In recent years, qualitative psychological research has been increasingly concerned with feelings, affect and emotions.
The ‘affective turn’ that has permeated the arts, humanities and social sciences has become increasingly influential within qualitative psychology, particularly in the UK (e.g., Brown & Reavey, 2015; Cromby, 2015; Ellis, Tucker, & Harper, 2013; Stenner & Moreno-Gabriel, 2013; Willis, 2015).
This ‘turn’ is far from homogenous. Sitting alongside each other are different notions of affect, feeling and emotion, inspired by different theorists including Deleuze, Whitehead, Langer and Bergson (see, e.g., Gregg & Seigworth, 2010).
Simultaneously, there are studies that draw upon psychoanalytic traditions (e.g., Walkerdine, 2010), and others using phenomenological (e.g., Allan, Eatough, Ungar, & Mobini, 2016) or narrative approaches (e.g., Frost, 2013).
However, the compatibility of these different approaches and their related concepts remains unclear, and many of their methodological and analytic implications have yet to be clarified.
At the same time, some affect theories have been criticised (e.g., Wetherell, 2012) for their tendency to place affect beyond sociolinguistic meaning and, therefore, erect possible barriers to qualitative psychological analysis.
Influenced by the affective turn, the discursive psychological approach has been extended by Wetherell (2012) to understand emotions as ‘affective practices’.
Emotion and discourse are seen to be intertwined within emergent patterns of situated activity, and affective practices make these patterns the main research focus.
Nevertheless, questions might be asked about the extent to which studies of affective practice overcome established limitations of discursive psychology with respect to embodied phenomena, or the extent to which they can ‘flatten out’ experience (Frosh, 2002), or replicate taken-for-granted humanistic notions of emotion.
So the felt, affective, and emotional aspects of meaning and experience have become an important focus of qualitative psychology. At the same time, their investigation raises both conceptual and practical challenges. It is timely, then, to reflect upon all of this.
For this Special Issue we invite contributions utilising, redirecting, reconceiving, and reengaging with feeling, affect and emotion in relation to qualitative psychological research and data.
Our aim is to reflect the diversity of approaches, whilst using this diversity to generate comparisons and contrasts that will draw out the conceptual and methodological presumptions that shape the field.
In this way, we intend that the Special Issue will become a useful future reference point for qualitative psychological researchers engaging with affective phenomena.
In the first instance, short abstracts outlining ideas for papers (500 words maximum) should be submitted to Martin Willis by 1 June 2017.
We will invite authors of a selection of these proposals to submit full papers by 15 January 2018.
As with any peer review process at this journal, there is no guarantee that your paper will be accepted.
Your paper should be prepared in accordance with the journal's Instructions for Authors.
We hope the Special Issue will be published in the first quarter 2019.