RN11 - Sociology of Emotions

The sociology of emotions is a new and vital field within the broad discipline of sociology that has a lineage encompassing the classical tradition as well as more recent sociological research and scholarship. Research on emotions contributes to political sociology, medical sociology, sociology of social movements, sociology of gender, economic sociology, cultural sociology, sociological theory, social psychology and other specialisms within sociology. The Sociology of Emotions Research Network brings together researchers with an interest in emotions who share a range of substantive research themes and draw upon diverse methodologies.

The network officers are:


Jochen Kleres ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

First Vice-Coordinator:

Stina Bergman Blix ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Second Vice-Coordinator:

Sylvia Terpe ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Webpage Responsible

Juha Klemela ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Twitter Responsible

Stephanie Alice Baker ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

External Representative

Cécile Vermot ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

You can find more information on the network on our own web-site: http://socemot.com/

Click here to read the biennial report 2011-2013 of RN11

Click here to read the biennial report 2009-2011 of RN11


European Sociological Association 11th Conference

TORINO, 28-31 August 2013

Call for Papers


Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session (open) or any specific session. Please submit each abstract only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 1750 characters (including spaces, approximately 250 words). Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts can only be submitted online no later than 1st of February 2013 to the submission platform at: www.esa11thconference.eu. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted.

The information requested during abstract submission include: 1) name(s), affiliation(s) and email of all the author(s); 2) contact details of presenting author (postal address, and telephone in addition to email); 3) title of proposed presentation; 4) up to 4 keywords (optional).

Submitting authors will receive an email of acknowledgement of successful submission receipt. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the relevant Research Network or Research Stream; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2013. Each author cannot submit more than two abstracts (as first author).

Abstract submission deadline: 1st February 2013

Abstract submission platform: http://www.esa11thconference.eu

If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website.

For information on the Research Networks, visit: http://www.europeansociology.org/

RN11 - Sociology of emotions

Coordinators: Jochen Kleres < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Stina Bergman Blix < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Sylvia Terpe < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

The continuously growing field of the sociology of emotions has demonstrated that emotions are of fundamental significance to all aspects of social life. As a theoretical endeavor, the sociology of emotions aims at becoming superfluous as a separate field of scholarly interest by integrating into mainstream sociology. For this reason, we welcome papers that investigate the role of emotions in all aspects of society and social life. While all high-quality papers with a central focus on emotions will be considered, we also suggest a number of possible special topics listed below. This includes also contributions from neighboring disciplines that have significant relevance to sociology.

01RN11.          Theorizing Emotions

Key theoretical frameworks for the sociological analysis of emotions have stood the test of time during more than thirty years since they launched the sociology of emotions. Nevertheless, the potential for sociological theorizing of emotions is far from exhausted. For instance, the classics of sociology, far from mute on emotions, provide a valuable source of inspiration. Theoretical frameworks such as that of Norbert Elias may also engender innovative theorizing. While sociological interest in emotions is swiftly growing, emotions are still not recognized by mainstream social theorizing as a fundamental aspect of social life. We want to encourage contributions that try to develop innovative theories of emotions as well as theories that demonstrate how emotions can be integrated into social theorizing more generally.

02RN11.          Specific Emotions

Despite a history of several decades, the sociology of emotions has by and large not explored and theorized specific emotions. We welcome papers which develop theories of specific emotions that are highly relevant to social theorizing in general as well as useful for empirical research.

03RN11.          Morality, Values and Emotions

Morality, moral orientations and moral values have a long tradition in sociological research and theorizing. But how is their relation with emotions to be conceptualized? Are there particular ‘moral emotions’, and if so what constitutes a ‘moral emotion’? How are moral orientations and moral actions affected by emotions? Do emotions qualify as a substitute for lacking moral values? We welcome theoretical contributions as well as empirical studies dedicated to these questions.

