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Sociology of emotions

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(September 2009)

Sociology

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The sociology of emotion applies sociological theorems and techni2ues to the study of human emotions. s sociology emerged primarily as a reaction to the negative affects of modernity, many normative theories deal in some sense *ith emotion *ithout forming a part of any specific subdiscipline: -arl "ar3 described capitalism as detrimental to personal 4species#being4, ,eorg $immel *rote of the deindividuali%ing tendencies of 4the metropolis4, and "a3 Weber4s *ork dealt *ith the rationali%ing effect of modernity in general.

Contents
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7 Theory 8 )mpirical pplications 9 s a "easure of 0eligiosity : Notes ; )3ternal .inks

Theory edit!
)motions are on one hand constitutive of, embedded in, and on the other hand manipulated or instrumentali%ed by entities that are studied by sociology on a micro level, such as social roles and norms and 4feeling rules4 the everyday social interactions and situations are shaped by, and, on a macro level, by social institutions, discourses, ideologies etc. For e3ample, <post#=modern marriage is, on one hand, based on the emotion of love and on the other hand the very emotion is to be *orked on and regulated by it. .ike*ise, modern science could not e3ist *ithout the emotion of curiosity but it does narro* it leading sometimes to over# speciali%ation of science. "any forms of cultural stratification could not e3ist *ithout disgust and contempt, and there are politics that could not e3ist *ithout fear, as many civil and ethnic *ars could not take place *ithout hate. <re2uires citation= We try to regulate our feelings to fit in *ith the norms of the situation, based on many # sometimes conflicting # demands upon us. $ystematic observations of group interaction found that a substantial portion of group activity is devoted to the socio#emotional issues of e3pressing affect and dealing *ith tension.576 $imultaneously, field studies of social attraction in groups revealed that feelings of individuals about each other collate into social net*orks,586 a discovery that still is being e3plored in the field of social net*ork analysis. )thnomethodology revealed emotional commitments to everyday norms through purposeful breaching of the norms. For e3ample, students acting as boarders in their o*n homes reported others4 astonishment, be*ilderment, shock, an3iety, embarrassment, and anger> family members accused the students of being mean, inconsiderate, selfish, nasty, or impolite. ctors *ho breach a norm themselves feel *aves of emotion, including apprehension, panic, and despair.596 (o*ever, habitual rule breaking leads to declining stress, and may eventually end in en1oyment.

T. +avid -emper5:6 proposed that people in social interaction have positions on t*o relational dimensions: status and po*er. )motions emerge as interpersonal events change or maintain individuals4 status and po*er. For e3ample, affirming someone else4s e3alted status produces love#related emotions. &ncreases or decreases in one4s o*n and other4s status or po*er generate specific emotions *hose 2uality depends on the patterns of change. rlie (ochschild5;6 proposed that individuals manage their feelings to produce acceptable displays according to ideological and cultural standards. (ochschild sho*ed that 1obs often re2uire such emotional labor. (er classic study of emotional labor among flight attendants found that an industry speed#up, reducing contact bet*een flight attendants and passengers, made it impossible for flight attendants to deliver authentic emotional labor, so they ended up surface#acting superficial smiles. Peggy Thoits5?6 divided emotion management techni2ues into implementation of ne* events and reinterpretation of past events. Thoits noted that emotions also can be managed *ith drugs, by performing fau3 gestures and facial e3pressions, or by cognitive reclassifications of one4s feelings. $ociologist !hris .ucerne states in her article titled @)motionsA ,ood or BadC, that there are neither good nor bad emotions. (o*ever, you can 1udge emotions as such. ccording to .ucerne4s theory emotion is believed to help humans e3press their feelings. Therefore emotions are a part of human nature to help us communicate. &n addition to !hris .ucerneDs theory, *hen humans e3perience a situation good or bad an emotion is triggered. s a result of emotion an action is follo*ed. For e3ample, here are a fe* emotions listed in .ucerneDs article in *hich people e3perience daily. The first is the emotion of happiness, *hich can ignite the sensation to dance. second emotion is anger, in *hich the person begins to feel hot causing him or her to perspire. Finally is the emotion of sadness, *hich creates a sensation of feeling closed in. s a conse2uence of feeling closed in the person may react irrationally to make them comfortable. !hris .ucerne also states in her article Ethat no matter *hat, you cannot control your reactions to emotion.E &n conclusion to .ucernes theory reaction is random in e3pressing your feelings.5F6 +avid $traker states that E*e should *atch our o*n emotionsE, like*ise in rlie (ochschilds theory of emotions. $traker talks about ho* emotions are signals that tell you something about *hat is happening in the inner you. $ometimes bad emotions can be misleading because of the reaction often causing conflict. To conclude based on $trakers theory, you can use emotions for good or bad. n e3ample $traker talked about *as the use of emotion to motivate others.5G6 Thomas J. $cheff5H6 established that many cases of social conflict are based on a destructive and often escalating, but stoppable and reversible shame#rage cycle: *hen someone results or feels shamed by another, their social bond comes under stress. This can be cooperatively ackno*ledged, talked about and I most effectively *hen possible # laughed at so their social bond may be restored. Jet, *hen shame is not ackno*ledged, but instead negated and repressed, it becomes rage, and rage may drive to aggressive and shaming actions that feed# back negatively on this self#destructive situation. The social management of emotions might be the fundamental dynamics of social cooperation and conflict around resources, comple3ity, conflict and moral life. &t is *ell#established sociological fact that e3pression and feeling of the emotion of anger, for e3ample, is strongly discouraged <repressed= in girls and *omen in many cultures, *hile fear is discouraged in boys and men. $ome cultures and sub# cultures encourage or discourage happiness, sadness, 1ealousy, e3citedness, and many other

