Contemporary articles citing Collins R (2004) Interaction Ritual C
cultural, approach, collective, action, actors, emotions, literature, historical, emotional, drawing
- Xu, Bin. 2012. "Grandpa Wen: Scene and Political Performance." Sociological Theory. 30:2 114-129.
- This article remedies the divide in the theory of cultural performance between contingent strategy and cultural structure by bringing scene back in. Scene fuses components of performance and links local performance to macrolevel cultural structures and historical events. I theorize two conceptual elements: scene-act ratio and event-scene link. A scene creates an emotive context that demands consistent and timely performance; features of macrolevel events shape the emotive context of the scene. The two concepts can be deployed to explain variation in performance effectiveness. The theory is illustrated in a comparative study of Chinese leaders' empathetic performance in disasters.
- Scheve, Christian. 2012. "The Social Calibration of Emotion Expression: an Affective Basis of Micro-social Order." Sociological Theory. 30:1 1-14.
- This article analyzes the role of emotions in social interaction and their effects on social structuration and the emergence of micro-social order. It argues that facial expressions of emotion are key in generating robust patterns of social interaction. First, the article shows that actors' encoding of facial expressions combines hardwired physiological principles on the one hand and socially learned aspects on the other hand, leading to fine-grained and socially differentiated dialects of expression. Second, it is argued that decoding facial expression is contingent upon this combination so that reciprocal attributions of emotional states, situational interpretations, and action tendencies are more effective within rather than across social units. Third, this conjunction affects the conditions for emotional contagion, which is argued to be more effective within social units exhibiting similar encoding and decoding characteristics, and thus aligns emotions and action tendencies in a coherent, yet socially differentiated way.
- Fine, Gary. 2010. "The Sociology of the Local: Action and Its Publics." Sociological Theory. 28:4 355-376.
- Sociology requires a robust theory of how local circumstances create social order. When we analyze social structures not recognizing that they depend on groups with collective pasts and futures that are spatially situated and that are based on personal relations, we avoid a core sociological dimension: the importance of local context in constituting social worlds. Too often this has been the sociological stance, both in micro-sociological studies that examine interaction as untethered from local traditions and in research that treats culture as autonomous from action and choice. Building on theories of action, group dynamics, and micro-cultures, I argue that a sociology of the local solves critical theoretical problems. The local is a stage on which social order gets produced and a lens for understanding how particular forms of action are selected. Treating ethnographic studies as readings of ongoing cultures, I examine how the continuing and referential features of group life (spatial arenas, relations, shared pasts) generate action and argue that local practices provide the basis for cultural extension, influencing societal expectations through the linkages among groups.
- Ng, Kwai & Jeffrey Kidder. 2010. "Toward a Theory of Emotive Performance: With Lessons From How Politicians Do Anger." Sociological Theory. 28:2 193-214.
- This article treats the public display of emotion as social performance. The concept of ``emotive performance'' is developed to highlight the overlooked quality of performativity in the social use of emotion. We argue that emotive performance is reflexive, cultural, and communicative. As an active social act, emotive performance draws from the cultural repertoire of interpretative frameworks and dominant narratives. We illustrate the utility of the concept by analyzing two episodes of unrehearsed emotive performances by two well-known politicians, Bill Clinton and Jiang Zemin. The two cases demonstrate how emotion can be analyzed as a domain in which culturally specific narratives and rhetorics are used to advance the situational agenda of actors. The concept opens up a more expansive research agenda for sociology. It pushes sociologists to pay greater attention to people's experiences, interpretations, and deployments of emotions in social life.
- Kenny, Robert. 2010. "Beyond the Elementary Forms of Moral Life: Reflexivity and Rationality in Durkheim's Moral Theory." Sociological Theory. 28:2 215-244.
- Was Durkheim an apologist for the authoritarianism? Is the sociology founded upon his work incapable of critical perspective; and must it operate under the presumption that social agents, including sociologists themselves, are incapable of reflexivity? Certainly some have said so, but they may be wrong. In this essay, I address these questions in the light of Durkheim's revisionary sociology of morals. I elaborate on unfinished elements in Durkheim's abruptly concluded (because of his early and unexpected death) scholarship, pointing out Durkheim's recognition that co-present moral spheres always exist in an organically complex society, and explaining how these co-present spheres obligate social agents to untether from any absolute moral affiliations. Ultimately, then, the argument shows how the solidarity/social-order relationship is transcended within Durkheim's sociology, even by Durkheim himself
- Abrutyn, Seth. 2009. "Toward a General Theory of Institutional Autonomy." Sociological Theory. 27:4 449-465.
