What is there to feel? A neo-Durkheimian theory of the emotions
Author: 6, Dr Perri
Source: European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling & Health, Volume 5, Number 3, September 2002 , pp. 263-290(28)
Abstract:Many of the main theoretical traditions in the sociology of the emotions have limitations in their explanations of the institutionalized styles of emotional work, of the menu of emotions available to be felt in particular settings, and of the causal processes by which particular emotions are elicited in those settings. A promising way forward is to apply neo-Durkheimian institutional theory, which also overcomes some of the limitations of Durkheim's own theory of the emotions. Central to this approach is the distinguishing of affect styles and the identification of styles of social organization that elicit these affect styles. The theory puts great weight on ritual, understood in the post-Goffman sense which encompasses quotidian everyday forms as well as grand public ceremonial, as the principal causal process by which forms of social organization produce certain emotions and styles of managing those emotions within 'affect styles'. The latent social function, in this tradition, of the elicitation of affect is to be understood in terms of the conflictual and rival mobilization of accountability. The theory meets, the article argues, the four key criteria by which sociological theories of affect should be judged.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Park House, 40 Edgbaston Park, Birmingham, B15 2RT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2002-09-01