emotions. The free e3pression of the emotion of disgust is considered socially unacceptable in many countries. $ociologist 0andall !ollins has stated that emotional energy is the main motivating force in social life, for love and hatred, investing, *orking or consuming, rendering cult or *aging *ar.57K6 )motional energy ranges from the highest heights of enthusiasm, self#confidence and initiative to the deepest depths of apathy, depression and retreat. )motional energy comes from variously successful or failed chains of interaction rituals, that is, patterned social encounters Ifrom conversation or se3ual flirtation through !hristmas family dinners or office *ork to mass demonstrations, organi%ations or revolutions. &n the latter, the coupling of participants4 behavior synchroni%es their nervous systems to the point of generating a collective effervescence, one observable in their mutual focus and emotional entraining <incorrect use of *ord, EentrainingE=, as *ell as in their loading of emotional and symbolic meaning to entities *hich subse2uently become emblems of the ritual and of the membership group endorsing, preserving, promoting and defending them. Thus social life *ould be most importantly about generating and distributing emotional energy. ffect !ontrol Theory, originated by +avid 0. (eise, proposes that social actions are designed by their agents to create impressions that befit sentiments reigning in a situation. )motions are transient physical and sub1ective states depending on the current impression of the emoting person, and on the comparison of that impression *ith the sentiment attached to the person4s identity. s such, emotions are visceral signals to self and observable signals to others about the individual4s identity in the situation, and about the individual4s understanding of events in the situation. (eise developed a simulation program for analy%ing affect#control processes in social interaction, and for predicting moment#to#moment emotions of interactants. The program specifies emotions in terms of numerical profiles, emotion *ords, and cartoon#like dra*ings of interactants4 facial e3pressions. complete revie* of affect control theory is provided in (eise4s 8KKF book, Expressive Order.5776

"mpirical #pplications edit!


Workplaces. Follo*ing (ochschild4s lead, the sociology of emotions has been applied e3tensively to a variety of *orkplace interactions. Jennifer Pierce, a student of (ochschild4s, has e3amined la* firms, for instance, and 0obin .eidner the emotion *ork in fast food outlets. $ocial "ovements. &nspired by James ". Jasper4s cultural *ork in the late 7HHKs, especially The rt of "oral Protest, a number of scholars of protest and social movements have begun to e3amine the emotions involved. They include )rika $ummers )ffler, a student of 0andall !ollins *ho e3amines ho* emotions inform a sense of time in .aughing $aints and 0ighteous (eroes> .ynn /*ens, *ho documents the emotions of a declining social movement, msterdams4s s2uatters, in !racking under Pressure> and Lerta Taylor, *hose book, 0ock#a#Bye Baby documents struggles over the feelings ne* mothers are supposed to feel. +eborah ,ould traces a number of emotional processes throughout the rise and fall of !T MP in a series of articles and a book, "oving Politics. 7HHH conference, organi%ed by James ". Jasper, Jeff ,ood*in, and Francesca Polletta, helped spur this ne* development in social movement theory and research. $cholars *orld*ide have taken up the challenge to study the emotions of social movements, including a cluster of French researchers such as /livier Fillieule, &sabelle $ommier, and !hristophe Traini.

