Simmel’s Legacy 2022 : Digithum: Call for Papers: Emotions and Relational Approaches: Simmel’s Legacy and Contemporary Challenges
Call For Papers
Call for Papers: Emotions and Relational Approaches: Simmel’s Legacy and Contemporary Challenges
Deadline: 30 January 2022
Lecturer and researcher, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana–Unidad Azcapotzalco, Mexico. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5658-4792
Lecturer, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina).
There is no doubt that Georg Simmel has been considered a precursor to the “sociology of emotions” (Gerhards, 1986; Frisby, 1992; Scheff, 2000; Watier, 2003; Tester, 2005; Hochschild, 2008; Cantó-Milà, 2012; Sabido, 2016, Seebach, 2017). Simmel’s relational ontology (Pyyhtinen, 2010; 2018) allows us to contend that our affective and bodily condition is not substantial but rather relational insofar as we are always with others. Since On Social Differentiation, his first book on Sociology, Simmel developed a relational thinking based on the idea of Wechselwirkung, conceived as an exchange of reciprocal effects. From the perspective of his relational sociology, this key concept, “means that what a social actor (an individual, a group, or a social configuration) is doing, perceiving, or expecting, has an impact on what another social actor is doing, perceiving, or expecting. That every Wechselwirkung, in spite of its freely selectable content, must select certain forms of socialization (Vergesellschaftung) in order to articulate itself “socially” (Häussling, 2018; 588)
From this perspective, interchange of reciprocal effects and socialization are the core of a dynamic and relational approach of the social world, that can be detected in famous simmelian figures, such as the stranger, conceived as a specific and positive form of interaction, or the bridge and the door, that show how connecting and separating could be part of the same social act.
As a result of his project on relational sociology, for Simmel, emotions are ways of relating to others. Emotions therefore have enormous sociological relevance because they are not only a social product, but also ways of relating to other. Since Philosophy of Money and until The View of Life Simmel’s relational analyses of culture and society allowed him to focus on the affective dimension of life. His brilliant digressions about shame, jealousy, envy, love, gratitude, fidelity, desire, neurasthenia, blasé attitude, and even happiness bear witness to the analytical power of Simmel’s perspective. Since Simmel’s time, the sociology of emotions has emerged and been consolidated as an important area within sociology, and while his important contributions to the field have been considered, the full richness of his oeuvre and perspective has yet to be introduced to the field of the sociology of emotions. At the same time, contemporary society brings us a plethora of challenges: new technologies and ways of feeling, new associations between humans and non humans (Latour) which, working from a simmelian perspective and within the sociology of emotions, require our immediate attention.
For all these reasons, this dossier invites scholars to rethink Simmel’s legacy and concretely invites to focus on the following questions:
What analytical perspectives and dimensions can a simmelian relational perspective contribute to contemporary analyses of emotions?
What does Simmel’s second order forms approach bring to the field of the sociology of emotions?
What methodological instruments can we find in Simmel’s works and legacy for the sociology of emotions?
HÄUSSLING, R., 2018, “Wechselwirkung”, pp. 588-596, H.-P. Müller and T. Reitz (eds.), Simmel- Handbuch. Begriffe, Hauptwerke, Aktualität, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main.
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About the journal
Digithum uses a relational perspective to analyse human's subjective experiences, social bonds and cultural heritage. Researchers from a range of disciplines, including sociological or social theory, historical sociology, sociology of culture and sociology of emotions, cultural theory, film theory, media studies, arts and humanities, may choose to address or study these matters from a relational perspective.
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