Interaction Ritual Chains


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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

Promotional Information

Interaction Ritual Chains is a major statement by a major scholar at the top of his game. Starting with a parsimonious set of insights gleaned from the best current work in microsociology, the author builds a compelling theory of how these insights can inform models of the behavior of families, communities, organizations, and nation-states. The book will measurably shape the way that social scientists approach the business of understanding and explaining human behavior. -- Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University This book elaborates an original, bold theory about fundamental social processes that is likely to generate considerable debate among social scientists. It is also the most important statement of one of sociology's most distinguished theorists. Collins' contribution will be seminal not only because it brings to the fore the often neglected emotional dimension of social life, but also because it pushes further our understanding of group boundaries in the production of social inequality. It will become a must for all social scientists, including those who will disagree. -- Michele Lamont, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University, and author of "The Dignity of Working Men"

About the Author

Randall Collins is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of eleven books, including "The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change, Four Sociological Traditions", and "The Credential Society".


Collins again demonstrates why he is considered one of the leading social theorists. This ... work of Collins, in particular, transcends the boundaries of sociology... This is an outstanding work for theoretically oriented professional and advanced students in sociology, social psychology, and psychology. Choice Collins argues in this pathbreaking book that ritual--whether in face-to-face conversations or at national presidential funerals--is the key sociological factor that ties group structure and collective beliefs together... Collins plows new ground in several ways. First, he argues that ritual is the central category for all sociological analysis because ritual connects and mediates group structure and beliefs... Second, his work breaks new paths because it proposes a comprehensive theory of ritual grounded in everyday solutions... Finally, Collins bushwhacks new paths when he emphasizes the importance of the emotional energy, what he calls 'collective effervescence,' that is generated by ritual. -- Donald B. Kraybill Christian Century Collins's book is a major contribution to contemporary sociological theory. His approach--a genuinely sociological microfoundation of sociology--is well chosen and carefully carried out ... Interaction ritual theory helps to enrich our knowledge about a core process of social life. Interaction Ritual Chains is a book offering rich insights into this core process. -- Richard Munch American Journal of Sociology

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