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They'll all fall

Friday, September 02, 2005

Feeling and emotion

Steven Fineman has the following description of emotions and feelings, which gave me a nice feeling in my stomach - "This is the definition I've been looking for".

Feelings are a subjective experience that provide us with an experiential, personal readout on how we are doing, what we want, what we might do next. To feel means to be aware of a bodily state, or more diffuse psychological change. Feelings may be in part determined by early life experiences, the source of which we may be unaware. We may fall victim to our feelings or get stuck in feeling traps (e.g. feeling anxious about being anxious). We have feelings about our feelings, guided by social scripts or knowledge (e.g. I ought not to be upset by this). Emotions are the personal displays of affected states, such as of joy, anger, shame.
They acquire their meaning, their social currency, from the socio-cultural setting. A bodily sensation, such as a churning stomach, only becomes ‘revulsion’ when labelled and/or performed in a manner consistent with repulsive circumstances and
behaviour. “(Bodily sensations) become felt emotions of disgust, pleasure, excitement or apprehension according to (a) prior learning about the type of sensation as being disgusting, pleasurable and so forth, and (b) the social/cultural protocols of what emotional body-display is appropriate (such as professional, non-insulting,
face-saving) in the particular circumstances. In this manner embodiment, emotion and socio-cultural processes intertwine”

Steven Fineman, Emotion in Organisations, 2000 p.9, (London, Sage)


  • Interesting yet ironic quote... by far the most analytical "up-in-your-head" description of what it is to truly be in the body. IMO its simply the realization that your emotional body has vast information that your mind does not.. only by listening to both can we become congruent. Good shit.

    By Anonymous DeepState, at 9:54 PM  

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