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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 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.
Wie viel Gefühl verträgt eine Gesellschaft, die nach Gerechtigkeit strebt? Nicht viel, könnte man meinen und auf die Gefahren politischer Instrumentalisierung von Ängsten und Ressentiments verweisen. Emotionen, so eine verbreitete Ansicht, setzen das Denken außer Kraft und sollten deshalb keine Rolle spielen. Martha C. Nussbaum hingegen behauptet: um der Gerechtigkeit politisch zur Geltung zu verhelfen, bedarf es nicht nur eines klaren Verstandes, sondern auch einer positiv-emotionalen Bindung der Bürgerinnen und Bürger an die gemeinsame Sache. Manche sprechen von Hingabe, Nussbaum nennt es Liebe. Sie zeigt, welche Ausdrucksformen diese und verwandte politische Emotionen annehmen können und wie sie sich kultivieren lassen.
From diverse theoretical positions--symbolic interactionist, social constructionist, feminist, positivist, linguistic, phenomenologist, Marxist, and evolutionist--contributors set forth their current understandings, as well as the directions of future work, with a discussion of the most significant problems in emotions research. Paper edition (unseen), $18.95. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
This book presents three social action models - rational, normative and emotional. It proposes the emotional model of social action and shows the many ways in which social structures, formal organizations and social movements are pervaded by emotions. The core of the book contains three empirical case studies focused on the question of how emotions, interests and symbolic worlds account for conformism and defiance. Its last part assesses the current state of the theory of social movements and the sociology of emotions. It suggests how their agendas could be expanded.
First published in 1997. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Those who address conflict resulting from differing socio-economic groups (stratification systems) focus on the arousal of negative emotions. Less frequently explored are the effects of positive emotions, particularly among the middle classes in industrial and post-industrial societies. In more developed societies, those experiencing positive emotional energy far outnumber those who endure negative emotions. Jonathan H. Turner sees the distribution of positive and negative emotions in developed societies as another basis for grouping people into socio-economic classifications. Such distribution explains the commitments of middle classes to the system and the lack of class-based social movements from lower classes. Turner argues for Marx’s theory—when a population’s vast majority is consistently experiencing negative emotions, the potential for revolution within society increases. Turner explains why class-conflict potential is low in developed societies and how it might increase if the middle classes lose their share of resources. He notes the beginnings of this shift, but says that the overall positive emotions of the middle class have not yet transitioned from positive to negative. Capitalism will persist, but it will be a reformed capitalism, especially in the United States, as taxes and regulation by government assure higher levels of resource redistribution to members of a society.
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.

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