Collective emotions

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    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Research on collective emotions has been limited until recently to theories of irrational crowds, scepticism about genuinely group-level psychological phenomena and analyses of the unconscious or ritual sources of mass affective experience. However, collective emotion is now a thriving research area that combines studies from philosophy, anthropology, sociology, social psychology and neuroscience. This article examines neo-Durkheimian theories of collective emotions and relevant contributions of discursive psychologists and other social scientists influenced by the “turn to affect.” I argue that future theoretical and empirical investigations should do the following: (1) critically examine theories focusing on diffuse emotional energy and discrete collective emotions by also exploring the generation and production of genuinely collective mixed emotions; (2) clarify problems with “bottom-up” models of causal mechanisms through exploration of “affective practices” ; and (3) explore the implications of Tuomela’s (2013) “top-down” socialontology of “group agents” as a framework for theories and studies of collective emotion
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)383–393
    Number of pages11
    JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
    Issue number8
    Early online date15 Jul 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

    Bibliographical note

    This article has been accepted for publication in Social and Personality Psychology Compass - full citation details will be updated once available.


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