Recent work in the sociology of emotions has gone beyond the development of concepts and broad perspectives to elaboration of theory and some empirical research. More work has been done at the micro-level than the macro-level of analysis. At both analytical levels, emotion most commonly is treated as a dependent variable, although increasingly, its role as an intervening and independent variable in social processes is being recognized, especially with regard to problems in substantive fields as diverse as gender roles, stress, small groups, social movements, and stratification. Considerable gaps exist in sociological knowledge about emotions; in particular, little is known about distribution of different emotional experiences in the population, the content of emotion culture, emotional socialization processes, emotional interactions, and relationships between social structure and emotion norms. More empirical research is necessary, to build on the theoretical groundwork that has been laid. Problems in measuring emotional experience and aspects of emotion culture have not been addressed and are likely to become critical issues as empirical work accumulates in the future.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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