Bodies, Representations, Situations, Practices: qualitative research on affect, emotion and feeling


Willis, M. and Cromby, J. 2019. Bodies, Representations, Situations, Practices: qualitative research on affect, emotion and feeling. Qualitative Research in Psychology.
AuthorsWillis, M. and Cromby, J.

We introduce this special issue of Qualitative Research in Psychology by discussing four themes which, in our view, characterise the collective significance of the papers in this special issue. Even in highlighting these thematic similarities, however, we point to important differences in their manifestation across different papers. In discussing bodies, we highlight an underexplored distinction between the body as ground of experience and the body as the enabler of experience. We also draw attention to three issues relating to (linguistic) representations of feelings, emotions and affect: the problem of ineffability; the role of naming feeling; and how to methodologically and analytically account for differences in the ways that feelings are talked about and named. Regarding situatedness in space and time, we note at least four analytical positions, which frame and reveal different aspects of affective phenomena. Finally, with respect to affective practices we identify two quite different approaches that, whilst sharing some characteristics, are different enough to warrant further specification when researchers deploy this term. Whilst welcoming the apparent trend away from purely language-based methods, we also offer some suggestions for how researchers can move further down this path. Nonetheless qualitative research on feeling, affect and emotion is in fine fettle. As the contributions attest, the time is ripe for this special issue of Qualitative Research in Psychology.

Keywordsqualitative methods; feeling; emotion; affect
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/14780887.2019.1656361
Publication dates
Online23 Aug 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Aug 2019
Deposited14 Aug 2019
Copyright holder© 2019 Taylor & Francis.
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Qualitative Research in Psychology on 23.08.19, available online:
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Accepted author manuscript

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