Emotions in Social Life: New Advances in Sociological and Policy Research
Wed, 26th October 2011 - Emotions in Social Life: New Advances in Sociological and Policy Research
Common Room, Level 4, Law School Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney.
This one-day inaugural workshop was co-hosted by the Dept of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney and the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW. It explored the role of emotion as a primary sociological concept and force as it relates to the social research and policy process, recognising that emotions drive the functioning of many social policies, and are also the object of policies aimed at improving wellbeing or reduce loneliness or depression or anger-related violence. The workshop brought together leading Australian researchers to present and discuss their research on the interconnections between emotionality, social theory and policy, and was successful in improving the visibility of sociological research on emotions within Australia.
Presentations reflected a range of applications of emotions in sociological and social policy research. Some undertook historical research into how cultural and institutional factors shape emotions such as risk and excitement (O’Malley). Others used surveys of emotionality to provide insight into contemporary social experience, such as social wellbeing from an international time-use perspective (Patulny). Further contributions captured emotional dimensions of more specific contemporary experiences of social isolation, by examining dislocation among transient mining workers (Pini); and skilled migrants’ narratives of friendship and loss (Westcott). Several papers analysed how emotions underpin and shape the everyday social practices of institutions, specifically political configurations (Hutchinson and Bleiker), judicial constitution and restorative justice interactions (Rossner) and gender arrangements and dynamics (Pease). Papers also captured the performance of emotion work, exploring issues of allegiance and reciprocity in the emotionally infused work of aged care (King), and emotion management among CCTV surveillance operators who routinely encounter trauma as they search for risky situations (Smith).
The full program, abstracts and biographies from the workshop can be found HERE
(PDF) (206 Kb)Please contact speakers directly for power point presentations. The full papers from this conference will be published, pending review, in a special edition of the Australian Journal of Social Issues in 2012.
The organisers are also seeking interest in establishing a Thematic Group on the Sociology of Emotions within the Australian Sociological Association (TASA), and seek expressions of interest from TASA members. We also welcome any feedback from the event from attendees. For these or any other inquiries, regarding this event, please email Roger Patulny at the Social Policy Research Centre.
The workshop also attracted substantial media coverage. Links to media coverage in national newspapers can be found here: