The emotions have traditionally been marginalized in mainstream social theory. This book demonstrates the problems that this has caused and charts the resurgence of emotions in social theory today. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, both classical and contemporary, Simon Williams treats the emotions as a universal feature of human life and our embodied relationship to the world. He reflects and comments upon the turn towards the body and intimacy in social theory, and explains what is important in current thinking about emotions. In his doing so, readers are provided with a critical assessment of various positions within the field, including the strengths and weaknesses of poststructuralism and postmodernism for examinin

Modernity and its Discontents: Reason versus Emotion?

Modernity and its discontents: Reason versus emotion?

In this chapter we take a closer look at the relationship between reason and emotion within modernity, both past and present.1 Taking as our point of departure the ambivalent nature of modernity, a series of classic and contemporary sociological debates concerning rationality and emotions are considered through a corporeal lens: from Weber's ‘disenchanted’ world, through the hybrid ‘postemotional’ world of Meštrović, to the ‘re-enchanted’ world of Maffesoli. The history of rational modernity, as we shall see, is indeed emotional through and through, throwing into critical relief the tensions and dilemmas of the (un)managed heart, both bloody and harmonious. This, in turn, paves the way for a series of further reflections on the ...

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