their ability to achieve desired results in their environment as they protested. The study recommends that future research looks into the perception of struggle songs held by those at whom the songs are directed.