04RN11.          Finance

Recent periods of economic turmoil in the world have the potential of shaking entrenched beliefs in the sober objective rationality of the economic sphere and its actors. Arguably, not only the recurring economic crises but also everyday finance business demonstrate that emotions are a key to all economic action and finance in particular.

05RN11.          Law

Just like finance, the law is often conceived as a realm of objectivity and rationality. Burgeoning research shows that emotions are a pervasive feature of law and the court system. Papers that pinpoint, for instance, the role of emotion management by judges, emotions in court interaction, emotions and notions of justice, etc. are welcome.

06RN11.          Methods

There is still a dearth of methodological reflection for empirical emotion research. We welcome papers that present approaches to studying emotions empirically. Specific issues could include, but are not limited to: how can researchers deal with their own emotions within the analysis? How can one delineate an emotional culture empirically? How can one approach emotions within a transnational analysis? How can different approaches to empirical research inform a focus on emotions? How would they have to be developed?

07RN11.          Post-Atrocities Emotions

In the past two-three decades resurgence in idealism, calling on societies split by violent conflicts to pursue truth, justice and reconciliation (often cast as a preconditions for making a transition to democracy), has re-asserted itself. Both trans-nationally and in each of the societies whose members had taken part in atrocities, there are attempts to formulate rules for post-atrocity times which spell out which emotions are prescribed and which are proscribed. Contributions are welcome highlighting in a critical way these emotional regimes and the vested interests behind them. How are emotions and emotional practices used and negotiated in order to come to terms with what has happened, to castigate perpetrators or to heal and forgive? This might also relate to explorations into the emotional dimensions of trauma.

08RN11.          Migration

Possible issues could include, but are not limited to: the role of emotions in migration regimes, the emotional underpinnings and experiences of racism, emotion in media discourses on migration, emotions in migrant mobilization, etc.

09RN11.          Civic Action

While emotions have enjoyed sustained attention in social movement research, the role of emotions in other forms of civic action, such as volunteerism or para-professionalism, remains to be investigated. We invite presentations that explore the role of emotions in all forms of civic action.

10RN11.          Emotions in Intimate Life

Intimate life may seem like the primary sphere of emotions. While this notion could be contested on other grounds, closer analysis also shows how emotions in the intimate sphere are complexly embedded into larger social processes and macro-social structures.

11RN11.          Emergence and Reproduction of Groups and Collectivities

Much has been said on emotions’ binding groups and collectivities by the classics of sociology, but their contributions have not yet led to a coherent research agenda. In a transnational world the question should be addressed anew in what ways and by what means groups and collectivities emerge and become sustained, paying particular attention to the role of emotions and emotionally grounded stereotyping in this process. What is the contribution of sports, mass media, culture, art, education or politics to evoking and sustaining emotions that in turn generate small group and larger collective life? Which of their specific traits evoke collectivity-generating emotions? Do they evoke similar or different emotions? Do they have the same or different size publics? Is there a division of labor between them or do they perhaps compete or even undermine each other? In a transnational context, what is their emotion-laden contribution to reminding of, reporting on, creating, competing with, loving and/or hating ‘the other’—whether situated among ‘us’ or across the border(s)?

12RN11.          Space, Objects and Emotions

The sociology of emotions explores in many ways the social nature of emotions, locating them anywhere from the interpersonal sphere to macro-sociological structures. There is much less of a focus on how emotions signify in our material or materially constructed surroundings. How are space and emotions interrelated? And how do objects and artefacts contribute to emotional experience?

13RN11.          Mediated Emotions

Media, including not only the conventional press or television but also the internet and new forms of mass communication, continue to gain importance in shaping social realities. What role do media play in shaping emotions in society and how in turn are media affected by emotional processes in society?

14RN11.          Gestures and Emotions

There is some research on how language conveys emotions as well as on how emotions become visible on people’s faces. But there is little thought on how actors use gestures to communicate emotions. This relates to research into how the emotional content of visuals can be deciphered, a question that has been partly dealt with in history and art history.

