Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1,500 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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  • Sociology of Childhood and Youth x
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This chapter shows how referring to anger enabled some of the young people to reject the sense of powerlessness that resulted both from their situations of impasse and their precarious working environments. Anger thus served as a source of empowerment and a mobilizing force for individual or collective action. Yet whether anger helped the young people to communicate where they wished to stand or whether they experienced it as boundary depended on 1) intersections of class, ethnicity and gender and 2) on whether the anger was supported by a collective (for example, the union) or whether it was experienced as an individual emotion that could not be expressed openly or could not be afforded at all. Different forms of anger are presented: collective, isolated and absent anger.

This ties in with Chapters 4 and 5 on individualistic and systemic framing of emotions, showing that anger is a power emotion with the potential to initiate social change, while the right and capacity to do so is unequally distributed within society.

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This concluding chapter summarizes the main empirical findings and discusses the wider implications. It elaborates on emotions and emotion work of hysteresis, and argues that making emotions the object of analysis strengthens Bourdieu’s argument that habitus and hysteresis are the interface between individual agency and social structures. It goes on to discuss that while we can understand hysteresis in this book as a generation-specific experience, it was instead structured by emotional stratification along the lines of age, gender, ethnicity and social class. The chapter concludes by asking how these insights into hysteresis and emotions can feed into the topic of social change more broadly and beyond the particular case study of young people in post-crisis Spain, highlighting how emotions can be barriers to and catalysts for social change.

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Part III continues with the role of emotions for negotiating place and being placed. It illustrates how young people sometimes drew on particular emotions to maintain or improve their social positions, which proved (more) difficult under the conditions of change and crisis.

As this chapter will demonstrate, this was done, for instance, by drawing on notions of emotional fulfilment for some types of (worthy) work. Jobs which the young people wanted to do but could not afford to live off were tied to imaginations and idealizations or emotional rewards, joy and fulfilment. At the same time, class habitus was defended by disdain and contempt for the work which they had to do to make ends meet. The creation of emotional hierarchies was an important mechanism here, in particular for middle-class youths, through which the job matching their habitus was bound up with emotional fulfilment and those not fitting with frustration.

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Central to both hysteresis and situations of impasse was the fact that their circumstances produced a very specific ‘structure of feeling’ (Williams 1977). Financial hardship produced anxiety over how to cover basic needs without financial dependence from parents. Lost promises about education paying off translated into uncertainty about young people’s chances to find work. Many felt losing in recognition and status; they feared declassing causing frustration and resentment. Finally, lost future prospects produced uncertainty and anxiety as young people didn’t know what decisions to make about an unknown future. What we will see in this chapter is that change was an embodied experience and the young people’s emotional responses were expressions of a way of being and doing that had difficulties fitting into and adapting to the changed circumstances after the crisis. The chapter ends by highlighting how emotions of hysteresis were indeed shared among the young people, but were differently oriented due to habitus and social class.

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Youth and Social Change in Spain
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We usually speak of crisis in numbers: decline in purchasing power, rise in unemployment rates or decreasing levels of life satisfaction. But what do people feel when their supposed securities for their futures crumble?

The stories of the young adults after the 2008 economic crisis in Spain provide us with answers. This book shows how their loss of future prospects led to feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, frustration and resentment, and how they dealt with these emotions.

Combining the sociology of emotions with Bourdieu's practice theory, Emotions in Crisis analyses the impact of structural changes in society on individual and collective emotions. It shows that adapting to such changes involves 'emotion work' and highlights the different forms this work can take.

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This chapter introduces the theoretical framework of the book which combines the sociology of emotions with 1) Bourdieu’s theory of practice and 2) Goffman’s interactional theory in order to see emotions as linking structural conditions to the agency of individuals. The former makes it possible to analyse the changed environment in post-crisis Spain with the metaphor of the game in which the field and its rules have changed, while the young people’s ways of seeing and moving in this game have not (yet). Key to understanding the resulting experiences and emotions is the concept of hysteresis that will help us to understand the mismatch between the changed environment and the young people’s ways of being and doing. In considering how the young people then interpreted and dealt with emotions of hysteresis, Goffman’s notions of frames (1974) and stages (1959) are used and combined with Hochschild’s concept of emotion work (1979). They are helpful in showing how people try to explain their experiences of mismatch and use emotion work to adjust.

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We usually speak of crisis in numbers: a decline in purchasing power, a rise in unemployment rates or decreasing levels of life satisfaction. But what do people feel when their supposed securities for their futures crumble?

The stories of the young adults after the 2008 economic crisis in Spain provide us with answers. This book shows how their loss of future prospects led to feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, frustration and resentment, and what they did to deal with these emotions.

Combining the sociology of emotions with Bourdieu’s practice theory, Emotions in Crisis analyses the impact of structural changes in society on individual and collective emotions. It shows that adapting to such changes involves ‘emotion work’ and highlights the different forms this work can take.

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Part I delves into the lived experience of hysteresis, that is, feelings of mismatch between the young people’s expectations of how their (working) life should be and their actual opportunities on a crisis-ridden labour market. This mismatch was a central structural condition for young people in post-crisis Spain and, as this part demonstrates, translated into a very particular set of emotions: emotions of hysteresis.

This chapter starts by highlighting the devaluation of young people’s educational capital in the aftermath of the economic crisis and the sense of loss this produced. Young people experienced that their acquired educational titles did not lead to the expected conversion into economic capital, entitlements and recognition. They felt stuck. Being stuck, as the chapter then shows, takes on different forms and is presented as four types of impasse: being stuck in the provisional job, being stuck between temporary part-time jobs, being stuck in training loops and being stuck to the normative idea of standard employment.

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Part II examines how young people made sense of their emotions of hysteresis and how they dealt with them in everyday life. Disappointed expectations and crumbling future prospects made it necessary for them to look for explanations and coping strategies. Key to this process was what the young people referred to as ‘changing the chip’, an interplay of emotional, cognitive and bodily work, in which existing patterns of explanation were questioned and partly replaced by new ones. Which form of reframing the young people resorted to depended on whether they understood their experiences and emotions as individualistic or systemic.

Chapter 4 shows that if they used individualistic explanations, the young people associated uncertainty, anxiety or frustration with their character or biographical events. They believed that it was possible to overcome their impasse with own resources and individual efforts. ‘Changing the chip’ meant adapting one’s ideas, expectations and feelings to the changed circumstances. To do this, the young people put their impasse into perspective, reconsidered the meaning of work and changed their relationship to time, focusing on the present instead of long-term planning. All these explanations served to deal with anxiety, uncertainty and frustration, and to suppress these emotions.

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We usually speak of crisis in numbers: a decline in purchasing power, a rise in unemployment rates or decreasing levels of life satisfaction. But what do people feel when their supposed securities for their futures crumble?

The stories of the young adults after the 2008 economic crisis in Spain provide us with answers. This book shows how their loss of future prospects led to feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, frustration and resentment, and what they did to deal with these emotions.

Combining the sociology of emotions with Bourdieu’s practice theory, Emotions in Crisis analyses the impact of structural changes in society on individual and collective emotions. It shows that adapting to such changes involves ‘emotion work’ and highlights the different forms this work can take.

Restricted access