- Institutional differentiation has been one of the central concerns of sociology since the days of Auguste Comte. However, the overarching tendency among institutionalists such as Durkheim or Spencer has been to treat the process of differentiation from a macro, ``outside in'' perspective. Missing from this analysis is how institutional differentiation occurs from the ``inside out,'' or through the efforts and struggles of individual and corporate actors. Despite the recent efforts of the ``new institutionalism'' to fill in this gap, a closer look at the literature will uncover the fact that (1) it has tended to conflate macro-level institutions and meso-level organizations and (2) this has led to a taken for granted approach to institutional dynamics. This article seeks to develop a general theory of institutional autonomy; autonomy is a function of the degree to which specialized corporate units are structurally and symbolically independent of other corporate units. It is argued herein that the process by which these ``institutional entrepreneurs'' become independent can explain how institutions become differentiated from the ``inside out.'' Moreover, this article offers five dimensions that can be operationalized, measuring the degree to which institutions are autonomous.
- Wherry, Frederick. 2008. "The Social Characterizations of Price: the Fool, the Faithful, the Frivolous, and the Frugal." Sociological Theory. 26:4 363-379.
- This article extends both Viviana Zelizer's discussion of the social meaning of money and Charles Smith's proposal that pricing is a definitional practice to the under-theorized realm of the social meanings generated in the pricing system. Individuals are attributed with calculating or not calculating whether an object or service is ``worth'' its price, but these attributions differ according to the individual's social location as being near to or far from a societal reference point rather than by the inherent qualities of the object or service purchased. Prices offer seemingly objective (quantitative) proof of the individual's ``logic of appropriateness''-in other words, people like that pay prices such as those. This article sketches a preliminary but nonexhaustive typology of the social characterizations of individuals within the pricing system; these ideal types-the fool, the faithful, the frugal, and the frivolous-and their components offer a systematic approach to understanding prices as embedded in and constituents of social meaning systems.
- West, Brad. 2008. "Enchanting Pasts: the Role of International Civil Religious Pilgrimage in Reimagining National Collective Memory." Sociological Theory. 26:3 258-270.
- The burgeoning activity of Australian backpacker tourists visiting the WWI Gallipoli battlefields is analyzed to explore the rite of international civil religious pilgrimage. Drawing on Maurice Halbwachs, it is argued that this ritual form plays an important role in reimagining and enchanting established national mythologies. At Gallipoli, this occurred through the development of a dialogical historical narrative combining Australian and Turkish understandings of the past. The broader influence of this narrative on Australian historical understanding illustrates how global forces can be integrated within the study of national collective memory.
- Vandenberghe, Frederic. 2007. "Avatars of the Collective: a Realist Theory of Collective Subjectivities." Sociological Theory. 25:4 295-324.
- Martin, JL & M George. 2006. "Theories of Sexual Stratification: Toward an Analytics of the Sexual Field and a Theory of Sexual Capital." Sociological Theory. 24:2 107-132.
- The American tradition of action theory failed to produce a useful theory of the possible existence of trans-individual consistencies in sexual desirability. Instead, most sociological theorists have relied on market metaphors to account for the logic of sexual action. Through a critical survey of sociological attempts to explain the social organization of sexual desiring, this article demonstrates that the market approach is inadequate, and that its inadequacies can be remedied by studying sexual action as occurring within a specifically sexual field (in Bourdieu's sense), with a correlative sexual capital. Such a conception allows for historical and comparative analysis of changes in the organization of sexual action that are impeded by the use of a market metaphor, and also points to difficulties in Bourdieu's own treatment of the body qua body.
- Berk, BB. 2006. "Macro-micro Relationships in Durkheim's Analysis of Egoistic Suicide." Sociological Theory. 24:1 58-80.
- Contemporary theory is increasingly concerned with macro-micro integration. An attempt is made to integrate these levels of analysis in Durkheim's theory of egoistic suicide. Does Durkheim's theory, which is a social system analysis designed to explain differences in suicide rates between groups, have micro implications for specifying which particular individuals within the group will take their lives? In attempting to answer this question by exploring the causal linkages between integration and suicide, Durkheim's theory of egoistic suicide was revealed not to be a singular theory but rather contained several different explanations. The numerous interpretations have resulted from his incompletely specified, inconsistent, unsystematized, and inadequately tested theory. These ambiguities also account for the historically inconsistent research findings that have limited sociologists' ability to advance beyond Durkheim's century-old formulations. Further areas for new research and illustrative hypothesis are suggested.
