Exploring Affective Worlds
This paper will attempt to show the ways in which an approach from affect theory can shed light to social processes. Sociology was not always blind to non-rational forms of analysis. Recourse to tradition as the basis of action was as important to early sociologists such as Weber as was habit and emotion. Why else would Durkheim spend so much time thinking about collective effervescence and Simmel about the blasé feeling! My aim here will be to briefly set out the distinction between emotion and affect and how this is has been put to use in explaining social life. I will then use as example four fields in which emotion and affect have played a role in not only defining action but also in structuring life. The four areas I would like to dwell on are the family, the Boğaziçi resistance, the earthquake and the elections.