The sociology of emotions aspires to give a description of the emotional culture of modern societies (most notably western societies); the peculiarities of the said culture contribute to the surge of interest in emotions in knowledge and everyday life - the so called “emotional turn”. The author attempts to determine the outlines of “emotional culture” concept, show what constitutes the distinctive nature of the sociological understanding of the emotional culture, which could provide an increment of knowledge and critical re-evaluation of modern social realities. The modern studies in the field of the sociology of emotions allow to suggest that in the modern societies a neo-sentimentalist culture is forming as an unintended consequence of rationalization of all the aspects of society life, modern consumer culture, individualization, etc. The emotional culture of modernity is characterized by the combination of rational attitude to emotions and simultaneous special attention to feelings, specific expression of collective emotions, persistent search for authentic feelings. One of the striking manifestations of the emotional culture of modernity is a phenomenon of “emotional labour”, when the ability to control emotions is commercialized both in public and private sphere.
The article is devoted to some aspects of the emotional culture of the late modern society, which will evidently undergo changes due to the new virus pandemic. The author draws on the opportunities that belong to the sociology of emotions, because emotions by their nature and function are related to overcoming of uncertainty of the future. The purpose of this essay is to review the main imperatives and contradictions of the emotional culture, identify some feelings that are a socially “sensitive” answer to the current circumstances. The future changes will probably become clearer, if we observe how the contradictions of the modern emotional culture will be resolved; for example, what development the simultaneous “emotionalization” and rationalization of social life will undergo. In the situation of crisis connected to the pandemic all the feelings will be involved, emotional norms and strategies of emotion management will be modified. The author believes that the moral individualism of modern societies will draw attention to the matters concerning social solidarity and moral guidelines, which could be viewed through the concepts of care, human sufferings and feelings that lie at their heart: anxiety and fear for other people, empathy, sympathy and compassion