- Alexander, JC. 2004. "Cultural Pragmatics: Social Performance Between Ritual and Strategy." Sociological Theory. 22:4 527-573.
- Front its very beginnings, the social study of culture has been polarized between structuralist theories that treat meaning as a text and investigate the patterning that provides relative autonomy and pragmatist theories that treat meaning as emerging from the contingencies of individual and collective action-so-called practices-and that analyze cultural patterns as reflections of power and material interest. In this article, I present a theory of cultural pragmatics that transcends this division, bringing meaning structures, contingency, power, and materiality together in a new way. My argument is that the materiality of practices should be replaced by the more multidimensional concept Of performances. Drawing on the new field of performance studies, cultural pragmatics demonstrates how social performances, whether individual or collective, can be analogized systematically to theatrical ones. After defining the elements of social performance, I suggest that these elements have become ``de-fased'' as societies have become more complex. Performances are successful only insofar as they can ``re-fuse'' these increasingly disentangled elements. In a fused performance, audiences identify with actors, and cultural effective mise-en-scene. Performances fail when this scripts achieve verisimilitude through rethinking process is incomplete: the elements of performance remain, apart, and social action seems inauthentic and artificial, failing to persuade. Refusion, by contrast, allows actors to communicate the meanings of their actions successfully and thus to pursue their interests effectively.
- Collins, R. 2004. "Rituals of Solidarity and Security in the Wake of Terrorist Attack." Sociological Theory. 22:1 53-87.
- Conflict produces group solidarity in four phases: (1) an initial few days of shock and idiosyncratic individual reactions to attack; (2) one to two weeks of establishing standardized displays of solidarity symbols; (3) two to three months of high solidarity plateau; and (4) gradual decline toward normalcy in six to nine months. Solidarity is not uniform but is clustered in local groups supporting each other's symbolic behavior. Actual solidarity behaviors are performed by minorities of the population, while vague verbal claims to performance are made by large majorities. Commemorative rituals intermittently revive high emotional peaks; participants become ranked according to their closeness to a center of ritual attention. Events, places, and organizations claim importance by associating themselves with national solidarity rituals and especially by surrounding themselves with pragmatically ineffective security ritual. Conflicts arise over access to centers of ritual attention; clashes occur between pragmatists deritualizing security and security zealots attempting to keep up the level of emotional intensity. The solidarity plateau is also a hysteria zone; as a center of emotional attention, it attracts ancillary attacks unrelated to the original terrorists as well as alarms and hoaxes. In particular historical circumstances, it becomes a period of atrocities.
- Emirbayer, M & CA Goldberg. 2005. "Pragmatism, Bourdieu, and Collective Emotions in Contentious Politics." Theory and Society. 34:5-6 469-518.
- We aim to show how collective emotions can be incorporated into the study of episodes of political contention. In a critical vein, we systematically explore the weaknesses in extant models of collective action, showing what has been lost through a neglect or faulty conceptualization of collective emotional configurations. We structure this discussion in terms of a review of several ``pernicious postulates'' in the literature, assumptions that have been held, we argue, by classical social-movement theorists and by social-structural and cultural critics alike. In a reconstructive vein, however, we also lay out the foundations of a more satisfactory theoretical framework. We take each succeeding critique of a pernicious postulate as the occasion for more positive theory-building. Drawing upon the work of the classical American pragmatists-especially Peirce, Dewey, and Mead-as well as aspects of Bourdieu's sociology, we construct, step by step, the foundations of a more adequate theorization of social movements and collective action. Accordingly, the negative and positive threads of our discussion are woven closely together: the dismantling of pernicious postulates and the development of a more useful analytical strategy.
- Convert, Bernard & Johan Heilbron. 2007. "Where Did the New Economic Sociology Come From?." Theory and Society. 36:1 31-54.
