European Journal of Social Theory 23 (2):200-218 (2020)

Societies change; and sociology has, since its inception, described and evaluated these changes. This article proposes a revised theory of collective learning processes, a conceptual framework which addresses ways in which people make sense of and cope with change. Drawing on Habermas’ classic proposal, but shifting the focus from argumentation towards storytelling, it explains how certain articulations allow for collective learning processes, while others block learning processes. More specifically, the article points to narrative genres which organize feelings and shape the social bond, proposing that ironic and tragic stories have the potential to trigger collective learning processes, while romantic and comic stories tend to block them.
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DOI 10.1177/1368431018814348
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