Sociological Ambivalence

extreme sisysphusMerriam-Webster definition of ambivalence

  1. simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action

  2. a: continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite)   b: uncertainty as to which approach to follow

 

Sociological Ambivalence (as largely conceived by Robert K Merton)

Ambivalence denotes contrasting commitments and orientations; it refers to simultaneous conflicting feelings toward a person or an object; and it is commonly used to describe and explain the hesitance and uncertainty caused by the juxtaposition between contradictory values, preferences, and expectations. Lay-person use follows intuitive psychological explanations which refer to ambivalence interchangeably with personal hesitation, confusion, indeterminacy, and agitation. In contrast, sociological use suggests that although ambivalence is a bi-polar, subjective experience, its causes are social and hence understandable and predictable. True, most sociological uses of the term maintain its conflictual denotations, but this volatile experience is treated as the result of contrasting social pressures exerted on actors.

From the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology (Online)

Book: Social Movements in Iran

poulsoniran_book

This study investigates cycles of social protest in Iran from 1890 to the present era. The social movements include: the 1890-1892 Tobacco Movement; the 1906-1909 Constitutional Revolution; two post-World War II movements, the Tudeh (Masses) and the National Front; the 1963 Qom Protest; the 1978-1979 Iranian Revolution and the Iranian Reform Movement. These movements confronted two primary questions: How should the Iranian state achieve independence in the world and what rights should individual Iranians enjoy in their political and social system? This is an examination of the framing of these questions and their answers by various Iranian political actors over time.

Rowman and Littlefield Publishing

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