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RN11 - Sociology of Emotions

An emotion lens on the social world

The sociology of emotions has grown since the 1970’s to become a vital and dynamic field within the discipline of sociology. With strong roots in the classical tradition, it has taken an increasingly central place within contemporary sociology and makes important contributions to general sociological theorizing, as well as to specific sub-fields such as the sociology of culture, politics, organizations, social movements, intimate and family life, the body, the economy, technology, social change, migration, and more. The Sociology of Emotions Research Network (RN11) brings together researchers from across Europe and the world with an interest in affect and emotions, deploying a range of methodologies to explain and understand a – perhaps the – fundamental feature of our shared social lives: our emotions.

The Network was formed in May 2004 and has grown significantly in terms of members, published and planned outputs, and various research activities. While the aim and focus of the Network remain the sociological study of emotions (and more recently affect), the diversity of themes and the range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the topic attest to the vitality of the field across the globe. Recent work has addressed the links between emotions and new forms of social inequality, the increased importance of ’emotional capital’ in organizations and work, as well as the role of emotions in politics and the judiciary—all traditionally perceived to be ‘rational’ domains; and the conceptualization of emotion not as ‘natural’ and biological but primarily social and constructed.

In particular, the Network aims to support and encourage PhD and early career researchers through targeted workshops and reduced conference fees. It is linked with other groups and networks focused on emotions across the globe, and remains a vibrant contributor to the work and mission of both the ESA and more broadly, sociology.


Sociology of Emotions website