15RN11.          Sociology of emotions (open)


11JS28.            RN11 Joint session with RN28 Society and Sports

Sport and Emotions

(Chairs: Christopher R. Matthews; Lone Friis Thing & Sven Ismer Sven)

Researchers who explore sport and emotions have often highlighted the place sports, physical cultures, and accompanying emotions occupy within our lives. This joint session proposes to draw together colleagues who, although sharing many conceptual and theoretical linkages, may not have previously made explicit links to each other’s substantive areas. We anticipate papers, which draw on sociological theories of emotions to make sense of physical activity, health, fitness, sport, risk and physical cultures. We also welcome papers, which explore emotions and sport more broadly in theoretical, conceptual and empirical sense. The aim is to enable researchers from different substantive areas to bring their various experiences and knowledge together in order contribute to the advancement of both sub-disciplines.


11JS20JS28. RN11 Joint session with RN28 Society and Sports, and RN20 Qualitative Methods

Emotions, Objectification and Reflexivity in Qualitative Body and Sport Research

(Chairs: Monica Aceti, Haifa Tlili, Sven Ismer & Katarina Jacobsson)

We invite researchers working on subjects that engage the body in situations of various interactions (physical, sports, arts, in professional or leisure situation) to question their practices and their emotional commitment in their field.

Three perspectives will be favoured.

• Discuss the opportunities, limitations and bias of different versions of participant observation. One of the main issues is to question the researcher’s choice when faced with the challenging dialectic of subjective and emotional connection to the field and the aim of "axiological neutrality" required by the scientific posture. An object held at a distance or “blindness” in the field? Therefore, we will question the different types and occurrences of ethnocentrism, androcentrism an hegemonic Doxa which very often remain invisible.

• Take the measurement, in the objectification work, on the importance of autobiographical determinations, in order to clarify the researcher’s situated point of view (age, sexuality, social class, sex, race, etc.). We will examine in particular the heuristic advantages, which this involvement can contribute to the construction of a scientific object or on the contrary, it may misrepresent the content.

• The emotions of the researcher in the field have a crucial impact on the way he or she perceives reality which has been widely neglected by methodological debates. We encourage contributions that reflect on the researcher's affectivity and its impact on the collection and interpretation of data.

Ultimately, we invite the presenters to make a reflexive return on their research subject by shifting the focus on the social, cultural, spatiotemporal or even, in connection with biographical transformations (accidents, maternity, mourning, etc.) or structural events (institutional changes, crisis, disaster, etc.).


11JS34. RN11 Joint session with RN34 Sociology of Religion

Affects and Emotions in the Field of Religion

(Chairs: Stef Aupers  & Cécile Vermot)

Generations of scholars of theology and religious studies have viewed affects, emotions, and religion as closely related issues. What can be said about the certain shapes, characteristics and forms of this relationship in present times? How far is the research on emotions especially crucial for the understanding of religious life in Europe and for the coexistence, or even living together, of different confessions? What role do “emotional regimes” (Riis/Woodhead) or “feeling rules” (Hochschild) play with regard to the formation of emotional cultures both in religious groups and communities and with regard to the quest for salvation or spirituality of individual persons?


11JS25. RN11 Joint session with RN25 Social Movements

Social Movements

(Chairs: Marianne van der Steeg & Jochen Kleres)

Since about a decade scholars investigating various social movements have increasingly paid attention to emotions. This session calls for papers highlighting emotions - in theorizing or empirical research. Papers are welcome, for example, on the role emotions (i) in constituting the identities of different types of activists and/or movements; (ii) in short-term protest as well as in initiating, sustaining and ending social movements; (iii) among by-standers and authorities regarding/engaging with the protest/movement; (iv) in protest/movement visuals and discourses; (v) in protest/movement rituals, individual narratives and collective mythmaking, etc. etc.

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