Emotions across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Universals

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In this ground-breaking book, Anna Wierzbicka brings psychological, anthropological and lingusitic insights to bear on our understanding of the way emotions are expressed and experienced in different cultures, languages, and social relations. The expression of emotion in the face, body and modes of speech are all explored and Wierzbicka shows how the bodily expression of emotion varies across cultures and challenges traditional approaches to the study of facial expressions. This book will be invaluable to academics and students of emotion across the social sciences.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521599719
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Series: Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Feelings, Languages and Cultures: 1. Emotions or feelings?; 2. Breaking the 'hermeneutical circle'; 3. 'Experience-near' and 'experience-distant' concepts; 4. Describing feelings through prototypes; 5. 'Emotions': disruptive episodes or vital forces that mould our lives?; 6. Why words matter; 7. Emotion and culture; 8. The Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) as a tool for cross-cultural analysis; 9. An illustration: 'sadness' in English and in Russian; 10. The scope of this book; Part II. Defining Emotion Concepts: Discovering 'Cognitive Scenarios': 1. 'Something good happened' and related concepts; 2. 'Something bad happened' and related concepts; 3. 'Bad things can happen' and related concepts; 4. 'I don't want things like this to happen' and related concepts; 5. Thinking about 'someone else'; 6. Thinking about ourselves; 7. Concluding remarks; Part III. A Case Study of Emotion in Culture: German 'Angst': 1. Angst as a peculiarly German concept; 2. Heidegger's analysis of angst; 3. Angst in the language of psychology; 4. Angst in everyday language; 5. Defining angst; 6. The German angst in a comparative perspective; 7. Luther's influence on the German language; 8. Eschatological anxieties of Luther's times; 9. The meaning of angst in Luther's writings; 10. Martin Luther's inner life and its possible impact on the history of angst; 11. Luther's possible role in the shift from angst 'affliction' to angst 'anxiety/fear'; 12. The great social and economic anxieties of Luther's times; 13. Uncertainty vs certainty, angst vs sicherheit; 14. Certainty and ordnung; 15. Conclusion; Part IV. Reading Human Faces: 1. The human face: a 'mirror' or a 'tool'; 2. From the 'psychology of facial expression' to the 'semantics of facial expression'; 3. 'Social' does not mean 'voluntary'; 4. What kind of 'messages' can a face transmit?; 5. Messages are not 'dimensions'; 6. 'The face alone' or 'the face in context'?; 7. Analyzing facial behaviour into meaningful components; 8. Summing up the assumptions; 9. In what terms should facial behaviour be described?; 10. Humans and primates: a unified framework for verbal, non-verbal, and preverbal communication; 11. The meaning of eyebrows drawn together; 12. The meaning of 'raised eyebrows'; 13. The meaning of the 'wide open eyes' (with immobile eyebrows); 14. The meaning of a turned down mouth; 15. The meaning of tightly pressed lips; 16. Conclusion: the what, the how, and the why in reading human faces; Part V. Russian Emotional Expression: 1. Introduction; 2. Emotion and the body; 3. Conclusion; Part VI. Comparing Emotional Norms across Languages and Cultures: Polish vs Anglo-American: 1. Emotion and culture; 2. The scripts of 'sincerity'; 3. The scripts of interpersonal 'warmth'; 4. The scripts of 'spontaneity'; 5. Conclusion; Part VII. Emotional Universals: 1. 'Emotional universals' - genuine and spurious; 2. A proposed set of 'emotional universals'; 3. Conclusion; Further reading; Index.

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