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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 End of Passion?
The end of passion?

In this chapter, my aim is to show how postemotionalism as a concept is able to transcend some of the limitations of postmodernism and the conceptual dilemmas it has caused. Many contemporary authors have taken their lead from Friedrich Nietzsche's claim in The Will to Power that rationalism will eventually destroy unreflective spontaneity.1 In The Birth of Tragedy as well, Nietzsche singles out Socrates as the villain in Western history because of his high esteem for logic and rationality. Nietzsche argued that natural, healthy creativity can be achieved only by a return to primordial myth or what he calls the forces of Dionysus. Many intellectuals today accept Nietzsche's thumbnail sketch of modernity as the triumph of Apollo.

Some well-known ...

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