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Sociology of Emotions and Affect Thematic Group

Member Books

Sarah Baker_SEA
Baker, Sarah (2017) Community Custodians of Popular Music's Past: A DIY Approach to Heritage. USA: Routledge. 

This book examines do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches to the collection, preservation, and display of popular music heritage being undertaken by volunteers in community archives, museums and halls of fame globally. DIY institutions of popular music heritage are much more than ‘unofficial’ versions of ‘official’ institutions; rather, they invoke a complex network of affect and sociality, and are sites where interested people – often enthusiasts – are able to assemble around shared goals related to the preservation of and ownership over the material histories of popular music culture.

Barbalet, Jack (ed.) (2002) Emotions and Sociology. UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Comprising eight chapters written by leading sociologists from five countries, this volume demonstrates the significance of emotions for sociological inquiry.

- Shows what sociology looks like when emotions are taken seriously.
- Comprises eight chapters by leading sociologists from five countries.
- Explores major sub-disciplines of sociology, including political sociology, economic sociology, and sociology of science.
- Takes sociology in an exciting new direction.

Barbalet, Jack (2001) Emotion, Social Theory, and Social Structure: A Macrosociological Approach. UK: Cambridge University Press.

Emotion, Social Theory, and Social Structure takes sociology in a new direction. It examines key aspects of social structure by using a fresh understanding of emotions categories. Through that synthesis emerge new perspectives on rationality, class structure, social action, conformity, basic rights, and social change. As well as giving an innovative view of social processes, J. M. Barbalet's study also reveals unappreciated aspects of emotions by considering fear, resentment, vengefulness, shame, and confidence in the context of social structure. While much has been written on the social consequences of excessive or pathological emotions, this book demonstrates the centrality of emotions to routine operations of social interaction. Dr Barbalet also re-evaluates the nature of social theory, for once the importance of emotions to social processes becomes clear, the intellectual constitution of sociology, and therefore its history, must be rethought.

Cameron, Alexia (2018) Affected Labour in a Café Culture: The Atmospheres and Economics of 'Hip' Melbourne. UK: Routledge.

What does it mean to work in the ‘hip’ postmodern economy? This book develops the concept of ‘affected labour’ within Melbourne, Australia. Through the lens of café and bar culture, the book provides an ethnographic investigation into the ways that affect arises, circulates, sticks and dissipates over the course of everyday encounters.

The dynamics and atmospheres of affective labour among those working in the hospitality-oriented environments are unfolded. Service work is rooted in the notion that labour is ‘performed’ by an exhausted worker for a demanding customer. This book goes beyond this idea by describing the way not only consumers are moved by the experience and seduced by the atmosphere, but more pressingly workers and employers.

This book reveals the ways in which workers themselves are capitalised on by being affected pleasurably in the moment, fuelling an economy of short-term desires in which ‘affected labourers’ are manipulated.

Dragojlovic, Ana and Broom, Alex (2017) Bodies and Suffering: Emotions and Relations of Care. UK: Routledge.

This book is a critical response to a range of problems – some theoretical, others empirical – that shape questions surrounding the lived experience of suffering. It explores how moral and ethical questions of personal suffering are experienced, contested, negotiated and institutionalised. Bodies and Suffering investigates the moral labour and significance invested in actions to care for others, or in failing to do so. It also explores circumstances – personal, political and social – under which that which is perceived as non-moral becomes moral.

Drawing on case studies and empirical research, Bodies and Suffering examines the idea of the suffering body across different cultures and contexts and the experience and treatment of these suffering bodies. The book draws on theories of affect, embodiment, the phenomenology of illness and moralities of care, to produce a nuanced understanding of suffering as being located across the assumed borders of time, space, bodies, persons and things.

Flam, Helena and Debra King (eds.) (2005) Emotions and Social Movements. UK: Routledge.

Most research on social movements has ignored the significance of emotions. This edited volume seeks to redress this oversight and introduces new research themes and tools to the field of emotions and social movements.

