From Good Cheer to "Drive-By Smiling": A Social History of Cheerfulness
March 13, 2006 9:06 PM Subscribe
The history of emotions has yielded substantial studies on love, anger, fear, grief, jealousy, and many other discrete emotions. However, there is no particular study of cheerfulness, a rather moderate emotion, which, for reasons that I will discuss further, has remained unnoticeable to the scholarly eye. Based on much of the historical literature on emotions, some primary sources and some other areas of cultural history, I outline here the social use and conceptualization of cheerfulness over the last three centuries. I argue that, in the modern age, cheerfulness rose in value and became the most favored emotion for experience and display; as such, it was individually sought and socially encouraged until it became the main emotional norm of twentieth-century America.From Good Cheer to "Drive-By Smiling": A Social History of Cheerfulness
And the Taxonomy of Emotion Terms there is of interest on its own.
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