Den sociala kroppen som känslans boning - ett utkast till en teori om vårt emotionella jeg

  • Emma Engdal


The social body as the dwelling place of emotion: an outline of a theory of the emotional self This article discusses a crucial problem for the sociology of the emotions: how to understand the constitution and disposition of emotion. This problem is explored first through three theoretical approaches, positivism, symbolic interactionism and social constructionism. Thereafter an alternative approach is presented, which makes a funda-mental distinction between drive (that is thirst, hunger, sex) as a biological phenomenon and emotion (for instance, shame, pride, happiness, grief) as a social phenomenon. It is argued that the latter has its origin in the social process of role taking’, in the sense suggested by G. H. Mead. In contrast to Mead, however, role taking is not only a cog-nitive (and normative) process, but also an emotional one. Language and an ability to think or reflect are acquired in this process, along with a social body and an ability to feel emotions (among other abilities). Hence, both a cognitive (normative) self and an emotional self have their origins in the social act. Following from this the article develops a critique of the dominant view of the social as something exclusively cognitive, and it is argued that the social per se is a multi-dimensional process.