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Postemotional Society

Postemotional Society

February 1997 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Arguing that the focus of postmodernism has been on knowledge and information, Postemotional Society demonstrates how the emotions in mass industrial societies have been neglected to devastating effects. Using a wealth of information, author Stjepan G. Mestrovic shows how emotion has become increasingly separated from action; how in a world of disjointed and synthetic emotions social solidarity has become increasingly problematic; and how compassion fatigue has increasingly replaced political commitment and responsibility. Mestrovic's argument is rigorous and thorough, discussing the relation between knowledge and the emotions in thinkers as diverse as Durkheim and Baudrillard, as well as examining the carnage in the former Yugoslavia. This stimulating and provocative work concludes with a discussion of the postemotional society, where the peer group replaces the government as the means of social control. Postemotional Society will be read as critical commentary and as social and cultural theory in the great sociological tradition of Veblen, Riesman, and Mills and thus will be invaluable to students in the fields of sociology, social theory, and political science. "A valuable and stimulating learning experience . . . accessible, finely written, passionate, and important." --Keith Tester, Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth

David Riesman
The End of Passion?
Recontextualizing David Riesman's The Lonely Crowd
The Authenticity Industry
The Disappearance of the Sacred
Death and the End of Innocence
The Final Triumph of Mechanization


As Mestrovic rightly notes, the missing ingredient in most sociological theorising is the role of the emotions. In this respect, Postemotional Society exemplifies both the importance and the dilemmas involved in the sociological study of emotions in social life... Drawing upon an eclectic variety of sources, from Durkheim to Baudrillard, Riesman to Ritzer, Doestoevsy to Orwell, Mestrovic argues that modernity's diametrically opposed tendencies towards order and chaos have resulted in a new hybrid world of rationally ordered, McDonaldised emotions... An insightful, thought-provoking book.

Simon J. Williams, University of Warwick

A valuable and stimulating learning experience... accessible, finely written, passionate and important.

Keith Tester
Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth

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