Within psychology, emotion is often treated as something private and personal. In contrast, this book tries to understand emotion from the 'outside,' by examining the everyday social settings in which it operates. Three levels of social influence are considered in decreasing order of inclusiveness, starting with the surrounding culture and subculture, moving on to the more delimited organization or group, and finally focusing on the interpersonal setting. At all these levels, emotion is influenced by social factors and has an impact on the way social life proceeds. For example, there are no direct equivalents in many cultures for some of the particular forms of emotion experienced in Western societies, suggesting that not all aspects of emotion are universal or biologically determined. Further, our various social identifications and allegiances partly determine what is emotionally relevant in a situation and how we respond to ingroup and outgroup members' emotions. Finally, emotions are usuallyoccasioned by things that other people say, do, or have done to them, and often change the way interaction with those others proceeds. The book provides a critical review of existing theory and research on these topics from a social psychological perspective, and develops its own distinctive approach by recontextualizing emotion in an integrated cultural, organizational and relational world.
"This is one of the best and most comprehensive treatments of emotion available today. The authors, each an accomplished researcher in his or her own right, have done a superb job integrating a large and diverse set data. Theoretically sound, empirically grounded, and global in scope, the book is also clearly and engagingly written. A major accomplishment." -- James R. Averill, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"At first glance, emotions are simple, biological events inside a person. This important book by three distinguished researchers argues, convincingly, that emotions are not so simple. Instead, they are deeply social events. This book is required reading for anyone who deals on a practical or a scientific level with emotion." -- James A. Russell, Boston College
"An exciting movement is occurring in the psychology of emotions. Rather than seeing emotions only in the heads and bodies of individuals, psychologists are beginning to explore how emotions align and realign relationships between people. Anyone interested in this fascinating new direction could do no better than to read the book by Brian Parkinson, Agneta Fischer and Tony Manstead: a fine book on an up-to-the-moment topic." -- Keith Oatley, University of Toronto
"The authors present a deeply social conception of emotion with arguments that are passionate yet balanced, scholarly yet accessible. Anyone with an interest in human emotions will want to read this book." -- W. Gerrod Parrott, Georgetown University