Introducing a new term to the sociological lexicon: ‘postemotionalism’, Stjepan G Mešstrović argues that the focus of postmodernism has been on knowledge and information, and he demonstrates how the emotions in mass, industrial societies have been neglected to devastating effect. Using contempoary examples, the author shows how emotion has become increasingly separated from action; how — in a world of disjointed and synthetic emotions — social solidarity has become more problematic; and how compassion fatigue has increasingly replaced political commitment and responsibility. Mešstrović discusses the relation between knowledge and the emotions in thinkers as diverse as Durkheim and Baudrillard



The following is a theoretical discussion that will attempt to introduce a new sociological concept, postemotionalism, to account for the lacunae and deficiencies of postmodernism as a theoretical construct, and to capture a distinct tendency in contemporary social life toward the mechanization of emotional life. Inspired by George Orwell's1 and George Ritzer's2 discussions of the mechanization of social life, I will extended their insights to include the mechanization of the emotions. I will also sociologize Orwell's insight by situating it within a larger social theoretical context. I will do this by recontextualizing the works of David Riesman and Émile Durkheim in addition to those of Herbert Marcuse, Georg Simmel, Henry Adams, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and other intellectuals who wrote on the happy consciousness of a ...

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