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The articles in this Special Issue of the IJSSP, entitled ‘Sociology of Emotions’, were, with two exceptions, presented at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association held in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., from August 19–23, 1995. These outstanding papers do much to develop the theoretical grounding of two closely related fields of inquiry ‐ the social psychology of emotions and the sociology of emotions. No social relations are carried out in the absence of either thought or emotion. It immediately follows that the sociology of emotions is not so much a nascent, exotic sub‐discipline of sociology as it is a level of analysis that must be carried out if meaning is to be found in any social system, in any social process, or in any social relationship of the everyday world.
Following Darwin, Plutchik's psychoevolutionary theory defines emotions as adaptive reactions to stimuli. While his ‘stimulus’ stands as an unanalyzed psychological…
Following Darwin, Plutchik's psychoevolutionary theory defines emotions as adaptive reactions to stimuli. While his ‘stimulus’ stands as an unanalyzed psychological construct, he does explicate four existential problems of life ‐ territoriality, hierarchy, temporality, and identity ‐ each of which can present itself as positive or negative, as an opportunity or a problem. Plutchik's four existential problems can be generalized into Fiske's (1991) four elementary relations of the social life ‐ market pricing, authority ranking, communal sharing, and equality matching, respectively. A set of propositions is presented, according to which the predicted values of particular emotions are proportional to power functions of the products of pairs of social relations variables. With the measurement of just eight social relations variables, the general, formal, socioevolutionary theory makes it possible to predict the level of each of the eight primary emotions and of the 28 secondary emotions that are mixed pairs of primary emotions. The possibility that jealousy is a mix of three primary emotions ‐ fear, sadness, and surprise ‐ is discussed.
A neuroscientific turn has been diagnosed in several disciplines, but sociology has not yet undertaken this turn. While other social science disciplines are engaging in a…
A neuroscientific turn has been diagnosed in several disciplines, but sociology has not yet undertaken this turn. While other social science disciplines are engaging in a lively discussion with the ‘new brain sciences’ and have established extensive collaboration, exchange between neuroscience and sociology is almost absent. Besides a general scepticism towards “reductionist” explanations, this is largely due to sociology focusing on its traditional role as observer and critic of current developments in science. In this chapter, I argue that this ‘sociology of neuroscience’ approach should be complemented by an increased attention to actual neuroscientific findings with respect to key theoretical concepts in sociology and social theory more generally. I discuss how contemporary neuroscience research can assist in sharpening and empirically refining our understanding of a number of micro-sociological concepts that often elude investigation with more traditional social science methods. I highlight the possible benefits and pitfalls of such endeavours by discussing the ‘neurosociology’ paradigm and sketch alternative ways of mutual engagement with the new brain sciences.
Recent years have seen an explosion in research by scholars from the social sciences and humanities who apply neuroscience to research in their home disciplines. One way…
Recent years have seen an explosion in research by scholars from the social sciences and humanities who apply neuroscience to research in their home disciplines. One way these ‘neuroscholars’ have engaged in conversations with neuroscience is by incorporating books of popular neuroscience into their work. This chapter explores some of the textual changes that result from the translation of neuroscience to popular neuroscience, and through rhetorical analysis, examines how popular neuroscience is used to support claims in emerging disciplines like neuroeconomics, neuroliterary criticism, neurolaw, and neuroeducation. An examination of scholarship from several disciplines – including sociology – reveals that popular neuroscience is often marshaled not as a translation or accommodation of science, but as science itself via two primary rhetorical strategies we have termed ‘fact finding’ and ‘theory building.’