Generating, Intensifying, and Redirecting Emotionality: Conceptual and Ethnographic Implications of Aristotle’s Rhetoric
Languages of publication
In contrast to those who more characteristically approach emotion as an individual realm of experience of more distinctive physiological and/or psychological sorts, this paper addresses emotionality as a socially experienced, linguistically enabled, activity-based process. While conceptually and methodologically situated within contemporary symbolic interactionist thought (Mead 1934; Blumer 1969; Strauss 1993; Prus 1996; 1997; 1999; Prus and Grills 2003), this statement is centrally informed by the pragmatist considerations of emotionality that Aristotle (circa 384-322 BCE) develops in Rhetoric. Although barely known to those in the human sciences, Aristotle’s Rhetoric provides a great deal of insight into people’s definitions of, and experiences with, a wide array of emotions. Addressing matters of persuasive interchange in political, judicial, and evaluative contexts, Aristotle gives particular attention to the intensification and neutralization of people’s emotional states. This includes (1) anger and calm, (2) friendship and enmity, (3) fear and confidence, (4) shame and shamelessness, (5) kindness and inconsideration, (6) pity and indignation, and (7) envy and emulation. Following an introduction to “rhetoric” (as the study of persuasive interchange) and “emotionality,” this paper briefly (1) outlines a pragmatist/interactionist approach to the study of emotionality, (2) considers Aristotle as a sociological pragmatist, (3) locates Aristotle’s work within the context of classical Greek thought, (4) acknowledges the relationship of emotionality and morality, and (5) addresses emotionality as a generic social process. Following (6) a more sustained consideration of emotionality within the context of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, the paper concludes with (7) a short discussion of the importance of Aristotle’s work for studying emotionality as a realm of human lived experience on a contemporary plane.
- Prus, Robert. 2009. “Poetic Expressions and Human Enacted Realities: Plato and Aristotle Engage Pragmatist Motifs in Greek Fictional Representations.” Qualitative Sociology Review 5(1):3-27.
- Prus, Robert. 2010. “Creating, Sustaining, and Contesting Definitions of Reality: Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43BCE) as a Pragmatist Theorist and Analytic Ethnographer.” Qualitative Sociology Review 6(2):3-50.
- Prus, Robert. 2011a. “Defending Education and Scholarship in the Classical Greek Era: Pragmatist Motifs in the Works of Plato (c420-348BCE) and Isocrates (c436-338 BCE).” Qualitative Sociology Review 7(1):1-35.
- Prus, Robert. 2011b. “Examining Community Life ‘in the Making’: Emile Durkheim’s Moral Education.” The American Sociologist 42:56-111.
- Prus, Robert. 2011c. “Morality, Deviance, and Regulation: Pragmatist Motifs in Plato’s Republic and Laws.” Qualitative Sociology Review 7(2):1-44.
- Prus, Robert. 2012. “On the Necessity of Re-engaging the Classical Greek and Latin Literatures: Lessons from Emile Durkheim’s The Evolution of Educational Thought.” The American Sociologist 43:172-202.
- Prus, Robert. 2013. “Representing, Defending, and Questioning Religion: Pragmatist Sociological Motifs in Plato’s Timaeus, Phaedo, Republic, and Laws.” Qualitative Sociology
- Review 9(1):6-42.
- Prus, Robert and Fatima Camara. 2010. “Love, Friendship, and Disaffection in Plato and Aristotle: Toward a Pragmatist Analysis of Interpersonal Relationships.” Qualitative Sociology Review 6(3):29-62.
- Prus, Robert and Scott Grills. 2003. The Deviant Mystique: Involvements, Realities, and Regulation. Westport,CT: Praeger.
- Prus, Robert and Styllianoss Irini. 1980. Hookers, Rounders, and Desk Clerks: The Social Organization of the Hotel Community. Salem, WI: Sheffield.
- Prus, Robert and Richard G. Mitchell, Jr. 2009. “Engaging Technology: A Missing Link in the Sociological Study of Human Knowing and Acting.” Qualitative Sociology Review 5(2):17-53.
- Prus, Robert and C.R.D. Sharper. 1977. Road Hustler: The Career Contingencies of Professional Card and Dice Hustlers. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
- Prus, Robert and C.R.D. Sharper. 1991. Road Hustler: Grifters, Magic, and the Thief Subculture. New York: Kaufman and Greenberg.
- Puddephatt, Antony J., William Shaffir, and Steven W. Kleinknecht, (eds.). 2009. Ethnographies Revisited: Constructing Theory in the Field. New York: Routledge.
