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Self, Social Structure, and BeliefsExplorations in Sociology$
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Jeffrey Alexander

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241367

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241367.001.0001

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Intellectual Cycles of Social Movement Research: From Psychoanalysis to Culture?

Intellectual Cycles of Social Movement Research: From Psychoanalysis to Culture?

Chapter:
(p.234) Chapter 12 Intellectual Cycles of Social Movement Research: From Psychoanalysis to Culture?
Source:
Self, Social Structure, and Beliefs
Author(s):

James M. Jasper

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520241367.003.0015

This chapter argues that the early critics of Smelser's concept of generalized beliefs erred by neglecting not only its colligatory connotations but also the continuing significance of their causal effect. In the light of the recent developments in the sociology of culture and emotions, this chapter argues that Smelser's own generalized belief in collective behavior has begun to look as if it were ahead of its time rather than behind the times. However, the chapter pinpoints the fault in Smelser's approach wherein he placed emphasis on the irrationality of such generalized beliefs. The chapter also links such putative emphasis to the influence on Smelser of the psychoanalytic approaches to ideation. Among the topics discussed in this chapter are: generalized beliefs, emotions, psychoanalysis and culture.

Keywords:   generalized beliefs, sociology, culture, emotions, ideation, psychoanalysis

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