Emotions have long been a central concern in philosophy, psychological and sociological studies. When anthropologists began to study emotion, they challenged many assumptions shared by Western academics and lay persons by exposing the cultural variability of emotional meanings. In this collection of original essays by anthropologists concerned with the relationship of language and emotion, it is argued that the key focus to the study of emotion might be the politics of social life rather than the psychology of the individual. Through close studies of talk about emotion and emotional discourses in social contexts from poetry and song to therapeutic narratives, scholars who have worked in India, Fiji, the United States, Egypt, Senegal and the Solomon Islands show how emotion is tied to politics of everyday interaction. Their arguments and cross-cultural findings will intrigue and provoke anyone who has thought about the relationship between emotion, language and social life. The book will be of special interest to those who find the boundaries between cultural, psychological and linguistic anthropology, sociology, cross-cultural psychiatry, and social psychology too confining.
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