- Roebuck, Julian B. and Wolfgang Frese. 1976. The Rendezvous: A Case Study of an After-hours Club. New York: Free Press.
- Sanders, Clinton. 1989. Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
- Schütz, Alfred. 1962. Collected Papers I: The Problem of Social Reality. Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
- Schütz, Alfred. 1964. Collected Papers II: Studies in Social Theory. Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
- Shaffir, William. 1974. Life In A Religious Community: The Lubavitcher Chassidim In Montreal. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada.
- Shaffir, William. 1978a. “Becoming an Orthodox Jew: The Socialization of Newcomers in a Chassidic Community.” Pp. 295-309 in The Canadian Ethnic Mosaic: A Quest for Identity, edited by L. Dreidger. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
- Shaffir, William. 1978b. “Witnessing as Identity Consolidation: The Case of Lubavitcher Chassidim.” Pp.39-57 in Identity and Religion, edited by H. Mol. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
- Shaffir, William. 1983. “Hassidic Jews and Quebec Politics.” The Jewish Journal of Sociology 25(2):105-118.
- Shaffir, William. 1987. “Separated From the Mainstream: The Hassidic Community of Tash.”The Jewish Journal of Sociology 29(1):19-35.
- Shaffir, William. 1991. “Conversion Experiences: Newcomers to and Defectors from Orthodox Judaism.” Pp. 173-202 in Tradition, Innovation, Conflict: Jewishness and Judaism in Contemporary Israel, edited by Z. Sobel and Robert Prus B. Beit-Hallahmi. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
- Shaffir, William. 1993. “Jewish Messianism Lubavitch Style: An Interim Report.” The Jewish Journal of Sociology 35(2):115-128.
- Shaffir, William. 1995a. “Boundaries and Self-Presentation among Hasidim: A Study in Identity Maintenance. Pp. 31-68 in New World Hasidim: Ethnographic Studies Of Hasidic Jews in America, edited by J. Belcove-Shalin. New York: SUNY Press.
- Shaffir, William. 1995b. “When Prophecy Is Not Validated: Explaining the Unexpected in a Messianic Campaign.” The Jewish Journal of Sociology 37(2):119-136.
- Shaffir, William. 1998. “Still Separated From the Mainstream: A Hassidic Community Revisited.” The Jewish Journal of Sociology 39(1/2):46-62.
- Shaffir, William. 2000a. “Hassidim and the Rebbe: Some Initial Observations.” The Jewish Journal of Sociology 42(1/2):73-85.
- Shaffir, William. 2000b. “Movements in and out of Orthodox Judaism: The Cases of Penitents and the Disaffected.” Pp. 269-285 in Joining and Leaving Religion: Research Perspectives, edited by Leslie J. Francis and Yaacov J. Katz. Trowbridge, Waltshire: Gracewing.
- Shaffir, William and Steven Kleinknecht. 2005. “Death at the Polls: Experiencing and Coping with Political Defeat.”Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 34(6):707-738.
- Shaffir, William and Robert Stebbins. 1991. Experiencing Fieldwork: An Inside View of Qualitative Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Shaffir, William, Robert A. Stebbins, and Allan Turowetz.1980. Fieldwork Experience:Qualitative Approaches to Social Research. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Shott, Susan. 1979. “Emotion and Social Life: A Symbolic Interactionist Analysis.”American Journal of Sociology 84:1317-1334.
- Spangler, Sister Mary Michael. 1998. Aristotle on Teaching. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
- Stebbins, Robert. 1990. The Laugh-Makers: Stand-Up Comedy as Art, Business, and Life Style. Kingston, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
- Stets, Jan E. and Jonathan H. Turner, (eds.). 2007. Handbook of the Sociology of Emotions. New York: Springer.
- Strauss, Anselm L. 1993. Continual Permutations of Action. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
- Sutherland, Edwin. 1937. The Professional Thief. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- Thoits, Peggy A. 1989. “The Sociology of Emotions.” Annual Review of Sociology 15:317-342.
- Thoits, Peggy A. 1995. “Social Psychology: The Interplay between Sociology and Psychology.” Social Forces 73:1231-1243.
- Wolf, Charlotte. 1994. “Conversion into Feminism.” Pp. 143-157 in Doing Everyday Life: Ethnography as Human Lived Experience, edited by Mary Lorenz Dietz, Robert Prus, and William Shaffir. Toronto: Copp Clark Longman.
- Wolf, Daniel. 1991. The Rebels: A Brotherhood of Outlaw Bikers. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Publication order reference