Sex, smoking, and social stratification are three very different social phenomena. And yet, argues sociologist Randall Collins, they and much else in our social lives are driven by a common force: interaction rituals. Interaction Ritual Chains is a major work of sociological theory that attempts to develop a "radical microsociology." It proposes that successful rituals create symbols of group membership and pump up individuals with emotional energy, while failed rituals drain emotional energy. Each person flows from situation to situation, drawn to those interactions where their cultural capital gives them the best emotional energy payoff. Thinking, too, can be explained by the internalization of conversations within the flow of situations; individual selves are thoroughly and continually social, constructed from the outside in. The first half of Interaction Ritual Chains is based on the classic analyses of Durkheim, Mead, and Goffman and draws on micro-sociological research on conversation, bodily rhythms, emotions, and intellectual creativity. The second half discusses how such activities as sex, smoking, and social stratification are shaped by interaction ritual chains. For example, the book addresses the emotional and symbolic nature of sexual exchanges of all sorts--from hand-holding to masturbation to sexual relationships with prostitutes--while describing the interaction rituals they involve. This book will appeal not only to psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, but to those in fields as diverse as human sexuality, religious studies, and literary theory.
Since the 1970s, the study of emotions moved to the forefront of sociological analysis. This book brings the reader up to date on the theory and research that have proliferated in the analysis of human emotions. The first section of the book addresses the classification, the neurological underpinnings, and the effect of gender on emotions. The second reviews sociological theories of emotion. Section three covers theory and research on specific emotions: love, envy, empathy, anger, grief, etc. The final section shows how the study of emotions adds new insight into other subfields of sociology: the workplace, health, and more.
The work of fifteen nationally and internationally known theorists in sociology, this volume demonstrates an exciting new trend in sociological thinking. Each essay proposes a link between the two distinguishable traditions of sociological theory--the microscopic, which stresses the self and the interaction among persons, and the macroscopic, which concentrates on the institutional, cultural, and societal levels. Each mode of analysis has had its champions, and the proponents of each have often taken positions of polemic opposition to one another.
This book addresses the vital role of public Christian worship in adolescent spiritual formation and shows how important youth ministry and worship ministry are to each other. Despite numerous research projects, books, articles, and resources that have been published about teenagers and about worship in recent years, the relationship between the two has been addressed only peripherally if not altogether overlooked. Drawing on his extensive experience in worship ministry and youth ministry, Eric Mathis offers insights into the worship practices of teenagers, corrects common misperceptions about worship, and critically examines four prominent worship models in current practice. Mathis invites youth pastors, worship leaders, ministerial students, and congregations to elevate the voices of young people in the worshiping community and enhance worship for all ages. The book includes a foreword by Kenda Creasy Dean.
Sociology is experiencing what can only be described as hyperdifferentiation of theories - there are now many approaches competing for attention in the intellectual arena . From this perspective, we should see a weeding out of theories to a small number, but this is not likely to occur because each of the many theoretical perspectives has a resource base of adherents. As a result, theories in sociology do not compete head on with each other as much as they coexist. This seminal reference work was brought together with an eye to capturing the diversity of theoretical activity in sociology - specifically the forefront of theory. Contributors describe what they themselves are doing right now rather than what others have done in the past. The goal of this volume is to allow prominent theorists working in a variety of traditions - who wouldn't usually come together - to review their work. The chapters in this volume represent a mix of theoretical orientations and strategies, but these these theories are diverse and represent the prominent theoretical discussions in sociology today. Some areas included are: Section I: Theoretical Methodologies and Strategies Section II: The Cultural Turn in Sociological Theorizing Section III: Theorizing Interaction Processes Section IV: Theorizing from the Systemic and Macrolevel Section V: New Directions in Evolutionary Theorizing Section VI: Theorizing on Power, Conflict, and Change SectionVII: Theorizing from Assumptions of Rationality This handbook will be of interest to those wanting a broad spectrum and overview of late 20th - early 21st century sociological theory.
This book shows how contemporary religious groups arrange very different sorts of rituals in order to achieve collective encounters with “the spirit.” Mixed-methods analysis of rituals across a diverse range of religious traditions shows how Randall Collins’ interaction ritual theory opens new pathways for the sociology of religion.
This book focuses on the use of guanxi (Chinese personal connections) in everyday urban life: in particular, how and why people develop different types of social capital in their guanxi networks and the role of guanxi in school choice. Guanxi takes on a special significance in Chinese societies, and is widely-discussed and intensely-studied phenomenon today. In recent years in China, the phenomenon of parents using guanxi to acquire school places for their children has been frequently reported by the media, against the background of the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on corruption. From a sociological perspective, this book reveals how and why parents manage to do so. Ritual capital refers to an individual's ability to use ritual to benefit and gain resources from guanxi.
Hilbert demonstrates the historical connection between the nineteenth-century theory of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, in which sociology had its origins, and the ethnomethodological approach articulated in the 1960s by Harold Garfinkel. The author rejects the conventional view that draws radical distinctions between the two systems and at the same time provides an intellectual genealogy of ethnomethodology.
