Vol. 10 No. 19 (2020): Intercepting and Modeling Global Change?
Points of view

On politics, emotional cultures and social change in times of crisis: an interview with Randall Collins

Randall Collins
University of Pennsylvania
Alessandro Pratesi
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Angela Perulli
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Published October 15, 2020
Keywords
  • Emotions,
  • crisis times,
  • conflict,
  • solidarity,
  • right-wing populism in Italy and the US,
  • emotional cultures,
  • global pandemic,
  • ethics of emotion
  • ...More
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How to Cite
Collins, R., Pratesi, A., & Perulli, A. (2020). On politics, emotional cultures and social change in times of crisis: an interview with Randall Collins . Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 10(19), 127-132. https://doi.org/10.13128/cambio-9916

Abstract

This interview was conducted between the Spring and the Summer 2020 by means of an interactive email exchange. Our conversation with Randall Collins had been planned a few months before the global pandemic as part of ongoing conversations inspired by the creation of an interdisciplinary study group on emotions at the University of Florence, and was eventually boosted by some of the recent developments in global politics and in the pandemic itself. The starting point, is Collins’ original ability to reconcile—through his emotion-based theoretical model (2004)—two significant and allegedly clashing aspects of social life: conflict and solidarity. We then move on to discuss the ways in which current theories of emotions can be reconsidered in light of recent emerging phenomena (such as right-wing populism and nationalism) at an international level. In addition, we introduce the theme of the global health emergency and discuss the role of different emotional cultures in dealing with the pandemic, in Italy and the USA. Finally, we consider whether or not it is possible to talk about ethics of emotions, i.e. whether some emotions can be interpreted as ‘more ethically relevant’ than others within the context of current social and political scenarios.

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