Emotion and Gender: Constructing Meaning from Memory

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"Emotion and Gender should be welcomed very warmly: it is one of the first more elaborate works in this domain. I find Emotion and Gender an inspiring book, and I would recommend it to all scholars in this domain. It is a collection of many interesting ideas, which beg for a more detailed elaboration and more systematic empirical research." --Agneta H. Fischer in Theory & Psychology Applying an innovative approach--memory-work--to the study of emotions, the authors of Emotion and Gender focus on the ongoing processes by which our emotions develop from childhood through adulthood. They examine happiness and hurt, fear and joy, guilt and shame, and anger and rage against the backdrops of apologies, transgressions, holidays, play, danger, and praise. Using their exciting new interpretive method, the authors explore the experiences of emotions, examining contradictions and conflicts as well as uncovering "absences" and the "taken-for-granted" in memories. Because it embraces subjectivity and avoids psychological individualism, memory-work has much to offer both feminism and psychology. For example, the method acknowledges the collectivity of experience, thereby drawing attention to the ways in which gender, among other things, shapes our emotions. The authors demonstrate that the social construction of emotion involves general processes, but assert they are manifested in different ways by women and men. And while recognizing emotions as social constructions, Emotion and Gender argues that emotions are also constituted in an active search for a "common sense," particularly when confronted by struggles and paradoxes. "Emotion and Gender is a wonderful collection of stories about feelings andthe way we find ourselves feeling in relation to structures of power and powerlessness. . . . The entire book is written in a style that is easy for anyone interested in emotions to follow and enjoy. And like most fine memories, when the feeling is lucid and thought through, you will find yourself nodding to moments familiar and contacting aspects of felt experience which can move you to new levels of understanding both of yourself and the way feelings are arranged. . . . For psychologists, this book is a must, for women it is a richly rewarding read, and for 'others' it will challenge assumptions about he nature of affect and the so-called 'traditional' sex." --Australian Women's Studies Newsletter Emotion and Gender offers its challenging and compelling theory to students and academics across the social sciences, as well as to feminists and social psychologists. "This book is valuable for counsellors in that it explores ideas about emotion, the stuff of our working lives. Be warned; it is an ideas and analysis book, very 'heady.' But sometimes, as in this case, this can be exhilarating." --Counselling

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