Emotion in Interaction

Emotion in Interaction

Emotion in Interaction

Emotion in Interaction


The importance of emotion in everyday interactions has become a central topic of research in a wide variety of disciplines, including linguistics, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and communication. Emotion in Interaction offers a collection of original studies that explore emotion in naturally occurring spoken interaction. The articles examine both the verbal and non-verbal resources for expressing emotional stance (lexicon, syntax, prosody, laughter, crying, facial expression), the emotional aspects of action sequences (e.g. news delivery and conflicts), and the role of emotions in institutional interaction (medical consultations, psychotherapy, health visiting and helpline calls). What unites the articles is an understanding of the expression of emotion and the construction of emotional stances as a process that both shapes and is shaped by the interactional context.


Marja-Leena Sorjonen and Anssi Peräkylä

Displays of emotion and affect are a central part of everyday actions and social relations. During the last decades, emotions and emotional stance have been intensively discussed and studied in many fields, most notably in psychology (e.g., Manstead, Bem, & Fridja, 2000; Manstead, Frijda, & Fischer, 2004; Gross, 2007), social psychology (e.g., Harré & Parrott, 1996; Parkinson, Fisher, & Manstead, 2005), communication (e.g., Planalp, 1999), sociology (e.g., Scheff, 1997; Katz, 1999; Fineman, 2000; Turner & Stets, 2005; Hopkins et al. 2009; Sieben & Wettergren 2010), neuroscience (e.g., Damasio, 1994; Panksep, 2004), and linguistics (e.g., Wierzbicka, 1999; Harkins & Wierzbicka, 2001; Wilce, 2009). in spite of the fact that emotions in most cases are manifested and recognized when people interact with each other, they have usually been studied outside real interactions: in experimental settings, using written data, or using historical or theoretical materials.

On the other hand, an increasing number of studies are focusing on ways in which emotional stances are expressed and responded to in naturally occurring spoken interactions. the lines of research that have led to these studies have developed somewhat independently from each other, originating from, for example, conversation analysis, interactional linguistics, interactional sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and discursive psychology. However, they all share the assumption that social interaction forms a key locus for the expression of emotion and, consequently, that a more comprehensive understanding of both the expression of emotion and the emotional underpinnings of activities carried out in everyday interactions requires an examination of the details of interaction.

This volume pays tribute to the importance of emotion in everyday interaction by offering a collection of studies that explore emotion in naturally occurring spoken interaction. the authors come from a range of disciplines, including sociology, social psychology, linguistics, and anthropology. Accordingly they use different research

We wish to thank Betty Couper-Kuhlen for most helpful comments on this chapter.

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