- Like all new research fields, the ``new economic sociology'' was produced by the redeployment of relatively diverse researchers under a single academic label. Academic entrepreneurs in the second half of the 1980s took up the traditional term of the European ``founding fathers'' claiming they were renewing the discipline while distinguishing themselves from (1) the old homegrown denomination ``economy and society,'' (2) anti-disciplinary currents such as neo-Marxism, and (3) interdisciplinary movements like ``socioeconomics.'' The relative unity of the new economic sociology was due more to this set of demarcations than to a specific intellectual approach. The new economic sociology obtained its scientific legitimacy by bringing together two promising new currents: network analysis and neo-institutionalism, along with a more marginal cultural mode of analysis. While there had been very little exchange among these currents, mutual references became more ecumenical once a common label had emerged and distinct intellectual programs were launched. Institutional legitimacy was quickly obtained thanks to the support of the Russell Sage Foundation, enabling a process of expansion that in Europe developed far more slowly. The case of the ``new economic sociology'' demonstrates that the creation of new subdisciplines cannot be understood merely through the analysis of direct interactions among persons linked to each other by inter-acquaintanceship. In accordance with a field theoretical approach, academic entrepreneurs function under structural conditions which must also be taken into account. Among these structural conditions were changes in the academic field itself (due to demographical effects, the imperialism of economics, and the surge in Business Schools) as well as in the political sphere (die rise of neo-liberalism).
- Bandelj, Nina. 2009. "Emotions in Economic Action and Interaction." Theory and Society. 38:4 347-366.
- How do emotions influence economic action? Current literature recognizes the importance of emotions for economy because they either help individuals perform economic roles through emotion management or enhancement of emotional intelligence, or because they aid rationality through their influence on preference formation. All these strands of research investigate the link between emotions and economy from an atomistic/individualistic perspective. I argue for a different approach, one that adopts a relational perspective, focuses on emotional embeddedness and examines how emotions matter in economic interactions. Emotional embeddedness research starts with a premise that emotions result from and are influenced by interactions between economic actors during the economic process where emotional currents and their visceral and physical manifestations come to the fore. This increases the uncertainty in economic transactions and complicates the given means-ends logic of rational economic decision making, yielding economic action principles different from utility maximization. I propose two types of such creative economic action in this paper: improvisation and situational adaptation. Improvisation characterizes situations where ends (goals) and means are unclear at the beginning of a transaction process and get articulated as a consequence of emotional embeddedness experienced during a process. Situational adaptation characterizes situations in which means or ends of action change because of interaction-induced emotions that prompt actors to choose new means/ends. The article concludes with a call for empirical research that explicates further the influence of emotions not merely for rational economic action but also creative economic interactions.
- Illouz, Eva & Shoshannah Finkelman. 2009. "An Odd and Inseparable Couple: Emotion and Rationality in Partner Selection." Theory and Society. 38:4 401-422.
- The dichotomy between emotion and rationality has been one of the most enduring of sociological theory. This article attempts to bypass this dichotomy by examining how emotion and rationality are conjoined in the practice of the choice of a mate. We posit the fundamental role of culture in determining the nature of this intertwinement. We explore the culturally embedded intertwining of emotion and rationality through the notion of modal configuration. Modal configuration includes five key features: reflexivity, techniques, modal emphasis, modal overlap, and modal sequencing. We apply this framework to the topic of partner selection. Comparing primary and secondary sources on pre-modern partner selection and on internet dating, we show that emotion and rationality were intertwined in both periods but that what differs between them is precisely the emotion-rationality modality.
- Mariot, Nicolas. 2011. "Does Acclamation Equal Agreement? Rethinking Collective Effervescence Through the Case of the Presidential ``tour De France'' During the Twentieth Century." Theory and Society. 40:2 191-221.
- This article discusses the integrative function frequently assigned to festive events by scholars. This function can be summed up in a proposition: experiencing similar emotions during collective gatherings is a powerful element of socialization. The article rejects this oft-developed idea according to which popular fervor could be an efficient tool to measure civic engagement. It raises the following question: what makes enthusiasm ``civic'', ``patriotic'', ``republican'' or simply ``political''? Based on a study of French presidential tours in France from 1888 to 2007, this article casts a different light on the topic. The enthusiasm of the crowds interacting with the successive French presidents is not civic because an inquiry may find ``patriotism'' into participants' minds. It can be called civic simply because the forms and meaning of the festive jubilation, which may be summarized into the formula: ``if spectators applaud, it means they support,'' necessarily preexist its multiple manifestations.
