Our concepts of our emotions are integral to our wider conception of ourselves, and are used to give meaning and provide explanation for our lives. They are central to both social life and relationships with others. In this book, Deborah Lupton brings together empirical research and social and cultural theory to examine the nature of the emotional self in contemporary western societies. The analysis emphasizes the emotional self as a dynamic project continually shaped and reshaped via discourse, embodied sensations, memory, personal biography and interactions with others and objects. The author's interdisciplinary approach draws on a number of sociocultural approaches - sociology, anthropology, gender studies and social psychology - that adopt a poststructuralist perspective. She places strong emphasis on language and discourse as they construct and express concepts of the self and the emotions, whilst also acknowledging the sensual, embodied and unconscious dimensions of emotional experience.
Deborah Lupton is an independent sociologist. She was formerly Professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies at Charles Sturt University, Australia.