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After unfolding the different ways in which emotions can be said to be social, this presentation will pinpoint in which ways and at which level those social emotions can be deemed collective. Collective emotions have a self-referential component: they involve the feeling, the knowledge or the belief of their sharedness, actual or potential. This feeling of sharedness is particularly important in situations where a group of individuals face a public event, be it unexpected (earthquake, terrorist attack, flash mob) or ritual (religious, political or cultural). Collective emotions, indeed, suppose and call for the existence of a collective « subject » – a subject whose features differ, however, as a function of the kind of emotions at stake. As will be argued in guise of conclusion, collectives called for by emotions of indignation, for instance, are not the same as those called for by disgust, fear or resentment.

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