Emotion in Social Relations: Cultural, Group, and Interpersonal Processes

By Brian Parkinson; Agneta H. Fisher et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2

Emotional Meaning Across Cultures

Opportunities for interacting with members of other cultures have grown immensely over the last decades. Not only have many societies become increasingly multicultural, but also processes of globalization have tended to increase intercultural contact more generally. It has never been so easy to travel to countries all over the world, and we can also interact with people from different societies via the internet without traveling at all. When we meet people, either directly or remotely, in addition to communicating thoughts and attitudes, we also transmit emotions. However artificial or short-lived interpersonal encounters and social relations may be, they typically involve some degree of affective commitment or involvement, prompting pangs or passions of envy, admiration, love, hate, hope, or disappointment. Social interaction thus implies both experience and expression of feelings.

However, abundant evidence exists that emotions do not provide a universal currency for direct exchange. They may be experienced or expressed in different ways, regulated and shared in different situations, or recognized and interpreted differently from one culture to the next. Smiles, for example, may be interpreted as signs of approval rather than courtesy. Saying that you are angry may imply childishness or honesty. Shame may be treated as an act of social repair and not an acknowledgement of one's stupidity, and so on. In other words, emotions may be understood and evaluated differently because they mean different things in different cultural contexts. When interacting with people from other

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Emotion in Social Relations: Cultural, Group, and Interpersonal Processes
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • About the Authors xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Emotion's Place in the Social World 1
  • Chapter 2 - Emotional Meaning Across Cultures 25
  • Chapter 3 - Cultural Variation in Emotion 55
  • Chapter 4 - Group Emotion 87
  • Chapter 5 - Intergroup Emotion 115
  • Chapter 6 - Moving Faces in Interpersonal Life 147
  • Chapter 7 - Interpersonal Emotions 179
  • Chapter 8 - Interconnecting Contexts 219
  • References 259
  • Author Index 285
  • Subject Index 295
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