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 Authenticity Industry

The authenticity industry

Clearly, the claims put forth in this book concerning postemotional theory invite the retort, ‘What, then, is authentic?’ In some ways, a similar question was asked on a mass scale in the 1960 counter-culture movement. The very fact that this concern with authenticity was part of a self-conscious mass movement makes it suspect. A more academic precursor to the concern with authenticity is to be found in the works of the Frankfurt School, particularly in the work of Walter Benjamin on aura and Herbert Marcuse on ‘happy consciousness.’1 The previous fin de siècle was also concerned with spontaneous, genuine emotion as opposed to the modernist rationalization of feelings, and this concern is reflected in the works of Dostoevsky, Henry Adams, ...

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