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Sociology of Emotions and Affect

Aims and objectives:

The Emotions and Affect Thematic Group brings together a growing body of theory, methods and interconnected research on social emotions and affect. This exciting new area contains sociological accounts of the importance of emotions within a range of social spheres. It also recognises that emotions and affect drive the functioning of many social policies, and are also the object of policies aimed at improving wellbeing or reducing loneliness or depression or anger-related violence.

The group builds on the long history of investigating emotions in society developed by key thinkers such as William James, Simmel, Mead, Hochschild, Scheff, Kemper, Collins, Barbalet etc, and has recently become an internationally recognised subfield within sociology. It also seeks to incorporate understandings of the social dimensions of affect and embodiment, and philosophical works by Aristotle, Kant, Sartre, Nancy etc

The relevance of emotions and affect extends now to sub-disciplines including cultural and economic sociology, sociological theory and social psychology, politics and social movements, gender, class and race/ethnicity. Many new kinds of methodology are being successfully employed in Australia to better understand emotions in social life, including historical research on cultural and institutional factors shaping emotions, phenomenological and philosophical investigations, quantitative surveys, qualitative interviews and ethnographies and textual and content analysis.

The intention of this group is to provide a platform to encourage research into the social aspects of emotions and affect. The group’s objectives are to:

  • Explore the role of emotion as a primary sociological concept and force
  • Reveal the common emotional and affective components of disciplines and sociological sub-disciplines
  • Encourage new and critical theorising on social emotions and affect
  • Employ new methodologies in their measurement
  • Understand the role of emotion as it relates to the social research and policy process


January 2012


Deb King, Flinders University

Michelle Peterie, University of Sydney

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Group members

  • Juliet Richters
  • Anne-Maree Sawyer
  • Sarah MacLean
  • Marie Shepherd
  • Alan Petersen
  • Katie Wright
  • Monika Dryburgh
  • Janet Watson
  • Jack Barbalet
  • Vikki Bunton
  • Margaret Gibson
  • Debra King
  • Teresa Flynn
  • Jens O. Zinn
  • Gregory P. Smith
  • Rebecca Olson
  • Steven Threadgold
  • Daphne Habibis
  • Petra Bueskens
  • Sharyn Roach Anleu
  • John Cash
  • Kristin Natalier
  • Angela Lehmann
  • Tristan Kennedy
  • Alex Broom
  • Yarrow Andrew
  • Joel Robert McGregor
  • Christine Tillig
  • Nicholas Hookway
  • Barbara Cosson
  • Gavin Smith
  • Kim Hudson
  • Catherine Robinson
  • Ben Gook
  • Lara McKenzie
  • Jordan Mckenzie
  • Susan Banks
  • Maree Boyle
  • Julia Coffey
  • Ann-Claire Herrmann
  • Penelope Pitt
  • Kesherie Gurung
  • Jessica Richards
  • Nicholas Hill
  • Akane Kanai
  • Benjamin Hanckel
  • Ingrid Muenstermann
  • Matthew Wade
  • Hannah McCann
  • Clare Southerton
  • Jayne Garrod
  • Karla Elliott
  • Ramon Menendez Domingo
  • EJ Shu
  • Ashley Barnwell
  • Joanne Mihelcic
  • Leah Williams Veazey
  • james Holmes
  • Josie Reade
  • Sharon Quah
  • Ashleigh Watson
  • Michelle Peterie
  • Paul Hills
  • Rachael Wallis
  • Alexandra Walker
  • Christine MacDonald
  • Keegan Rylance
  • Genine Hook
  • Debra Hopkins
  • Cameron Arthurs
  • James Connor
  • Anna Tsalapatanis
  • Leanne Higham
  • Amir Salimiha
  • Deana Leahy
  • Caroline Lipinski
  • Seamus Barker
  • Nayana Bibile
  • Jessica Walton
  • Vicki Weetman
  • Harriet Westcott
  • Rose-Marie Stambe
  • Alexia Cameron
  • Jane Frank
  • Cassandra Smith
  • Jacqui Williams
  • James Davis
  • Justine Groizard