Article

Emotions

Kathryn J. Lively

in Sociology

ISBN: 9780199756384
Published online July 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0018
Emotions

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The sociology of emotion is a relatively new field. Developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the sociology of emotion draws attention to the ways in which emotions—phenomena that have historically been viewed as inherently personal—are socially patterned. Although emotions are typically seen as micro-events or constructs, sociologists routinely illustrate the degree to which emotions are not only related to one’s position on the social structure, but also how emotions, particularly through their management and their expression, serve to reproduce the society in which individuals are embedded. Thus, the study of emotions has become crucial in explaining the reciprocal relationship between individual agency and social structure. Like most burgeoning subfields, the sociology of emotion has been long on theory and somewhat short on empirical studies. However, a veritable explosion of empirical studies has been reported since around 1990, based on such diverse methodologies as in-depth interviews, ethnography, surveys, experiments, and even computer simulations. Moreover, sociologists throughout the discipline, ranging from those studying sociobiology to those studying social movements, have acknowledged the importance of studying emotions. Although the sociology of emotion has grown to include most, if not all, of the areas of inquiry traditionally associated with social psychology (including, but certainly not limited to exchange, trust, and equity, among others), its most highly developed subject matter continues to be that pertaining to emotion management, emotional labor, and the sociology of work.

Article.  16898 words. 

Subjects: Sociology ; Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Economic Sociology ; Gender and Sexuality ; Health, Illness, and Medicine ; Population and Demography ; Race and Ethnicity ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility ; Social Theory

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