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

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

CHAPTER 4

Group Emotion

When people say that a mob is angry, an audience is enthusiastic, or a nation is grieving, what exactly do they mean? Is it just that each separate person is experiencing the same emotion at the same time or is it something more? And even if group emotions are simply collections of individual experiences, does it make a difference that people are having those experiences together?

On the surface, the notion that groups can “have” emotions seems paradoxical. Common sense and emotion theory both share the assumption that emotions are things that happen to individuals. What, then, is a “group emotion?” In this chapter, we shall use this term to refer to the fact that group membership can influence the ways in which people experience and express emotions. This influence manifests itself in the form of similarities in group members' emotional experiences or behaviors, similarities that would not be exhibited if the individuals concerned did not belong to the same group.

Several possible reasons exist for intragroup similarities of this kind. First, group members are more likely than randomly assembled sets of people to be exposed to the same kinds of emotional objects and events. Second, group members often interact directly with other group members and thereby exert mutual influences on each other's appraisals, emotions, and expressions. Third, group members are likely to share certain norms and values, and these will in turn promote similarities in the ways that

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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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