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Like any other valued resource, emotions are distributed unequally. Moreover, emotions are a generalized resource because they give people the confidence, or lack of confidence, to secure additional types of resources. Thus, this distribution of emotions roughly corresponds to the shares of others kinds of resources that members of various social classes possess. The level of positive and negative emotional energy evident among members of different social classes has large consequences for the viability of human societies. When a large majority of members in diverse social classes have reservoirs of positive emotional energy, these emotions work to legitimate macrostructures and to build people’s commitments to societies. When, however, significant numbers of persons in lower social classes, and at times in middle to upper social classes as well, reveal reservoirs of negative emotional energy, they are likely to de-legitimate key institutional systems and, under specifiable conditions, mobilize collective—often with violent outcomes. Thus, emotions are at the core of both integrative and disintegrative forces in societies, and when large reservoirs of negative emotional energy exist, they pose a problem for societies. The goal of this new, unique Series is to offer readable, teachable "thinking frames" on today’s social problems and social issues by leading scholars, all in short 60 page or shorter formats, and available for view on http://routledge.customgateway.com/routledge-social-issues.html For instructors teaching a wide range of courses in the social sciences, the Routledge Social Issues Collection now offers the best of both worlds: originally written short texts that provide "overviews" to important social issues as well as teachable excerpts from larger works previously published by Routledge and other presses.
Why does love matter? Love and Society discusses the meaning and importance of love for contemporary society. Love is not only an emotion that occurs in our intimate relationships; it is a special emotion that allows us to relate to each other in a lasting fashion, to create out of our individual pasts a shared past, which enables us to project a shared future. Bringing together the idea of Simmel’s second order forms with theories of love, this insightful volume shows that the answer to why love is so central to society can be found in the social transformation of the last two centuries. It also explains how we can build our strongest social bonds on the fragility of an emotions thanks to the creation of "special moments" (love rituals) and "intimate stories" (love myths) that are central to the weaving of lasting social bonds. Going to the cinema, reading a book together or sharing songs are forms of weaving bonds of love and part of the cycle of love. But love is not only shared between two people; the desire and the search for love is something we share with almost all members of society. With rich empirical data, an analysis of love’s transformation in modernity, and a critical engagement with classical and contemporary theorists, this book provides a lively discussion on the meaning and importance of love for today’s society. It will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are interested in fields such as Sociology of Emotions, Sociological Theory and Sociology of Morality.
Martha Nussbaum asks: How can we sustain a decent society that aspires to justice and inspires sacrifice for the common good? Amid negative emotions endemic even to good societies, public emotions rooted in love--intense attachments outside our control--can foster commitment to shared goals and keep at bay the forces of disgust and envy.
This timely book critically addresses the intersection between power, politics and emotions. Challenging traditional dichotomies which counterpose rationalist to non-rationalist epistemologies, it offers a sustained argument for a more complete and integrated rationalism and helps us understand emotions in contemporary social and political life.
This edited collection takes a critical perspective on Norbert Elias’s theory of the "civilizing process," through historical essays and contemporary analysis from sociologists and cultural theorists. It focuses on changes in emotional regimes or styles and considers the intersection of emotions and social change, historically and contemporaneously. The book is set in the context of increasing interest among humanities and social science scholars in reconsidering the significance of emotion and affect in society, and the development of empirical research and theorizing around these subjects. Some have labeled this interest as an "affective turn" or a "turn to affect," which suggests a profound and wide-ranging reshaping of disciplines. Building upon complex theoretical models of emotions and social change, the chapters exemplify this shift in analysis of emotions and affect, and suggest different approaches to investigation which may help to shape the direction of sociological and historical thinking and research.
Nothing seems more far removed from the visceral, bodily experience of emotions than the cold, rational technology of the Internet. But as this collection shows, the internet and emotions intersect in interesting and surprising ways. Internet and Emotions is the fruit of an interdisciplinary collaboration of scholars from the sociology of emotions and communication and media studies. It features theoretical and empirical chapters from international researchers who investigate a wide range of issues concerning the sociology of emotions in the context of new media. The book fills a substantial gap in the social research of digital technology, and examines whether the internet invokes emotional states differently from other media and unmediated situations, how emotions are mobilized and internalized into online practices, and how the social definitions of emotions are changing with the emergence of the internet. It explores a wide range of behaviors and emotions from love to mourning, anger, resentment and sadness. What happens to our emotional life in a mediated, disembodied environment, without the bodily element of physical co-presence to set off emotional exchanges? Are there qualitatively new kinds of emotional exchanges taking place on the internet? These are only some of the questions explored in the chapters of this book, with quite surprising answers.
First published in 1997. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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