Vol. 12 No. 24 (2021): Le emozioni come oggetti sociali. Prospettive interdisciplinari

Il substrato emotivo della modernità

Published November 16, 2021
  • Pandemic,
  • face to face interaction,
  • emotion-sociology,
  • Simmel,
  • Weber
How to Cite
Fitzi, G. (2021). Il substrato emotivo della modernità. SocietàMutamentoPolitica, 12(24), 35-44. https://doi.org/10.36253/smp-13221


Due to the recent pandemic, the sociology of emotions gained renewed relevance. The state of exception through which we have passed has uncovered some fundamental structures of our societies and allows to ask what is the ‘normality’ of the relationship between emotionality and social rationality in our time. The article shows how the pandemic (unlike the similar events of 1918-20 and 1969) became a social object, generating a ‘social field of health’ at a global level. In this field a dual emotionalisation of the pandemic experience (entry and exit) took place as well as attempts to rationalise and circumscribe its consequences. The analysis thus turns to the question of the decline of face-to-face social relationships (and thus of emotional character), the delimitation of which has not, however, prevented societies from continuing to function in the phase of exception. This finding indicates how even under ‘normal’ conditions post-emotional social relationships with anonymous third parties take over social interaction and confronts the sociology of emotions with the question of their (residual) role in complex societies. The article devotes itself to this analysis by mobilising the resources of sociological theory, in particular Simmel and Weber. The result is a reconstruction of the role of emotions for the persistence of modern social reality, beyond any preconceived thesis on its alleged ‘de-emotionalization’ (Entemotionalisierung) with an ascetic-protestant matrix. 


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