SOC344 2018 Tut3 – Shoalhaven

When was the last time you felt something ambiguous? A feeling that you couldn’t name? Was it perhaps a mixture of two, three, or many other more familiar emotions? Are there basic emotions that everyone feels and understands? The evidence seems to suggest that there are at least four to six universal basic emotions, based on Paul Ekman’s analysis of facial expressions across cultures. These have a genetic basis, and are experienced by all humans. The great majority of emotions seem to be more complex amalgams of these basic emotions. Indeed, in 1980, the psychologist Robert Plutchik developed a fascinating ‘colour wheel’ of emotions to depict the various possible combinations and intensities of basic emotions and their resulting ‘complex emotions’.

However, many of the psychological studies into basic and complex emotions do not account for the inherently social way in which emotions are combined and experienced. Norbet Elias’ Civilizing Process, and Michel Foucault’s studies of discipline and punishment (compounded in the construction of Jermeny Bentham’s famous Panopticon as a vehicle for moral reform) are historical examples of how society engenders complex, socially constituted emotions such as shame and guilt to maintain social order and police the boundaries of class and status. Think about how the modern institutions of society – work, family, church, government, market, media, social networks – shape and assemble your emotions in ever more complex forms.

Reflect on your feelings right now. Are they basic or complex? Individual or social?

#S344UOW18 #Tut3 #Shoal

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

2 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut3 – Shoalhaven

Andrew Stevens said : Guest Report 7 months ago

My feelings right now is basically that of pure anger. After having my car stolen and torched, I am very determined and angry at the present moment. Society has predetermined responses for life events. Evidence suggests clearly that there is 4-6 emotions, which is fine, but it is wrong. My emotional standpoint in a sociological frame point is that of a person who is NOT Neuro-Typical. This means that I do not have the skills or the number of emotions other people may have. It is either Good-Bad or On-Off or Ok-Not Ok. The Lecturer has to put everything into set categories, society too has to put people into set categories. Example You look Sad, You look Depressed, rather than actually focusing that everyone is an individual and people express themselves differently. Emotions or people facial expressions are what people predict in everyday life what the individual is feeling. The question now becomes how do you predict the internal workings of the human mind when the person cannot understand or express themselves in a way that society expects. #S344UOW18 #Tut3 #Shoal

Zachary Ghilezan said : Guest Report 7 months ago

The last time I felt a feeling which I couldn’t name was late last year watching the latest ‘Saw’ movie. While watching the movie, instead of feeling fear, which is what you are ‘supposed to feel while watching horror movies, I felt a combination of disgust and interest. On one side I was feeling disgust while looking at the gross gory bits of the movie, which one would think would prompt someone to stop watching. However on the other hand, when you combine these gory scenes with the overall story and music of the film, it creates an interest in your mind so you keep watching, even though you don’t necessarily like what you watched. Most things in life will make you feel more than one single emotion, in order to fully understand what is going on. For example some days you might not want to go to Uni or work, and doing so might annoy you, however at the same time by going you might feel pride, and if you do not go you might feel shameful. In short, I believe, most of the time you are feeling an array of emotions which could most likely includes complex ones as well. #S344UOW18 #Tut3 #Shoal

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