In the "Handbook of Emotions," 3rd edition, chapter 3 (titled "The Sociology of Emotions") one can read under the section "Dramaturgical Approaches:"
"... These studies show how emotions are culturally scripted as to "when" to feel and "how" to express these feelings. Through the socialization process, individuals learn how to associate particular emotion vocabularies with specific eliciting situations, internal sensations, and expressive displays. [...] What makes this approach dramaturgical is that individuals are viewed as acting on a stage configured by social structure in front of an audience (of others). [...] However, individuals are more than dramatic actors manipulating emotions through expressive control in accordance with the feeling and display rules of culture. They are also strategists who present themselves to others, manipulating their forms of talk, role cues, bodies, staging props, and expressive display to their audience to realize their goals. [...] Various cognitive and behavioral strategies are available for managing emotions. [...] Cognitive strategies include invoking thoughts associated with the emotions demanded in the situation to shore up the emotions, using meditation to arouse the emotions dictated by the culture, or psychologically withdrawing from the situation to mask the incongruence between actual feelings and feelings expected in the situation..."
If that is the case, then the difference between neurotypical people and sociopaths seems to be one of degree, not quality.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
All the world's a stage
From a reader: