Interactionism and the Sociology of Emotions

Paolo Iagulli


The aim of this article is to draw attention to the close relationship that exists between interactionism and the sociology of emotions. Not only was the latter born (also) under the sign of interactionism, it has developed essentially through two perspectives, the positivist and the interactionist, that consider interaction a more or less fundamental dimension of the emotions as sociologically understood. It is the interactionist perspective that emphasizes its relevance, however, as demonstrated by two specific approaches which can be traced back to that perspective, the symbolic interactionist approach as such and the dramaturgical-cultural approach. Since it holds together the different ‘ingredients’ of the emotions, namely biology, culture and cognitive processes, the interactionist perspective is to be preferred for the purpose of adequately understanding them.


sociology of emotions; positivism; interactionism

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