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Alef Is for AllahChildhood, Emotion, and Visual Culture in Islamic Societies$
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Jamal J. Elias

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290075

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290075.001.0001

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Emotion and Its Affects

Emotion and Its Affects

(p.28) Chapter 2 Emotion and Its Affects
Alef Is for Allah

Jamal J. Elias

University of California Press

This chapter has a detailed discussion of emotion and affect, outlining the history of scholarly treatments of both of these concepts. It distinguishes between universalist and social constructivist theories, pointing out the merits and shortcomings of each as they rely on research in fields as diverse as neuroscience, cognitive psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. It argues that there is no universal understanding of emotion and that emotional concepts such as shame and honor are culturally determined. Emotion exists in its expression and description, be it in spoken or written language, in a bodily enactment of it, or in a visual representation. Expressions of emotion rely on conventions and semiotic systems of shared understanding for them to possess meaning.

Keywords:   emotion, affect, universalism, social constructivism, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, anthropology, philosophy

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