The role of social emotions in the regulation of drinking. An analysis of young adults´ drinking diaries
Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs Stockholm University Stockholm, Sweden
The department of sociology The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies Helsinki, Finland
In the paper we examine the role of social emotions in the regulation of drinking by analysing the young adults´ pub and drinking diaries. In the analysis we pay special attention to the experiential, bodily and processual aspects of social emotions. In this we take influences from stucturalistic, pragmatic and fenomenological viewpoints, especially from the theories of Thomas Scheff and G.H. Mead. In the paper we assume that emotions that regulate drinking can be reduced to the emotions of pride and shame that are, according to Scheff, as primary social emotions present in all communication and action. They express for the agents and for the participants of interaction the actual "temperature" of social relations. Pride refers to a strong and safe involvement in interaction, in which individuals feel themselves fine and respectful. In a shameful state individuals, in turn, experience themselves negatively in the eyes of others, which imply that social bonds are intimidated. The diary material includes a lot of concrete situation - dependent and expressive descriptions of that how drinking is experientially associated with the emotions of pride and shame. Our analysis shows that there exists interesting differences in the emotions of pride and shame in drinking depending on the type of sociability and social situation. In the context of drinking pride and shame are associated in the diaries most strongly with strengthening and tying of bonds of friendship and love. In relation to them, status competition and the emphasis of self occur in the diaries considerably less frequently or they remain as subordinate emotional episodes for friendship and love.