`There is much that is fascinating here. Long-established experiments and conclusions are rubbished and reinterpreted, long-established assumptions and beliefs about emotions are soundly trounced, and generally a good going-over is delivered to the whole field... it is such a blockbuster that one can only reel backwards and tell anyone studying the subject that they would be crazy not to get it' - Self & Society This fascinating book overviews the psychology of the emotions in its broadest sense, tracing historical, social, cultural and biological themes and analyses. The contributors - some of the leading figures in the field - produce a new theoretical synthesis by drawing together these strands.
Chapter 2: Embarrassment and the Threat to Character
Embarrassment and the Threat to Character
The Cognitive Discursive Structure of Embarrassment, its Displays and its Occasions
In our view, embarrassment, as an emotion of social control, is conformable to a generally discursive approach to the understanding of social phenomena, in that we see emotion displays (and feelings in those cultures that recognize them as relevant to emotions) as having both semantic content and illocutionary force as the performance of social acts. At the same time there clearly is a physiological aspect in the genesis of an emotion display. These displays are rarely preceded by overt deliberation. The aetiology of the tendency to display embarrassment will have to be found in a subtle combination of natural expressions and the ...