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Chapter 3

Chapter 3.docx

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G Cupchik

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Chapter 3Cultural Understandings of EmotionsLutz lived on island in Pacific Ifaluk studying emotional lives of people there o One day watched 5 YO girl dancing and making faces o Responded warmly to girl and asked not to smile because shell think that youre not songjustifiably angry o Encountered how different emotional lives of people on Ifaluk are from own peopleLittle girl should not have displayed ker with risk of misbehaviourShould be sitting quietly as good socially intelligent people doDifference in angersong or justifiable anger occurs with public breach of social rulesSong is not anger as West experience it arising from violation of rightits social duty to express song if notice anything that could disrupt social harmonySong is response to metaguanxious concern for others Construction of Emotions in WestHow to characterize implicit theory of emotions in West o First might note distrust of emotionsif want to disparage an argument say theyre being emotional or irrational goes back to Plato who thought emotions arise from lower part of mind and pervert reason o Distrust was brought by Darwin who implied that expressions of emotions are obsolete vestiges of evolution from beasts and development from infancyIn West not consistent because we think emotions are guarantee of authenticity guide to true selvesStances toward emotion distrust on one hand and appreciation on other are constructions of Western cultureAppreciation became marked in Europeand America during Romanticismo Romanticism period that started around 1750 in Europe in which primacy of natural and of emotions was stressed so compared with artificial and with dictates of conventionJJ Rousseau was credited with articulation of romantic spirit o First published idea that religious sensibility is based on how you feel rather than on authority o Began to attack cultivated pursuits as artificial and corruptingproposed instead that education should be natural and peoples natural emotions indicate whats rightBy 1800 Romanticism became part of Western culture o Inspired poets novelists musicians who saw it as mission to express emotions through art o Romantics fascinated by the natural o Writers explored childhood dreams faraway places exoticMary Shelley eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley at 16 and when 18 went on holiday during ungenial summer in Alps o Prompted by conversation about experiments in which electricity was used to stimulate muscle movements in dead creatures there rose to her mind image of scientist with powerful engine beside him o Story became Frankenstein a Romantic novel o Many themes or Romanticism in Frankensteinsetting amid wild scenery emphasis on natural distrust of artificial apprehension of humans overstepping boundaries See core beliefs about human nature and about emotions as original primordial authentic causes of behaviour that are alive today o Emotions are powerful forces often at odds with more deliberate rational thought embodied in science and codified in cultural conventions The Elements of Cultural Approach of EmotionBeliefs about emotion in West that emotions are both irrational and also authentic aspects of true self are products of particulat cultureculture of Europe and NAWhat does it mean to take cultural approach to emotiono Cultural approach involves assumptions that emotions are constructed primarily by processes of culture o Aspects ranging from how emotions are valued to how theyre shaped by culture specific beliefs o More radical claim is that emotions derive from human meanings which are necessarily culturalTheyre like languages or works of artRadically different across different cultures so that interest in emotions across cultures is an interest in differences
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