Textbook Notes (363,062)
Canada (158,169)
Psychology (9,565)
PSYC18H3 (274)
G Cupchik (49)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Cultural Understandings of Emotions

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University of Toronto Scarborough
G Cupchik

Cultural Understandings of Emotions The Construction of Emotions in the West y Plato who thought emotions arise from the lower part of the mind and pervert reason y Darwin who implied that in human adults expressions of emotions are obsolete vestiges of our evolution from the beasts and of our development from infancy y We in the West are not however very consistent because we also think emotions are the very guarantee of authenticity our best guide to our true selves y These stances toward emotion distrust on the one hand and appreciation on the other are constructions of Western culture The appreciation became marked in Europe and America during the historical era of Romanticism y By 1800 Romanticism had become firmly part of Western culture more or less inseparable from ideas of individual freedom y In Frankenstein are many of the themes of Romanticism settings amid wild scenery the emphasis on the natural distrust of the artificial apprehension of humans arrogantly overstepping their boundariesThe Elements of a Cultural Approach to Emotion y That theme is that values concepts and ideas about the self as expressed in art forms rituals social practices and institutions shape how members of particular societies experience emotion and that these matters are not universal y Most importantly a cultural approach involves the assumption that emotions are constructed primarily by the processes of culture y The more radical claim is that emotions derive from human meanings which are necessarily cultural They are like languages or works of art They are radically different across different cultures so that the interest in emotions across cultures is an interest in their differences y A second assumption of some
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