Sociologists and political activists around the world will find this volume to be of great interest due to its wide-ranging approach and its unique emphasis on the role of emotion in protest, dissent and social movements.

Gook, Ben (2015) Divided Subjects, Invisible Borders Re-Unified Germany After 1989. USA: Rowman and Littlefield International.

What do Germany’s memorials, films, artworks, memory debates and national commemorations tell us about the lives of Germans today? How did the Wall in the Head come to replace the Wall that fell in 1989?
The old identities of East and West, which all but dissolved in joyous embraces as the Berlin Wall fell, emerged once more after formal re-unification a year later in 1990. 2015 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of that German re-unification. Yet Germany remains divided; a mutual distrust lingers, and national history remains contentious.
The material, social, cultural and psychic effects of re-unification on the lives of eastern and western Germans since 1989 all demand again asking fundamental questions about history, social change and ideology. Divided Subjects, Invisible Borders puts affective life at the centre of these questions, both in the role affect played in mobilizing East Germans to overthrow their regime and as a sign of disappointment after formal reunification. Using contemporary Germany as a lens the book explores broader debates about borders, memory and subjectivity.

Holmes, Mary (2014) Distance Relationships: Intimacy and Emotions Amongst Academics and their Partners in Dual-Locations. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Drawing on interviews with UK couples in distance relationships, this book seeks to explain, evaluate and advance sociological debates about intimate life. It provides a rich and human perspective on how bodies, emotions and connections to others are key in maintaining intimate relationships.

Lupton, Deborah (1998) The Emotional Self: A Sociocultural Exploration. London: Sage

This broad-ranging and accessible book brings together social and cultural theory with original empirical research into the nature of the emotional self in contemporary western societies.

The emphasis of the analysis is on the emotional self as a dynamic project that is continually shaped and reshaped via discourse, embodied sensations, memory, personal biography and interactions with others and objects. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Deborah Lupton draws on a number of sociocultural approaches that adopt a post-structuralist perspective. She strongly emphasizes language and discourse as they construct and express concepts of the self and the emotions, whilst also acknowledging the sensual, embodied and unconscious dimensions of emotional experience.

McKenzie, Jordan (2016) Deconstructing Happiness: Critical Sociology and the Good Life. USA: Routledge.

This book offers an original account of the good life in late modernity through a uniquely sociological lens. It considers the various ways that social and cultural factors can encourage or impede genuine efforts to live a good life by deconstructing the concepts of happiness and contentment within cultural narratives of the good life. While empirical studies have dominated the discourse on happiness in recent decades, the emphasis on finding causal and correlational relationships has led to a field of research that arguably lacks a reliable theoretical foundation. Deconstructing Happiness offers a step toward developing that foundation by offering characteristically sociological perspectives on the contemporary fascination with happiness and well-being. In doing so, it seeks to understand the good life as a socially mediated experience rather than a purely personal or individually defined way of living. The outcome is a book on happiness, contentment and the good life that considers the influence of democracy, capitalism and progress, while also focusing on the more theoretical challenges of self-knowledge, reason and interaction.

McKenzie Lara_SEA
McKenzie, Lara (2015) Age-Dissimilar Couples and Romantic Relationships: Ageless Love? UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

There has been a widespread fascination with age-dissimilar couples in recent years. This book examines how the romantic relationships of these couples are understood. Based on qualitative research, McKenzie investigates notions of autonomy, relatedness, contradiction, and change in age-dissimilar relationships and romantic love.

Milner Davis, Jessica, and Roach Anleu, Sharyn (eds.) (2018) Judges, Judging and Humour. Springer. 

This book examines social aspects of humour relating to the judiciary, judicial behaviour, and judicial work across different cultures and eras, identifying how traditionally recorded wit and humorous portrayals of judges reflect social attitudes to the judiciary over time. It contributes to cultural studies and social science/socio-legal studies of both humour and the role of emotions in the judiciary and in judging. It explores the surprisingly varied intersections between humour and the judiciary in several legal systems: judges as the target of humour; legal decisions regulating humour; the use of humour to manage aspects of judicial work and courtroom procedure; and judicial/legal figures and customs featuring in comic and satiric entertainment through the ages.

