Emotional mechanisms of social (re)production

Abstract : Since the 1960s various currents within social theory have been undermining the functionalist and structuralist conceptions of the human agent as a passive automaton moved by obscure forces. While the emerging picture emphasizes the part played by cognition, implicit skill, and explicit knowledge, much less attention has been paid to the role of emotions in the active production and reproduction of the social world. The specialized sub-field known as the sociology of emotions has brought to sociological attention the topic of emotions but has been preoccupied mainly with how social structures of various kinds determine or constrain situated emotions. The aim of this programmatic article is to demonstrate the theoretical plausibility and the empirical viability of research on emotional mechanisms of social production and reproduction. On the basis of a critical reappropriation of the theory of structuration and interaction ritual theory, face-work and sacred-object establishment (or ‘enshrinement’) arise as mechanisms of social production and reproduction of which situated emotions are inherently constitutive. The conclusion points to the need for social theory to develop a concept of motivation integrating the ‘pulling’ and ‘pushing’ duality of emotional intentions as expressed in situated action.
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Martin Aranguren. Emotional mechanisms of social (re)production. Social Science Information, SAGE Publications, 2015, 54 (4), pp.543-563. ⟨10.1177/0539018415598403 ⟩. ⟨hal-01335831⟩

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