The Public Life of Emotions
Squire, C. 2001. The Public Life of Emotions. International Journal of Critical Psychology.
Emotionalism, the centring of social and political as well as personal judgements on individual feeling, seems to many to be an increasingly prevalent frame for thought and action. A variety of historical and cultural explanations are advanced to account for this situation, ranging from the conceptual contradictions of Enlightenment thinking through the power of popular media to the aftereffects of postmodernism. For some, emotionalism signifies cultural degeneration, depoliticisation and emotional impoverishment, while others view the change as psychologically and socially empowering and potentially democratising. This paper urges a limited acceptance of emotionalism as a historical shift, and a qualified optimism about it. The paper argues that emotionalism can act at times as a kind of pragmatic strategy for theorising areas of cultures that are otherwise ignored or repressed, while at other times emotionalism simply points to insufficiencies within mainstream cultural discourses. The paper also suggests that critical psychology is a particularly apt field in which to consider the reconfigurations of emotion being achieved by its increasingly public performance.
|Keywords||Emotions; psychology; emotivism; emotionalisation; pragmatism; talkshows; selfhelp|
|Journal||International Journal of Critical Psychology|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Web address (URL)||http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals.html|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||17 Mar 2009|
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