J. De Leersnyder
- The cultural construction of emotions
- Current Opinion in Psychology
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
A large body of anthropological and psychological research on emotions has yielded significant evidence that emotional experience is culturally constructed: people more commonly experience those emotions that help them to be a good and typical person in their culture. Moreover, experiencing these culturally normative emotions is associated with greater wellbeing. In this review, we summarize recent research showing how emotions are actively constructed to meet the demands of the respective cultural environment; we discuss collective as well as individual processes of construction. By focusing on cultural construction of emotion, we shift the focus toward how people from different cultures ‘do’ emotions and away from which emotions they ‘have’.
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