Introduction. Analyzing Affective Societies
Kahl, Antje – 2019
This introduction presents an overview of the volume Analyzing Affective Societies including its general aims and chapter summaries. It begins by detailing the central methodological challenge that a dynamic, situated and relational understanding of affect and emotion poses to empirical research. It then outlines the Affective Societies research perspective and explains the title Affective Societies as both a fundamental concept of social theory and a diagnostic notion for analyzing a salient range of recent societal developments. The middle part of the introduction sketches the main methodological orientation of the volume. It asks how we might go about empirically identifying and researching affective dynamics, and it proposes doing so by adapting and refining existing methods from the social sciences, the humanities and cultural as well as media and communication studies. It highlights the importance of considering different kinds of bodies for the study of affective relationality. It also emphasizes the crucial but under-examined role played by the researchers’ own affects and emotions – a methodological stance called “emotional reflexivity in research”. The second half of the introduction explains the rationale of the four thematic parts of the volume and provides brief outlines of the separate chapters.