Ritual and the Sacred discusses some of the most important issues of modern socio-political life through the lens of a neo-Durkheimian perspective. Building on the main lesson of Durkheim's Elementary Forms of Religious Life, this book articulates values and practices common to non-Western and religious traditions that have the capacity to shape our modern way of living. Central to this volume is the question of modernity and scepticism with regard to mainstream Western wisdom; Rosati focuses on the notion of societal self-reassessment and self-revision, illustrating a willingness to learn from ’primitive’ societies. This reassessment necessitates us to rethink the central roles played by ritual and the sacred as building blocks of social and individual life, both of which remain salient features within the modern world. This title will be of key interest to sociologists of religion, philosophy politics and social theorists.
The notion of common sense and abiding by its implications is something that, seemingly, everyone agrees is a good way of making behavioral decisions and conducting one's daily activities. This holds true whether one is a liberal, moderate, or conservative; young or old; and regardless of one's race and ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. If utilizing common sense is such a good idea, why then, do so many people seem to violate it? This is just one of many significant questions surrounding the idea of common sense explored and discussed in this book. This volume presents common sense as a ‘paradigm of thought’ and as such, compares it to other major categories of thought — tradition, faith, enlightened and rational. Combining a balance of practical, everyday approaches (through the use of popular culture references and featured boxes) and academic analysis of core and conceptual methodological issues, Delaney demonstrates: The limitations of common sense and its place in everyday social interactions How we learn about common sense Why common sense is so important Common Sense as a Paradigm of Thought introduces readers to a rich variety of sociological authors and will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as: sociology, philosophy, social psychology, cultural studies, communications and health studies.
Restorative justice is an innovative approach to responding to crime and conflict that shifts the focus away from laws and punishment to instead consider the harm caused and what is needed to repair that harm and make things right. Interest in restorative justice is rapidly expanding, with new applications continuously emerging around the world. The restorative philosophy and conference process have shown great promise in providing a justice response that heals individuals and strengthens the community. Still, a few key questions remain unanswered. First, how is the personal and relational transformation apparent in the restorative justice process achieved? What can be done to safeguard and enhance that effectiveness? Second, can restorative justice satisfy the wider public’s need for a reaffirmation of communal norms following a crime, particularly in comparison to the criminal trial? And finally, given its primary focus on making amends at an interpersonal level, does restorative justice routinely fail to address larger, structural injustices? This book engages with these three critical questions through an understanding of restorative justice as a ritual. It proffers three dominant ritual functions related to the performance of justice: the normative, the transformative, and the proleptic. Two justice rituals, namely, the criminal trial and the restorative justice conference, are examined through this framework in order to understand how each process fulfills, or fails to fulfill, the multifaceted human need for justice. The book will be of interest to students, academics, and practitioners working in the areas of Restorative Justice, Criminal Law, and Criminology.
Microsociologists seek to capture social life as it is experienced, and in recent decades no one has championed the microsociological approach more fiercely than Randall Collins. The pieces in this exciting volume offer fresh and original insights into key aspects of Collins’ thought, and of microsociology more generally. The introductory essay by Elliot B. Weininger and Omar Lizardo provides a lucid overview of the key premises this perspective. Ethnographic papers by Randol Contreras, using data from New York, and Philippe Bourgois and Laurie Kain Hart, using data from Philadelphia, examine the social logic of violence in street-level narcotics markets. Both draw on heavily on Collins’ microsociological account of the features of social situations that tend to engender violence. In the second section of the book, a study by Paul DiMaggio, Clark Bernier, Charles Heckscher, and David Mimno tackles the question of whether electronically mediated interaction exhibits the ritualization which, according to Collins, is a common feature of face-to-face encounters. Their results suggest that, at least under certain circumstances, digitally mediated interaction may foster social solidarity in a manner similar to face-to-face interaction. A chapter by Simone Polillo picks up from Collins’ work in the sociology of knowledge, examining multiple ways in which social network structures can engender intellectual creativity. The third section of the book contains papers that critically but sympathetically assess key tenets of microsociology. Jonathan H. Turner argues that the radically microsociological perspective developed by Collins will better serve the social scientific project if it is embedded in a more comprehensive paradigm, one that acknowledges the macro- and meso-levels of social and cultural life. A chapter by David Gibson presents empirical analyses of decisions by state leaders concerning whether or not to use force to deal with internal or external foes, suggesting that Collins’ model of interaction ritual can only partially illuminate the dynamics of these highly consequential political moments. Work by Erika Summers-Effler and Justin Van Ness seeks to systematize and broaden the scope of Collins’ theory of interaction, by including in it encounters that depart from the ritual model in important ways. In a final, reflective chapter, Randall Collins himself highlights the promise and future of microsociology. Clearly written, these pieces offer cutting-edge thinking on some of the crucial theoretical and empirical issues in sociology today.