Interaction Ritual Chains (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)

Collins, Randall

Published by Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691090270 / ISBN 13: 9780691090276
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0691090270 > DJ 2004. 439 pages. Boards free of wear. Spine and binding sound. Dust jacket intact and clean. Interior bright and unmarked. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis:

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.

From the Back Cover:

"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."--Michèle Lamont, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University, and author ofThe Dignity of Working Men


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Bibliographic Details

Title: Interaction Ritual Chains (Princeton Studies...
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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Collins, Randall
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