#s a $easure of Religiosity edit!


ccording to the sociologist "ervin Lerbit, emotion may be understood as one of the key components of religiosity. Furthermore, religious emotion may be broken do*n into four dimensions:

content fre2uency intensity centrality

The content of one4s religious emotions may vary from situation to situation, as *ill the degree to *hich it may occupy the person <fre2uency=, the intensity of the emotion, and the centrality of the emotional feeling <in that religious tradition, or person4s life=.5786579657:6 &n this sense, emotion is some*hat similar to !harles ,lock4s Ee3perienceE dimension of religiosity <,lock, 7HF8: 9H=.57;6

%otes edit!
7. &ump up ' (are, . P. <7HF?=. Handbook of small group research <8nd ed.=. Ne* Jork: Free Press, !hapter 9 8. &ump up ' (are, . P. <7HF?=. Handbook of small group research <8nd ed.=. Ne* Jork: Free Press, !hapter F 9. :. ;. ?. &ump up ' "ilgram, $. <7HF:, =. n intervie* *ith !arol Tavris. s!cholog! "oda!, pp. FK#F9 &ump up ' -emper, T. +. <7HFG=. # social interactional theor! of emotion. Ne* Jork: Wiley &ump up ' (ochschild, . 0. <7HG9=. "he managed heart$ "he commerciali%ation of human feeling. Berkeley: Mniversity of !alifornia Press &ump up ' Thoits, P. . <7HHK=. )motional deviance: research agendas. T. +. -emper <)d.=, &esearch agendas in the sociolog! of emotions <pp. 7GKI8K9=. lbany: $tate Mniversity of Ne* Jork Press &ump up ' "icroso &ump up ' Purpose of emotions &ump up ' $cheff, Thomas J, and 0et%inger, $u%anne. <7HH7= Emotions and violence $ shame and rage in destructive conflicts. .e3ington, "ass: .e3ington Books &ump up ' !ollins, 0andall. <8KK:= 'nteraction &itual (hains. Princeton Mniversity Press 77. &ump up ' (eise, +avid. <8KKF= Expressive Order$ (onfirming Sentiments in Social #ctions. Ne* Jork: $pringer

F. G. H. 7K.

78. 79.

&ump up ' Lerbit, ". F. <7HFK=. The components and dimensions of religious behavior: To*ard a reconceptuali%ation of religiosity. merican mosaic, 8:, 9H. &ump up ' -NONkcan, T. <8K7K=. "ultidimensional pproach to 0eligion: a *ay of looking at religious phenomena. Journal for the $tudy of 0eligions and &deologies, :<7K=, ?K# FK. &ump up ' http:PP***.eskieserler.comPdosyalarPmpdfQ8K<779;=.pdf &ump up ' ,lock, !. J. <7HF8= R/n the $tudy of 0eligious !ommitmentD in J. ). Faulkner <ed.= 0eligionDs &nfluence in !ontemporary $ociety, 0eadings in the $ociology of 0eligion, /hio: !harles ). "erril: 9G#;?.

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"motions )list*

"+ternal ,inks edit!


)motional !ulture and &dentity <!)"&+= Simg srcTEPPen.*ikipedia.orgP*ikiP$pecial:!entral uto.oginPstartUtypeT737E altTEE titleTEE *idthTE7E heightTE7E styleTEborder: none> position: absolute>E PV 0etrieved from Ehttp:PPen.*ikipedia.orgP*Pinde3.phpU titleT$ociologyWofWemotionsXoldidT;F9H97?K8E !ategories: $ubfields of sociology )motion (idden categories: rticles needing cleanup from $eptember 8KKH ll articles needing cleanup

!leanup tagged articles *ithout a reason field from $eptember 8KKH Wikipedia pages needing cleanup from $eptember 8KKH $ociology inde3

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