Olson, Rebecca (2015) Towards a Sociology of Cancer Caregiving: Time to Feel. UK: Ashgate.

Once a synonym for death, cancer is now a prognosis of multiple probabilities and produces a world of uncertainty for carers. Drawing on rich, in-depth interview data and employing interactionist theories, Towards a Sociology of Cancer Caregiving explores carers' lived experiences, paying close attention to the ways in which spouse carers manage the ambiguity that pervades their orientations to the future, their responsibilities and their emotions. A detailed exploration of the temporal and emotional journeys of spouse carers of cancer patients, this volume raises and responds to new questions about how to conceptualise informal caregiving, offering a fresh theorisation of the uncertainty that now characterises cancer. As such, it will appeal to scholars of the sociologies of emotion, time and identity, and all those interested in the question of how to support informal carers.

Patulny, Roger, Bellocchi, Alberto, Olson, Rebecca E., Khorana, Sukhmani, McKenzie, Jordan and Peterie, Michelle (2019) Emotions in Late Modernity. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. 

This international collection discusses how the individualised, reflexive, late modern era has changed the way we experience and act on our emotions. Divided into four sections that include studies ranging across multiple continents and centuries, Emotions in Late Modernity:

1. Demonstrates an increased awareness and experience of emotional complexity in late modernity by challenging the legal emotional/rational divide; positive/negative concepts of emotional valence; sociological/ philosophical/psychological divisions around emotion, morality and gender; and traditional understandings of love and loneliness.

2. Reveals tension between collectivised and individualised-privatised emotions in investigating ‘emotional sharing’ and individualised responsibility for anger crimes in courtrooms; and the generation of emotional energy and achievement emotions in classrooms.

3. Debates the increasing mediation of emotions by contrasting their historical mediation (through texts and bodies) with contemporary digital mediation of emotions in classroom teaching, collective mobilisations (e.g. riots) and film and documentary representations.

4. Demonstrates reflexive micro and macro management of emotions, with examinations of the ‘politics of fear’ around asylum seeking and religious subjects, and collective commitment to climate change mitigation.

Petersen, Alan (2015) Hope in Health: The Socio-Politics of Optimism. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Health professionals have shown a growing interest in the therapeutic value of 'hope' in recent years. However, hope has been examined mainly from psychological and biomedical perspectives. Importantly, Hope in Health explores how hope manifests and is sustained in various arenas of health, medicine and healthcare.

Petersen, Alan (2004) Engendering Emotions. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Engendering Emotions examines the production and promotion of the idea of sex/gender difference in emotional experience and expression in the contemporary West. Focusing on the psychology of emotions and on the spheres of aggression and war, and love, intimacy and sex, it explores how the idea of emotional difference serves to define and govern relations between men and women. The book draws on diverse theoretical work and recent empirical data to chart new territory in the study of sex/gender differences.

Petersen, Alan, Megan Munsie, Claire Tanner, Casimir MacGregor and Jane Brophy (2017) Stem Cell Tourism and the Political Economy of Hope. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

This book provides a unique and innovative perspective on the controversial phenomenon of ‘stem cell tourism’. A growing number of patients are embarking on stem cell treatments that are clinically unproven and yet available in clinics and hospitals around the world. The authors offer a cutting-edge multi-dimensional perspective on this complex and rapidly changing phenomenon, including an analysis of the experiences of those who have undertaken or have contemplated undertaking a stem cell treatment, as well as examination of the views of those who undertake research or advise on or provide stem cell treatments. Developing the concept of ‘the political economy of hope’, and referencing case studies of the stem cell treatment market in China, Germany, and Australia, this book argues for a reframing of ‘stem cell tourism’ to understand why patients and families pursue these treatments and whether authorities’ concerns are justified and whether their responses are appropriate and proportionate to the alleged risks.


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