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Emotional Lives
Dramas of Identity in an Age of Mass Media

$28.00 USD

Part of Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction

  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108546409

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  • Emotional Lives explores the changes in emotional cultures that have taken place during the last half century and continue to affect people's identities today. These changes are driven by the culture of consumerism in contemporary post-industrial society and by the emergence of new ideas about public and private life in a time when media culture generates new forms of social relationships and deep personal attachments to celebrity figures. McCarthy shows that people are drawn to public life, not only for entertainment and pleasure but also for its dramas, for memorializing events like disasters, acts of violence, and victimhood. McCarthy's cultural-sociological approach provides new insights about emotions as 'social things' and reveals how today's mass media is an important force for cultural change, including changes in people's relationships, identities, and emotions.

    • Offers a new view of culture today as highly emotional, and how this has changed from the past
    • Explores the role of mass media as an important force for cultural change
    • Examples are drawn from leisure, sports, entertainment, politics, and today's public forms of grief and mourning
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'McCarthy brilliantly develops the theme that in contemporary life we seek distinctive and intense emotion in a shared culture of 'emotional pursuits' that range from passionate, open expressions of emotion at sporting events, to public, collective expressions of grief. Highly recommended for all who desire a deeper understanding of the social nature of emotion.' Stephanie A. Shields, Pennsylvania State University

    'Advancing a brilliant interpretive theory of performance, identity, and emotion, McCarthy offers a cultural sociology of emotions fitted to the contemporary moment. This is a powerful, richly nuanced, evocative work - a stunning and brilliantly innovative intervention.' Norman K. Denzin, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    'Postmodernity poses an intriguing puzzle: how is it that we moderns are at one and the same time ever more invaded by objects and technology, and yet, passionately cultivating our authenticity? This book uniquely bridges the sociology of culture, sociology of media, and sociology of emotions and provides a rich and lucid response to one of the vital questions about the nature of modern identity.' Eva Illouz, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

    'In this insightful and highly readable book, E. Doyle McCarthy builds upon, and greatly enriches, her lifelong work on emotions. She offers a truly integrative view of the relationship between the ways emotions shape and are shaped by culture, especially the intense emotions associated with media culture today.' George Ritzer, University of Maryland

    'With impeccable clarity, an unparalleled grasp of contemporary performance theory, and an unrelenting attention-grabbing focus on contemporary social affairs and events, McCarthy's latest book pushes us to reflect on the theatricality of everyday mediated life and the emotionality of those dramas. This is a must-read for anyone interested in postmodern culture, the sociology of emotions, the media, and identity.' Phillip Vannini, Royal Roads University, Canada

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108546409
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Cultural sociology and the study of emotions
    2. Emotions and modern identity
    3. Emotional sites of death and destruction
    4. Mass emotions in an age of mass media
    5. Afterword, writing and thinking about emotions today.

  • Author

    E. Doyle McCarthy, Fordham University, New York
    E. Doyle McCarthy is Professor of Sociology at Fordham University, New York. She has worked and published in the fields of the sociology of knowledge and emotion studies. She serves on the editorial board of La Critica Sociologia, an international journal in the social sciences, and was previously the senior editor of the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. She was elected chair of the Emotions Section of the American Sociological Association, and served on the executive committee of the International Society for Research on Emotions (ISRE) from 2004 to 2007.

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