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:
Stina Bergman Blix (
Jonathan G. Heaney (
You can find more information on the network on our own web-site: http://socemot.com/
ESA 2015 - Call for Papers
Differences, Inequalities and the Sociological Imagination
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association
Prague, Czech Republic, 25 – 28 August 2015
RN11 - Sociology of Emotions
RN Coordinator: Jochen Kleres, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, jochen.kleres(at)gu.se
As in previous years, we will give serious consideration to all high quality abstracts on any emotion-highlighting topic. At the same time we would like to highlight several focal areas of investigation in which abstracts are particularly welcome. These areas cover current developments of great social impact as well as questions of superior scientific importance. In particular we welcome submissions that make fundamental advances about emotion theories of the social—how can we move on to integrating emotions into the core of social theorizing? Secondly, we would like to encourage explorations of fields where there has been relatively little attention for emotions so far.
Open Sessions: We welcome all high-quality papers that squarely address emotions in theory and in empirical research and will make every effort to group them into focused thematic sessions wherever possible.
Theorizing Emotions—Emotionalizing the Social, Specific Emotions, Encountering Affect: Theorizing emotions may venture in at least three directions that we want to highlight here. Emotions are of fundamental importance to all things social. They need to be integrated into general social theorizing. Secondly, there is a dearth of theorizing specific emotions. Finally, we want to encourage engagement with emotion theories in other disciplines, especially the affectual turn in cultural studies.
Reflecting the Emotional Turn – National, International and Disciplinary Trajectories: The sociology of emotions has now a history of well over three decades. The more recent spike in academic interest for emotions has not only affected the sociology of emotions and pushed it into new directions. Other, related disciplines have started to engage with emotions, adding their own impulses to emotion research that created interdisciplinary dynamics. What is more, the expansion of emotion research has followed distinct national trajectories and has been simultaneously an international project. We invite all contributions that reflect on these dynamics, take stock of where we are and carve out paths for future development. We especially welcome papers that contribute reflections from disciplines other than sociology.
Liminality and Affectivity: Situations of uncertainty, ambivalence and people being in an ‘in-between-situation’ can be described as liminal situations, which are very often a strong trigger for different emotions. Papers referring to these situations and affective aspects of liminality are welcomed.
(Joint Session with RN 20) Researching Emotions Empirically – Qualitative Methodologies: We want to continue the thread from several previous meetings and conferences and ask how emotions can be researched empirically. This remains an emerging subfield of the sociology of emotions. In this joint session, we want to focus on qualitative research methods. Possible issues include but are not limited to: inquiry and debate about how emotions function in the research process; how to analyze emotions in empirical data; how to gather relevant data; how to device methodologies for specific theoretical concepts, etc.
Researching Emotions Empirically – Advances in Measuring Emotions: While a burgeoning scholarly engagement in methodological issues of emotion research has focused mostly on qualitative methods, we want to put a special emphasis on quantitative sociological methods of researching emotions empirically.
Emotions and Literary Analysis: Part of the interdisciplinary dynamic of the emotional and affective turns in different academic disciplines has been a growing interesting for emotions in literary analysis. We want to invite contributions exploring the cross-disciplinary potential of emotion analyses of fictional text. Literary works can be a valuable resource for emotion research. Not only do they reveal something about the emotional lives of their protagonists, they also shed light on complex emotional dynamics.
Emotions and Morality: Although moral orientations and values have a long tradition in sociological thinking, current research on the relationship between morality and emotions is dominated by psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. What does a sociological perspective contribute to this topic? How does sociology conceptualize the relationship between morals and emotions? What do we learn about the moral constitution of groups and societies if we look at their emotional lives and dynamics?
Emotions and Globalization: Despite the prominence of globalization in social research, emotions have not figured particularly prominent in global analyses in general. To be sure, there are some fields of recent emotion research that pertain to globalization, e.g. analyses of globalized finance, transnational activism, or post-atrocities politics. Some of these will have dedicated session during this conference. Arguably, however, this has left many aspects of globalization uncharted and they remain separated fields of inquiry that can be fruitfully brought to bear on each other.
(Joint sesseion with RN 34) Emotion and Religion: In times of growing inequalities and the resurgence of newly shaped differences, like anti-Judaism, Islamophobia, homophobia, sexism etc., research on emotions is crucial for the understanding of religious life in Europe. This concerns the coexistence of different religious groups as well as their relation to non-religious groups. Thus we invite papers that consider the relevance of emotions for the social construction of religion and the understanding of religious life in Europe. What can be said about the shapes, characteristics and forms of relationships in these times? And what role do emotional regimes and feeling rules play with regard to the formation of emotional cultures in religious contexts on the macro- as well as on the micro-level.
(Joint Session with RN 13) Emotions, Family and Inequality: There has been a longer concern for emotions in family life within the sociology of emotions. For example, there is a strong interest in emotions motivating everyday family practices, gender dynamics, the social dynamics of intimacy and love, as well as the intensity involved in parenting. At the same time, recent sociological debates about family life have highlighted how newly diversified family relations continue to be characterised by inequalities, not least those of gender, age, social class and ethnicity. Globalization may have an additional impact on this. Exploring the emotional dimensions of such familial inequalities will contribute in important ways to our understanding of the pressures on families generated by inequalities in the wider society, as well as by the normative expectations attached to family relations and positions.
Some issues could be: the emotional dynamics of inequality in everyday family practices; processes of family formation and reconfiguration, including as a consequence of migration; and in the significance of family position as it affects experience and status in other institutional contexts, such as employment, education, healthcare, politics or collective culture.
Emotions and Civic Action: Research on protest and social movements has become a large and well-established field and within this, emotions have received considerable attention recently. Other forms and domains of civic action, however, have not been analyzed from an emotions perspective. How can analyses in both fields be furthered and related to the workings of emotions in politics more generally? Are there emotions other than the ‘usual’ that need to be considered?
Visuals: In this session speakers will share their knowledge about the visuals and the analytical tools that can be used to focus on the emotions they present to their viewers. How should we analyze it? Which theoretical approaches from other disciplines (as for example art history or film studies) can we use? How can we combine visual analysis with the analysis of discourses?
Law: An alleged mainstay of rationality, closer analysis reveals how it is infused with emotions. What strategies and for what purposes were and are emotions evoked in judicial contexts? How were specific trials emotionalized to fight for other (political) agendas? What is the role of emotions in the changing role of law within modern societies?
Finance: The finance system functions as another stronghold of presumed rationality. Recurring speculation, economic and financial crises call for a more critical take on the financial world and the assumption that economic actors – or markets – are rational or that individually rational action will create collective goods.
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 transnationally and in each of the societies whose members had taken part in atrocities, there are attempts to formulate rules for 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.
Emotions and Power: Although both power and emotion are essential features of the conduct and constitution of social life, research on these two phenomena—whatever their conceptual guises—has tended to run in parallel, without explicitly engaging one another. It seems to us that the time is ripe for exploring the connections between these two foundations of society.
Notes for authors
Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session or any specific session. Please submit only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.
Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.
Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.
Abstract submission deadline: 15th February 2015
Abstract submission platform: www.esa12thconference.eu
If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website. For further information on the Research Network, please visit www.europeansociology.org.
Call for Papers – Network Midterm Conference 2014
Please find attached the call for papers for our upcoming midterm conference. It will take place between 25-27 September 2014 (an earlier
announcement erroneously said 2013). Our colleague Nicolas Demertzis has made it possible for this conference to be hosted in Rhodes, Greece, at the University of Aegan. We are also excited to include two special features in this midterm, a Ph.D workshop and special workshop on literary analysis open to all participants.
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
University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(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.