While the existence of an ‘emotional turn’ within the social sciences is now widely acknowledged, some areas have garnered less specific attention than others. Perhaps the most significant absence within this literature is an explicit exploration of the relationship between emotions and relations of power and domination. This article will attempt such an endeavour. In doing so, I will draw on some key work from within the sociology of emotions, such as Barbalet, Collins, Kemper and Turner, and from the power literature within social theory more generally, including Dahl, Elias, Foucault, Giddens, Gramsci and Lukes. The main thrust of the argument is that power and emotion are conceptual twins in need of a serious theoretical reunion, and that emotions have played a largely unacknowledged, ‘under-labouring’ role within most theories of power. The need for a more unified approach to these two concepts is highlighted.
- emotions, power, sociology of emotion, constitutive power