Twenty years after the outbreak of the Second Intifada and with the collapse of the Oslo Peace Process, many Israelis perceive the conflict with Palestinians as inevitable and unsolvable, yet some still mobilise for peace. This article investigates the meaning of hope for Jewish and Arab-Palestinian peace activists who joined the two newest peace movements in Israel, Women Wage Peace (2014) and Standing Together (2015). The article draws on qualitative methodologies – in-depth interviews with activists and ethnographic work conducted from 2018 to 2021. It finds that within the context of a protracted conflict, in addition to the distant and more abstract objective of peace, activists view hope as an objective in and of itself. As an attachment to a political vision, a capacity to imagine positive change or a visceral substance, activists embrace hope to consolidate their collective identity, protect themselves from crippling emotions such as despair, resignation and cynicism and/or regain spirituality. Far from being a fraudulent form of hope, the article suggests that this is a radical, authentic and active form of hope to save what can be a political vision, the shattered dream of peace, that remains central to the activists’ sense of identity and belonging. This hope is valuable: it mobilises Israeli peace activists and allows them to avoid despair as they refuse to accept the protracted conflict reality as an unchangeable given.
This article explores the emotional challenges of digital documentation practices in child protection social work. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Swedish social services, it explores how social workers negotiate organisational and professional feeling rules when performing child protection investigations using a digital documentation-based structure. Theoretically informed by Arlie Hochschild and other emotion sociologists’ discussions on the origins of feeling rules at work, the study concentrates on how organisational feeling rules challenge professional ideals and force situated negotiations. The documentation structure was introduced and framed as a guarantee that social workers would no longer be guided by emotions but by facts; at the same time, new emotional dilemmas arose when professionals worked according to these ideals. Negotiations between organisational and professional feeling rules were identified regarding traces of emotional work in the documentation, compliance with documentation-based routines in unpredictable client interactions, and professional (dis)satisfaction when documenting activities took time away from meeting with clients. Adding to the existing body of research, the study demonstrates that digital documentation practices deepen the increasingly ambivalent place for emotions in social work and that organisational-administrative emotional regimes are negotiated in situ with other ideals by social workers and frontline managers. By giving examples of social workers’ micro-resistance to organisational feeling rules, the study contributes theoretically with insights into the different origins of feeling rules in professional welfare work and the power (a)symmetry between them. Finally, by situating the tensions between competing ideals in everyday practice, the study adds to the understanding of technostress and emotional fatigue.
This article suggests that the new feeling rules of intimacy within heterosexual couple relationships are widely recognised and reflect the contention that an androgynisation of the value of emotion is taking place (), whereby men are expected to disclose emotion and provide emotional support to female partners. Simultaneously, the new feeling rules are recognised to be difficult to follow for men due to the highly gendered nature of emotion work in heterosexual relationships suggesting talk of emotion has changed while the practice has not. Drawing on interview data collected in the UK (13 male and 15 female), this article suggests that the new feeling rules can be broken down into three distinct areas associated with the highly desirable status of being a ‘good partner’: (a) being ‘emotionally skilled’, (b) disclosing emotion and (c) performing relational emotion work. This analysis enables a critical appreciation of how the inequalities of emotion work can be reproduced as part of the pursuit of having a ‘good relationship’ (mainly unquestioningly) and sets out a new way of looking at the relationship between emotion work, gender and equality.
Farm occupation is a recent tactic and enacts a politics of sight, which makes visible hidden animal violence by the animal industry complex. Animal justice citizen activists (AJCAs) identify and enter farms to protest lawful violence against animals by documenting and sharing images from the inside. This article examines activists’ subjective experience of immersion in animal violence. The analysis shows that a politics of sight requires and introduces extreme, conflicting emotional demands on AJCAs, requiring a level of emotional reflexivity and negotiation that is sufficiently grasped by existing conceptions of emotional habitus and moral shock. The empirical study seeks to contribute to filling this gap. To do so, I investigated the role of emotional reflexivity during, and after, AJCAs’ bodily immersion in the context of animal violence. The latter is also at its core of an unexpected moral shock for which there is not an established emotional repertoire among AJCAs. Thus, I explored the conflictual tension and the emotional consequences that AJCAs must manage during and after immersion in animal violence.
