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Emotional Worlds
Beyond an Anthropology of Emotion

Part of New Departures in Anthropology

  • Date Published: June 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107020993


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About the Authors
  • Are emotions human universals? Is the concept of emotion an invention of Western tradition? If people in other cultures live radically different emotional lives how can we ever understand them? Using vivid, often dramatic, examples from around the world, and in dialogue with current work in psychology and philosophy, Andrew Beatty develops an anthropological perspective on the affective life, showing how emotions colour experience and transform situations; how, in turn, they are shaped by culture and history. In stark contrast with accounts that depend on lab simulations, interviews, and documentary reconstruction, he takes the reader into unfamiliar cultural worlds through a 'narrative' approach to emotions in naturalistic settings, showing how emotions tell a story and belong to larger stories. Combining richly detailed reporting with a careful critique of alternative approaches, he argues for an intimate grasp of local realities that restores the heartbeat to ethnography.

    • Provides readers with a critical perspective on the ethnographic encounter and a vivid insight into other lives
    • Recovers a vast area of social life and experience lost to conventional ethnography
    • Provides a critical perspective on other approaches to emotion in cognitive psychology, philosophy and the human sciences, highlighting their limitations in real-life situations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Andrew Beatty has produced a subtle, literate and humane account of how emotions are expressed, narrated and construed in very different societies. The study of emotions in context, set in narrative frameworks, demands a very special ethnographic engagement and empathy, but as Beatty argues, 'the field reveals what the lab and the library cannot'. Presenting ethnographic case studies, some based on his own extensive fieldwork in Indonesia, drawing on wide reading in anthropology and psychology, Beatty's moving, insightful book transcends disciplinary boundaries.' Adam Kuper, Boston University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107020993
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Groundings:
    1. Emotions in the field: recognition and location
    2. Nias: emotions dramatised
    3. Java: emotions analysed
    Part II. Narrative:
    4. The case for narrative
    5. Persons and particulars
    6. The narrative understanding of emotion
    7. Writing emotion
    Part III. Perspectives:
    8. Affect: a wrong turn?
    9. Concepts, words, feelings
    10. The uses of empathy

  • Author

    Andrew Beatty, Brunel University
    Andrew Beatty teaches anthropology at Brunel University. He has carried out five years' fieldwork in Indonesia and is the author of four other books, including After the Ancestors: An Anthropologist's Story (Cambridge, 2015).

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