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Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(1), 148-170; doi:10.3390/socsci4010148

Negative Emotional Energy: A Theory of the “Dark-Side” of Interaction Ritual Chains

Department of Sociology, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8318, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin J. Bull
Received: 22 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 February 2015 / Published: 10 February 2015
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Abstract

Randall Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains is widely cited, but has been subject to little theoretical elaboration. One reason for the modest expansion of the theory is the underdevelopment of the concept of emotional energy. This paper examines emotional energy, related particularly to the dynamics of negative experiences. It asks whether or not negative emotions produce emotional energies that are qualitatively distinct from their positive counterparts. The analysis begins by tracing the development of Interaction Ritual Theory, and summarizes its core propositions. Next, it moves to a conceptualization of a “valenced” emotional energy and describes both “positive” and “negative” dimensions. Six propositions outline the central dynamics of negative emotional energy. The role of groups in the formation of positive and negative emotional energy are considered, as well as how these energies are significant sources of sociological motivation. View Full-Text
Keywords: sociological theory; sociology of emotions; rituals; social interaction; group dynamics sociological theory; sociology of emotions; rituals; social interaction; group dynamics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Boyns, D.; Luery, S. Negative Emotional Energy: A Theory of the “Dark-Side” of Interaction Ritual Chains. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 148-170.

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