A General Theory of Emotions and Social Life

By Warren D. TenHouten

© 2009 – Routledge

336 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9780415482721
pub: 2008-11-04
US Dollars$53.95
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Hardback: 9780415363105
pub: 2006-09-28
US Dollars$196.00
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

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

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY031000
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
SOC002010
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General