We are social beings, humans develop us at certain values and cultural norms in contact with others. In this social life, our behavior and actions vary depending on the emotions that express and all these emotions are characteristics of society. Some branches of sociology have dealt with theorizing about the emotions. In this article we will find out what the sociological authors say about emotions. We will briefly review some of them.
To begin with, in classical sociological theory absence of an explicit thesis on emotions is given. However, if we investigate on parental discipline we find latent two authors who speculate with emotional shocks.
One is M. Weber, on his construction of normative theory, a kind of ideal for understanding social action in which individuals interact with each other. For Weber human beings relates in different forms called social actions: rational action purposive to endings, rational action purposive to values, the affective and the traditional. Individuals make their decisions based on them.
Another classic author in this discipline that implicitly name emotions is E. Durkheim that through his work Suicide (1897) identifies a number of risk factors for self-harm, modifiable or unmodifiable. The first may be varied clinically . The latter are closely related to the subject in question or the social group to which it belongs.
But you need to leap to the contemporary sociological theory to find authors that connect us directly with the emotions.
First approaches to this discipline are reflected in three authors who build the society of emotions in a specific field of study, whose object of study is the relationship between the social dimension of the individual and social dimensions. They drink of classical authors, but they expand their studies.
We started with Tehodore D. Kemper. For the author, sociology of emotions understands that people are fed and understood within our social relations, they are inherent to human beings in our social interaction, which give meaning. Our feelings give rise to a number of specific circumstances that arise emotions. Kemper planned to analyze social status and power based on negative emotions such as guilt, fear, depression and shame. Other way is sociology with emotions, because without the emotional analysis can not understand social phenomena as nationalism or, more generally, collective identity.
This study about “national sentiment” is approached by Arlie R. Hochschild. Author focuses on the feelings in the daily lives of people, conscious emotions, because what we feel is as important as what we think or do. For the author, emotions and social structures are connected.
Third, Thomas Scheff with his observation of emotion in sociology tries to regain social ties and emotions. This author develops a sociological Theory of shame, which results in social ties. He designates them as “safe ties”, where people have with the other an appropriate “social distance”; and “unsafe ties”, which, by contrast, the individual is very close. He says that shame and pride are the basic emotions as they indicate the “state of the social tie”. He argues that human beings feel pride when their relationships with others are safe. And the feeling of shame will be reflected when there is insecurity.
We conclude that sociology has not stopped sufficiently on emotions. It is significant to study how they are associated with our guidelines, behaviors, actions and styles of social life and how we do not perceive that they condition us. It is necessary to deepen on the creation of a theoretical framework for the benefit of social behavior in the community.