Interaction Ritual Chains / Edition 1

Interaction Ritual Chains / Edition 1

by Randall Collins

ISBN-10: 0691123896

ISBN-13: 9780691123899

Pub. Date: 07/05/2005

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Sex, smoking, and social stratification are three very different social phenomena. And yet, argues sociologist Randall Collins, they and much else in our social lives are driven by a common force: interaction rituals. Interaction Ritual Chains is a major work of sociological theory that attempts to develop a "radical microsociology." It proposes that

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Sex, smoking, and social stratification are three very different social phenomena. And yet, argues sociologist Randall Collins, they and much else in our social lives are driven by a common force: interaction rituals. Interaction Ritual Chains is a major work of sociological theory that attempts to develop a "radical microsociology." It proposes that successful rituals create symbols of group membership and pump up individuals with emotional energy, while failed rituals drain emotional energy. Each person flows from situation to situation, drawn to those interactions where their cultural capital gives them the best emotional energy payoff. Thinking, too, can be explained by the internalization of conversations within the flow of situations; individual selves are thoroughly and continually social, constructed from the outside in.

The first half of Interaction Ritual Chains is based on the classic analyses of Durkheim, Mead, and Goffman and draws on micro-sociological research on conversation, bodily rhythms, emotions, and intellectual creativity. The second half discusses how such activities as sex, smoking, and social stratification are shaped by interaction ritual chains. For example, the book addresses the emotional and symbolic nature of sexual exchanges of all sorts—from hand-holding to masturbation to sexual relationships with prostitutes—while describing the interaction rituals they involve. This book will appeal not only to psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, but to those in fields as diverse as human sexuality, religious studies, and literary theory.

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Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publication date:
Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xxi

PART I. Radical Microsociology

Chapter 1

The Program of Interaction Ritual Theory 3

Situation rather than Individual as Starting Point 3

Conflicting Terminologies 7

Traditions of Ritual Analysis 9

Subcognitive Ritualism 9

Functionalist Ritualism 13

Goffman's Interaction Ritual 16

The Code-Seeking Program 25

The Cultural Turn 30

Classic Origins of IR Theory in Durkheim's Sociology of Religion 32

The Significance of Interaction Ritual for General

Sociological Theory 40

Chapter 2

The Mutual-Focus / Emotional-Entrainment Model 47

Ritual Ingredients, Processes, and Outcomes 47

Formal Rituals and Natural Rituals 49

Failed Rituals, Empty Rituals, Forced Rituals 50

Is Bodily Presence Necessary? 53

The Micro-Process of Collective Entrainment in Natural Rituals 65

Conversational Turn-Taking as Rhythmic Entrainment 66

Experimental and Micro-Observational Evidence on Rhythmic Coordination and Emotional Entrainment 75

Joint Attention as Key to Development of Shared Symbols 79

Solidarity Prolonged and Stored in Symbols 81

The Creation of Solidarity Symbols in 9/11 88

Rules for Unraveling Symbols 95

Chapter 3

Emotional Energy and the Transient Emotions 102

Disruptive and Long-Term Emotions, or Dramatic Emotions and Emotional Energy 105

Interaction Ritual as Emotion Transformer 107

Stratified Interaction Rituals 111

Power Rituals 112

Status Rituals 115

Effects on Long-Term Emotions: Emotional Energy 118

Emotion Contest and Conflict Situations 121

Short-Term or Dramatic Emotions 125

Transformations from Short-Term Emotions into Long-Term EE 129

The Stratification of Emotional Energy 131

Appendix: Measuring Emotional Energy and Its Antecedents 133

Chapter 4

Interaction Markets and Material Markets 141

Problems of the Rational Cost-Benefit Model 143

The Rationality of Participating in Interaction Rituals 146

The Market for Ritual Solidarity 149

Reinvestment of Emotional Energy and Membership Symbols 149

Match-Ups of Symbols and Complementarity of Emotions 151

Emotional Energy as the Common Denominator of Rational Choice 158

I. Material Production Is Motivated by the Need for Resources

for Producing IRs 160

II. Emotional Energy Is Generated by Work-Situation IRs 163

III. Material Markets Are Embedded in an Ongoing Flow of IRs Generating Social Capital 165

Altruism 168

When Are Individuals Most Materially Self-Interested? 170

The Bottom Line: EE-Seeking Constrained by Material Resources 171

Sociology of Emotions as the Solution to Rational Choice Anomalies 174

The Microsociology of Material Considerations 176

Situational Decisions without Conscious Calculation 181

Chapter 5

Internalized Symbols and the Social Process of Thinking 183

Methods for Getting Inside, or Back Outside 184

Intellectual Networks and Creative Thinking 190

Non-Intellectual Thinking 196

Anticipated and Reverberated Talk 197

Thought Chains and Situational Chains 199

The Metaphor of Dialogue among Parts of the Self 203

Verbal Incantations 205

Speeds of Thought 211

Internal Ritual and Self-Solidarity 218

PART II. Applications

Chapter 6

A Theory of Sexual Interaction 223

Sex as Individual Pleasure-Seeking 228

Sex as Interaction Ritual 230

Nongenital Sexual Pleasures as Symbolic Targets 238

Sexual Negotiation Scenes rather than Constant Sexual Essences 250

Prestige-Seeking and Public Eroticization 252

Chapter 7

Situational Stratification 258

Macro- and Micro-Situational Class, Status, and Power 263

Economic Class as Zelizer Circuits 263

Status Group Boundaries and Categorical Identities 268

Categorical Deference and Situational Deference 278

D-Power and E-Power 284

Historical Change in Situational Stratification 288

An Imagery for Contemporary Interaction 293

Chapter 8

Tobacco Ritual and Anti-Ritual: Substance Ingestion as a History of Social Boundaries 297

Inadequacies of the Health and Addiction Model 299

Tobacco Rituals: Relaxation / Withdrawal Rituals, Carousing Rituals, Elegance Rituals 305

Ritual Paraphernalia: Social Display and Solitary Cult 317

Failures and Successes of Anti-Tobacco Movements 326

Aesthetic Complaints and Struggle over Status Display Standards 327

Anti-Carousing Movements 328

The End of Enclave Exclusion: Respectable Women Join the Carousing Cult 329

The Health-Oriented Anti-Smoking Movement of the Late Twentieth Century 331

The Vulnerability of Situational Rituals and the Mobilization of Anti-Carousing Movements 337

Chapter 9

Individualism and Inwardness as Social Products 345

The Social Production of Individuality 347

Seven Types of Introversion 351

Work-Obsessed Individuals 351

Socially Excluded Persons 353

Situational Introverts 354

Alienated Introverts 355

Solitary Cultists 356

Intellectual Introverts 357

Neurotic or Hyper-Reflexive Introverts 360

The Micro-History of Introversion 362

The Modern Cult of the Individual 370

Notes 375

References 417

Index 435

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