- Baert, Patrick. 2011. "The Sudden Rise of French Existentialism: a Case-study in the Sociology of Intellectual Life." Theory and Society. 40:6 619-644.
- This article offers a new explanation for the sudden rise in popularity of French existentialism, in particular of Sartre's version, in the mid-1940s. It develops a multidimensional account that recognizes both structural and cultural factors. The explanation differs from, and more fully addresses the complexity of the situation than, the two most prominent existing explanations: namely Anna Boschetti's Bourdieu-inspired account and Randall Collins's network-based approach. It is argued that, because of specific socio-political circumstances, the intellectual establishment became tainted and lost legitimacy, with its aesthetic and philosophical views now regarded as outdated if not politically dangerous. This hiatus brought unprecedented publishing opportunities for a new philosophical current, and skilful public performances by the main protagonists helped its ascendancy. Most importantly, existentialist writers colluded with de Gaulle in portraying a cohesive and defiant French nation; and their philosophy, especially in its notion of responsibility, enabled sections of French society to assimilate and make sense of the recent past, whilst drawing a line underneath it so as to move forward.
- Tavory, Iddo & Daniel Winchester. 2012. "Experiential Careers: the Routinization and De-routinization of Religious Life." Theory and Society. 41:4 351-373.
- This article develops the concept of experiential careers, drawing theoretical attention to the routinization and de-routinization of specific experiences as they unfold over social career trajectories. Based on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork in two religious communities, we compare the social-temporal patterning of religious experience among newly religious Orthodox Jews and converted Muslims in two cities in the United States. In both cases, we find that as newly religious people work to transform their previous bodily habits and take on newly prescribed religious acts, the beginning of their religious careers becomes marked by what practitioners describe as potent religious experiences in situations of religious practice. However, over time, these once novel practices become routinized and religious experiences in these situations diminish, thus provoking actors and institutions in both fields to work to re-enchant religious life. Through this ethnographic comparison, we demonstrate the utility of focusing on experiential careers as a sociological unit of analysis. Doing so allows sociologists to use a non-reductive phenomenological approach to chart the shifting manifestations of experiences people deeply care about, along with the patterned enchantments, disenchantments, and possible re-enchantments these social careers entail. As such, this approach contributes to the analysis of social careers and experiences of ``becoming'' across both religious and non-religious domains.
- Collins, Randall & Mauro Guillen. 2012. "Mutual Halo Effects in Cultural Production: the Case of Modernist Architecture." Theory and Society. 41:6 527-556.
- Previous research has suggested that in cultural production fields the concatenation of eminence explains success, defined as influence and innovation. We propose that individuals in fields as diverse as philosophy, literature, mathematics, painting, or architecture gain visibility by cumulating the eminence of others connected to them across and within generations. We draw on interaction ritual chain and social movement theories, and use evidence from the field of modernist architecture, to formulate a model of how networks of very strong ties generate motivations and emotional enthusiasm, change reputations, and form collective movements that over time transform the structure of cultural fields. Because major aesthetic innovations break sharply with older styles, they need very strong group solidarity over a long period of time to propagate a new standard of practice. We propose mutual halo effects, i.e., the reciprocal reinforcement of upstream and downstream prestige on a given individual node, as the key factor accounting for success in a cultural production field. We discuss the relevance of these results for building a model of influence and innovation in cultural production fields in which networks-reshaped by shifting technological, political, and economic conditions-trigger new styles.
- Pfaff, Steven. 2013. "The True Citizens of the City of God: the Cult of Saints, the Catholic Social Order, and the Urban Reformation in Germany." Theory and Society. 42:2 189-218.
- Historical scholarship suggests that a robust cult of the saints may have helped some European regions to resist inroads by Protestantism. Based on a neo-Durkheimian theory of rituals and social order, I propose that locally based cults of the saints that included public veneration lowered the odds that Protestantism would displace Catholicism in sixteenth-century German cities. To evaluate this proposition, I first turn to historical and theoretical reflection on the role of the cult of the saints in late medieval history. I then test the hypothesis with a data set of sixteenth-century German cities. Statistical analysis provides additional support for the ritual and social order thesis because even when several important variables identified by materialist accounts of the Reformation in the social scientific literature the presence of shrines as an indicator for the cult of the saints remains large and significant. Although large-scale social change is usually assumed to have politico-economic sources, this analysis suggests that cultural factors may be of equal or greater importance.