In this article, we consider how heterosexual young people navigate emotionality in their early dating practices. We draw on the ‘cold intimacy’ thesis (; ; ; ) that posits that emotions have increasingly become things to be evaluated, measured, quantified and categorised. Within the context of intimate relationships, research suggests that while young people are often open about the physical aspects of casual sex, they are reluctant to demonstrate emotional attachment, with vulnerability deemed shameful (). Drawing on in-depth interviews with UK-based dating app users aged 18–25, we find that emotional attachment is rarely articulated, and is seen as a sign of weakness in the early stages of a relationship. For our participants, emotions become bargaining chips, with the ‘winner’ being the party with the least to lose, the least invested and the least emotionally attached. While this applies to both the young men and women interviewed, our findings demonstrate a gendered imbalance of power in intimate relationships, as female participants express a fear of emotional hurt, while male participants work to avoid potential rejection and humiliation. As a result, most connections remain suspended in what we identify as the ‘failed talking stage’. This is underpinned by the removal of channels of accountability, coupled with entrenched heteronormative sexual scripts shaping gender roles at this stage.
Relatively few studies have addressed the division of labour during the first pregnancy, a period in which the couple is restructured as a result of its new parental role. This study is aimed at exploring how heterosexual couples residing in Santiago de Chile organise the division of paid, domestic and caregiving work, and what arguments support their choices. A qualitative, cross-sectional and multiple-case methodology was employed. Interviews were held with ten couples during their first pregnancy. A hybrid thematic analysis revealed that the transition to parenthood is marked by the traditionalisation of gender roles, with certain differences related to socioeconomic status being observed. Results are discussed in light of co-responsibility and gender norms in Latin America, while their implications for family dynamics and public policy are presented.
There has been an increase in the number of individuals who do not have children for various reasons, whether health, choice or circumstance, as well as those who have children later in the lifecourse. Concurrently, there is a moral panic surrounding the decreasing birth rate. A thematic analysis of posts on the parenting forum Mumsnet explores the significance of childless/freeness, in the context of wider relationships. We find that established categories of ‘mother’ and ‘childless/free’ are reductive, and are more porous than usually framed. We consider the impact of such categories on women’s friendships, finding that they undermine potential solidarities. Drawing on Scott (), we conceptualise the absence of children as significant, but not necessarily a deficit, highlighting the potential to understand childless/freeness in the everyday.
We are living in a flexitarian age, in which reduced meat eating and vegetarianism are normalising, while simultaneously meat eating is still the norm in Dutch society. A resulting individualisation of diets begs the question whether and how omnivores and veg*ns living together maintain commensality. Based on interviews with 119 young people living in shared households – made up of both veg*ns and omnivores – we investigate how these young adults shape and manage their shared meals. Our results show that veg*ns and meat eaters maintain commensality by, first, using a number of practical strategies that result in meals that are suitable to those different diets, and, second, creating a new norm that defines the diet as an individual choice so as to manage potential conflicts around clashing norms. This results in an active upkeep of tolerance in which veg*nism, meat eating and associated ethical-moral considerations are not discussed. The acceptance of (specifically) vegetarianism, the limited social tensions between meat lovers, meat reducers and meat avoiders, and our finding that people find ways to eat – apart – together, hints at optimism for the future.
The number of people living alone is increasing in Finland (; ), in Europe () and globally. Individualisation is growing, and many public institutions are adjusting to the rising number of single clientele. At the same time, the couple norm persists, and monogamous partnering is still often seen as the most appropriate way to organise intimate adult life. In this study, we analysed the written stories of 19 single men aged 29–64 and found that the couple norm was predominant in their stories. Internalisation of the norm caused feelings of inadequacy, a lack of self-appreciation and uncertainty about the future. Many men attributed their singlehood to events in their past and felt a lack of agency at present.
This article examines how people’s life course and cultural backgrounds impact their consumption practices, particularly in the use, disposal and treatment of water in bathroom cleaning. We explore this through 12 oral histories from Brazilian and English residents, including locals, migrants and cross-national couples. Our findings provide an account of cleaning routines in two cultural contexts, offering insights for those addressing sustainability, consumer behaviour and water governance. Our research suggests that culture, upbringing, expectations of cleanliness, and social and material contexts all shape how people clean bathrooms, and when contexts change, material elements become particularly influential.