A General Theory of Emotions and Social Life  book cover
1st Edition

A General Theory of Emotions and Social Life

ISBN 9780415482721
Published December 11, 2008 by Routledge
324 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Founded upon the psychoevolutionary theories of Darwin, Plutchik and Izard, a general socioevolutionary theory of the emotions - affect-spectrum theory - classifies a wide spectrum of the emotions and analyzes them on the sociological, psychological and neurobiological levels.

This neurocognitive sociology of the emotions supersedes the major theoretical perspectives developed in the sociology of emotions by showing primary emotions to be adaptive reactions to fundamental problems of life which have evolved into elementary social relationships and which can predict occurrences of the entire spectrum of primary, complex secondary, and tertiary emotions.

Written by leading social theorist Warren D. TenHouten, this book presents an encyclopaedic classification of the emotions, describing forty-six emotions in detail, and presenting a general multilevel theory of emotions and social life. The scope of coverage of this key work is highly topical and comprehensive, and includes the development of emotions in childhood, symbolic elaboration of complex emotions, emotions management, violence, and cultural and gender differences. While primary emotions have clearly defined valences, this theory shows that complex emotions obey no algebraic law and that all emotions have both creative and destructive potentialities.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. From Darwin to Psychoevolutionary Theories of Primary and Secondary Emotions  3. The Two Pairs of Opposite Primary Emotions: Acceptance and Disgust, Joy and Sadness, Anger and Fear, Anticipation and Surprise  4. Secondary Emotions: The Four Pairs of Opposite Primary Dyads: Love and Misery, Pride and Embarrassment, Aggressiveness and Alarm, Curiosity and Cynicism  5. Secondary Emotions, Continued: The Four Pairs of Half-Opposite Secondary Dyads: Dominance and Submissiveness, Optimism and Pessimism, Delight and Disappointment, Repugnance and Contempt  6. Secondary Emotions, Continued: The Eight Tertiary Dyads: Resourcefulness and Shock, Morbidness and Resignation, Sullenness and Guilt, Anxiety and Outrage  7. Secondary Emotions, Continued: The Four Antithetical, Quaternary Dyads: Ambivalence, Catharsis, Frozenness, Confusion  8. The Sociorelational Approach to the Emotions: Four Elementary Forms of Sociality  9. Affect-Spectrum Theory: The Emotions of Rationality and of Intimacy  10. Affect-Spectrum Theory, Continued: The Emotions Linking Informal Community and Formal Society: A Typology of Four Character Structures   11. Social Identity and Social Control: Pride and Embarrassment, Pridefulness and Shame  12. Socialization and the Emotions: From Alexithymia to Symbolic Elaboration and Creativity  13. The Development of Tertiary Emotions: Jealousy, Envy, Ambition, Confidence, and Hope  14. Emotions, Violence, and the Self  15. A Partial Empirical Test of Affect-Spectrum Theory  16. Discussion

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