Anthropology of Emotions Article Review by Jay Writtings LLC

Anthropology of Emotions
This paper looks at emotion theory and discusses human emotions and the dilemma concerning the related divisions between mind and body.
# 119703 | 3,813 words | 4 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on May 20, 2010 in Anthropology (Cultural) , Philosophy (Metaphysics) , Biology (General) , Psychology (General)

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In this article, the writer notes that the recent decades have shown swings in the trends of social theories concerning understanding of the human emotions. In an attempt to mitigate the seemingly contrasting views, the writer makes use of four articles pertaining to the limitations confronted by dichotomous approaches and the infiltration of Western ideology into cross-cultural comparisons. The writer looks at John Leavitt's article, 'Meaning and Feeling in the Anthropology of Emotions', that is instrumental in its direct confrontation of the Western dualism inherent to modern scholarly attempts at explaining emotions in relation to either the body or the mind. The writer points out that Margot Lyon's article, 'Missing Emotion: The Limitations of Cultural Constructionism in the Study of Emotion', operates on much the same level; however, there is a lesser focus on anthropological and scientific philosophy and a greater emphasis on reembodying anthropological studies in a move away from extreme culturally-oriented approaches. The writer maintains that the third article, Catherine Lutz's 'Emotion, Thought, and Estrangement: Emotion as a Cultural Category', examines the concept as Western cultural category and its being embedded in dichotomies. Lastly, the writer discusses that William Reddy's article, 'Against Constructionism', illustrates the inherent flaws in constructionists' approaches to emotion and their failure to accurately explain the basic emotional experience. The writer concludes that human emotion is shaped by both culture and the body.

From the Paper:

"Much like Leavitt, Lyon takes up an argument against the limitations in the study of emotions; however, Lyon's position is pitted directly against constructionism, whereas Leavitt's found fault within the mind/body dichotomy generally inherent to Western ideology. While each author tackles a different subject in particular, the two points should not be seen as either exclusive or divergent, as each is merely arguing within narrower spheres within the larger context of permeation of the Western models into anthropological theory and practice.
"Among the problems Lyon sees as necessarily inherent to constructionism, the first to be addressed is the ideation of culture. If emotions are to be understood as being culturally constructed, notions of emotion are, as a result, overly-exemplified as being cognitive "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Leavitt, John. 1996 Meaning and Feeling in the Anthropology of Emotions. American Ethnologist 23:514-539.
  • Lutz, Catherine 1986 Emotion, Thought, and Estrangement: Emotion as a Cultural Category. Cultural Anthropology 1:287-309.
  • Lyon, Margot 1995 Missing Emotion: The Limitations of Cultural Constructionism in the Study of Emotion. Cultural Anthropology 10:244-263.
  • Reddy, William 1997 Against Constructionism: The Historical Ethnography of Emotions. Current Anthropology 38:327-351.

Cite this Article Review:

APA Format

Anthropology of Emotions (2010, May 20) Retrieved October 05, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Anthropology of Emotions" 20 May 2010. Web. 05 October. 2022. <>