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