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Business of the HeartReligion and Emotion in the Nineteenth Century$
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Stephen Corrigan

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520221963

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520221963.001.0001

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Emotion, Collective Performance, and Value

Emotion, Collective Performance, and Value

(p.82) FOUR Emotion, Collective Performance, and Value
Business of the Heart

John Corrigan

University of California Press

The Businessmen's Revival in Boston was an exercise in the collective performance of emotion. This display of persons gathered in groups large and small, in churches, chapels, theatres, homes, basements, on board ships in the harbor, and in outdoor settings was of utmost importance. That display of emotion, in its general contours, conformed to Protestant expectation for raised affections as part of a revival of religion. Experienced in the collective expression of their feelings through their participation in various kinds of public events Bostonians developed opinions about the nature of emotion: its causes, its uses, and its ends. Moreover, emotion was taken as a commodity, and as such could be acquired for a price and could be exchanged for various other things. So, while Bostonians collectively emoted, they were also participating in an emotional economy. Therefore, the collectivity and the economy of emotion were closely interwoven, the envaluing of emotion being possible only within a public context that allowed for the assignment of value through social agreement.

Keywords:   Businessmen's Revival, Boston, protestant, emotional economy, revival of religion, collective performance

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