Emotions and Relationships - Wednesday March 19 2014th
What are emotions?
• Emotions are feelings that we have towards peoples, places, things, situations, contexts,
• Why is sociology interested in emotions?
o They are an aspect of everyday life and affect individuals
• Sociology of emotions is an aspect of everyday life and affect individuals
• Sociology of emotions is an interest in how society affects out feeling and emotional
o Attentive to structure interaction, interpretation, and the interplay between them
o Important link between attitudes and emotions
• Emotions are relative: situational, temporal, cultural, social political, etc..., relevant
• Different components of emotions, including:
o Physiological changes: Blushes, crying, shouting, etc…
o Expressive gestures: Response to a stimulus which are labeled (ie. Emotional
o Affect: evaluation of emotions influence
o Mood: ‘emotional states’
o Feeling: ‘…internal states associated with particular emotion’
o Sentiments: similar to societal norms and values, except in regards to emotions
Ex. Wedding = Congratulations, Funeral = Condolences, Sympathy
• What psychological changes do you notice in Damian?
o Happy, tears of joy, laughing, blushing, suspense, mystery
• Is Damien exhibiting expressive gestures and emotional labels?
o Yes, with his parents, even with an inanimate object with the paper
• What affects does the situation Damian is placed into have on his self and what mood
does it place him in? • Can we identify Damien’s feelings and the feelings of those around him?
• As a society, what sentiment can we express about situations similar to this one?
• Kemper (1987) argued for 2 types of emotions
o Primary – Biological, Physiological
o Secondary – Social in nature
• Just like we have discrimination, we have emotional discrimination we will later watch as
video clip from the agenda with Steve Paikin (2013) which illustrates emotion work as
well as emotional discrimination.
SI & Emotions
• Emotions, like others aspects of social life, are socially constructed
o Influenced by and influences structural life
• Emotions are a part of our everyday interactions
o Can limit or inhibit those ‘interactions ritual chain’
o Can provide us with conformist or deviant adaptations to norms and values of
• Types of Moral Emotions
o Self-directed emotion of shame and guilt
o Other-directed emotions of contempt, anger and disgust
o Sympathizing and empathizing responses to distress
o Emotions associated with praising others for their moral behaviours
• Where do we learn about emotions
o Like other processes, through socialization and agents of socialization
• Recall our discussions earlier in the term with regards to rewards, sanctions,
presentations of self, impression management, self-fulfilling, prophecy, Pygmalion effect,
and looking glass self
o All of these are contingent and influenced by emotional responses and reactions
between social actors involved in the interact rituals/process of exchange
o Are mediated by emotional scripts and emotional cues • These ‘emotional scripts’ and ‘emotional cues’ steer us towards appropriate and
inappropriate ways to handle and deal with emotional situations
SI, Emotions and Relationships
• 4 Pillars of attraction
Physical proximity, with the exceptions of long distance relationships and
Similar thoughts, interests, etc…
o Physical attractiveness
o Reciprocal liking – They must like you back too!
• How do relationships change over time; how do we construct relationships and our
emotional connection to people; how do people in