9th Midterm Conference On Emotions

Conference of the European Sociological Association’s Sociology of Emotions Research Network (RN11) in Barcelona, August 25 - 28, 2020

This year the midterm will be organized jointly with the Catalan Sociological Association in Barcelona. The midterm conference will be hosted in the premises of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, in central Barcelona.

There will also be a PhD student workshop on the 25th of August with Yvonne Albrecht (Berlin) and Natàlia Cantó-Milà (Barcelona).

Proposed Sessions

Theorizing Affect and Emotion. Key theoretical frameworks for the sociological analysis of emotions have stood the test of time during more than thirty years. Nevertheless, the potential for sociological theorizing of emotions is far from exhausted. As sociological interest in emotions is swiftly growing, we need to encourage the development of innovative theories of emotions and affects as well as theories that demonstrate how they can be integrated into social and interdisciplinary theorizing. Furthermore, also well-established theoretical approaches about the connection of emotion, status and power are welcome in this session.

Methodologies for Researching Emotions and Digital Methods. We want to continue the thread from several previous meetings and ask how emotions can be researched empirically. This remains an emerging subfield of the sociology of emotions and calls for expanded 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. Particular focus is put on the link between digital methods and the sociology of emotion, mostly underexplored.

Emotion, Protest, Opposition and Social Movements. The most recent expressions of mobilization worldwide show the importance of emotions for the understanding of protest, opposition and social movements. Furthermore, other forms of civic action need further research. Comparative approaches on such political expression of emotions are specially invited.

Collective Emotions and Identity. In what ways and by what means groups and collectivities emerge and become sustained, paying particular attention to the role of emotions? What does the concept of collective identity imply and how is it related to affects and emotions? And what is a still strongly discussed additional value of the term collective emotions in explaining these processes?

Emotions, Morality and Normativity. 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, norms and emotions? What do we learn about the normative constitution of groups and societies if we look at their emotional lives and dynamics?

Emotion, Discourse, Media, and Literature. Discourse theory contributed a lot to dismantle personal attitudes, attributes, stereotypes and identities as discourse dependent and highly situated features of social interactions. However, there are still not too many works addressing emotions in social discourse. Included here might be literary works, media and social media which can also be a valuable resource for emotion research.

Emotion, Reason and Law. The idea of rationality as unemotional has persisted the longest within legal theory. However, research within law and social sciences has paid increasing attention to emotional patterns in legal practice. How can a sociological perspective contribute to this trend? What role does emotion play in everyday law practice? How are emotions integrated in the making of laws and in the laws themselves? Can scrutinizing these broaden our understanding of the role of law within contemporary societies?

Emotions in Organizations. An important development of emotional labour studies has been the examination of emotions within organizations, focusing how organizational norms and regulations can both further and hinder emotion management at work. This field is divided both methodologically and between disciplines and needs both empirical and theoretical integration.

Emotion and Religion. Some classics of sociology analysed religion with an eye for emotions. Yet, the sociology of emotions has paid little attention to religious affairs. What is the role of emotion in religion quite generally? How can contemporary religious life be understood in new ways through the analysis of emotions? How can we use different sociological theories of emotions for analyzing religion?

Emotions in Family and Intimate Lives. Intimate and family 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. Research on love and friendship is particularly welcome within this topic.

Emotions, Finance and Political Economy. The development of the global capitalist economy and the growth of inequalities have increased the interest of social sciences in political economy. Yet the role and place of emotion need further investigation. Within both the economic and financial systems recurring speculation, economic and financial crises and growing inequality call for a more critical take on the financial world. What role or function does emotionality hold for the construction of such inequalities, and what are the (emotional) costs?

Emotions, Politics and the State. In recent years there has been an upsurge in work exploring the connections between emotions and politics. Yet, while great strides have been made in both the political sociology of emotions and political psychology to understand and explain the ‘politics-emotion nexus’, less attention has been paid to the relationships between emotions, the state, state power and legitimacy. In this session we seek papers that address these issues that relate to emotions, power and politics, broadly conceived, including those relating to postconflict and post-traumatic societies.

Migration, Globalization and Emotions. With reference to the term globalization, emotions have not been particularly prominent in global analyses. The role of emotions in transnational and supranational organizations, international NGOs, transnational migrant communities and global networks of mobile professionals is understudied, as have the new layers globalization adds to the person’s emotional attachments, emotion regimes and cultures. What challenges and opportunities for individuals, groups and organizations cause these new layers?