Emotions and suffering; emotions of suffering

Justyna Straczuk (Polish Academy of Science)
Roscoe Theatre A
Start time:
7 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel will explore different relations of suffering and emotions as they are experienced and expressed by both the suffering subjects and their observers.

Long abstract:

Studying both our own emotions and those of others has been an important topic of anthropological scholarship in the last decades. Nonetheless, comparative research on various experiences and expressions of suffering as emotions and their relation to emotions remains yet underdeveloped. The panel welcomes empirically and ethnographically based papers that address a wide range of entanglements and constellations of suffering and/as emotion(s) in current societies worldwide. In this respect its aim is to illuminate the interplay between individual experiences and cultural schemes/norms/scripts; the body and cultural expression; the universal and the individual and/or culturally constructed. In particular, the panel is interested in analyzing emotions of a suffering subject and/vs. emotions of observers in relation to two important phenomena: medicalization and/or media appropriation/seizure of suffering. By utilizing rational-technical language in diagnosing and handling suffering, the former erases it from social life. By manipulating and directing certain forms of suffering in media coverage, the latter erodes or disables empathy for the sufferer.