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Emotion and Social Theory

Emotion and Social Theory
Corporeal Reflections on the (Ir) Rational

First Edition

February 2001 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The emotions have traditionally been marginalized in mainstream social theory. This book demonstrates the problems that this has caused and charts the resurgence of emotions in social theory today.

Drawing on a wide variety of sources, both classical and contemporary, Simon Williams treats the emotions as a universal feature of human life and our embodied relationship to the world. He reflects and comments upon the turn towards the body and intimacy in social theory, and explains what is important in current thinking about emotions. In his doing so, readers are provided with a critical assessment of various positions within the field, including the strengths and weaknesses of poststructuralism and postmodernism for examining the emotions in social life.

Why Emotions, Why Now?

Modernity and Its Discontents
Reason Versus Emotion?

Biology Versus Society?
Experiencing Emotions
The Lived Body
Desire, Excess and the Transgression of Corporeal Boundaries
Gender and the Transformation of Intimacy
A 'Stalled Revolution'?

`Manufactured' Emotions?
The '(un)managed Heart' Revisited


`Well written, richly documented, and carefully argued, Emotion and Social Theory takes the sociological understanding of emotions to significant new levels. It will set the standard for work - theoretical and empirical -for some time to come. A must read for seasoned scholars and newcomers to the field' - Virginia Olesen, Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of California

`At millennium's end, emotions have moved to the very centre of social theory. Williams lucidly analyses the writings of philosophers, sociologists, psychologists and psychoanalysts who, though often at odds about everything else, are agreed on that at least' - Stephen Mennell, Professor of Sociology, University College Dublin

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