The Social Organization of Disease : Emotions and Civic Action book cover
1st Edition

The Social Organization of Disease
Emotions and Civic Action

ISBN 9780367873004
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
236 Pages

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Book Description

Empirically, this book is a case-study analysis of dissolution processes in German AIDS organizations. Indeed, why is it that civic organizers start out with a commitment to a cause but end up dissolving their organization? This question is exactly what Kleres seeks to tackle within The Social Organization of Disease.

Focusing on the emotional bases of dissolved German AIDS organizations to develop a typology of civic action and organizing, Kleres presents a perspective on non-profit organizations that analyses organizational development through the emotional sense making of individual organizers, within the light of larger political processes and cultural contexts. To this end, this volume develops and applies a new methodology for researching emotions empirically, expanding the scope of narrative analysis. However, parallel to this, The Social Organization of Disease also explores how shifting discursive processes establish emotional climates and thus impact on state policies and the evolution of AIDS organizing.

The book would appeal to sociologists and political scientists working in the field of social movements and non-profit organisations: but it would also appeal to those who are interested in the sociology of emotions. It would potentially be of interest to non-profit scholars who consider community-based organizations, volunteerism and advocacy, and secondarily, to medical sociologists interested in AIDS service organizations. Sociology, International relations, Social Work, Political Science. May be of interest for NGO-activists and/or employees and leadership.

Table of Contents


Conceptual Problems

Theoretical Problems

Theories of Volunteerism

Advances: Theories of Social Movements

Conceptual Problems Revisited: Empowering Distinctions

A Framework

Structure of the Book: On Studying Disbanded AIDS Organizations


Towards a Political Sociology of AIDS Service Organizations

A First Premise: The Social Construction of AIDS

The (Non-)Emergence of AIDS Organizations

A Second Premise: The Evolution of Public Health

Queer Corporatism

Professionalization and its Discontents

Power in the Field: The Field of AIDS Organizing

AIDS Service Organizations as Political and Discursive Agents

Conclusion: AIDS Service Organizations as a Form of Power


AIDS Organizations in Germany

Parallels: A Brief Note on the AIDS Discourse in Germany

The Role of Identity: The Emergence of AIDS Relief Organizations

The Power of Discourse: The Evolution of AIDS Policies in Germany

The Stakes of AIDS Organizing and of its Political Inclusion

The Evolution and Transformation of AIDS Relief

The Normalization of AIDS

Differences – The German Case in Contrast



Making Sense of Neo-Corporatism and Neo-Institutionalism

Neo-Corporatism – Principle Considerations

The Rationalist Premises of Neo-Corporatism


Key Assumptions of Neo-Institutionalism

Neo-Institutionalism and Social Change

The Sensemaking Approach

Sensemaking: The Process of Organizing

Seven Characteristics and Some Sources of Sensemaking



Sensemaking, Narrative Analysis, and Emotions

Narrative Methodology and Analysis

Convergences: Sen

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Jochen Kleres is a postdoctoral researcher at the Gothenburg Centre of Globalization and Development, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


By curiously focusing on disbanded organizations and the emotions of the actors involved, rather than their imputed reasons or interests, Kleres' research opens new vistas of analysis and theorizing. This is an important book, innovative and insightful.

Jack Barbalet, Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Based on a rich empirical research, Jochen Kleres develops an action-based theory of non-profit. Building upon social movement studies as well as studies of volunteerism, he convincingly argue for going beyond a rational choice approach, considering instead the motivational role of emotions. A very original and tought-provoking contribution to reflections in both fields and beyond.

Donatella della Porta, Professor of Political Science, Dean of the Institute for Humanities and the Social Sciences and Director of the PD program in Political Science and Sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, Italy