RE: the psychology of dissent

From: Eugene Matusov (
Date: Thu Jan 08 2004 - 17:51:31 PST

Dear Andy and everybody-


Andy wrote, "If human beings don't experience it, then I can only think that
what is going on is a suppression of the reaction."


I have heard that Vygotsky developed some electrical device that allowed
blind people to perceive color of objects by putting their hands over the
objects. If it is true, I do not think that these blind people should assume
that all other people who can't perceive color by skin, suppress their (our)
reaction. It is quite possible that some of physiological reactions are
"culturally cultivated" into recognizable perceptions and emotions.


What do you think?



PS Thanks, Andy, for your comment about Marx biography. It is on my reading
list now.



From: Andy Blunden []
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 8:27 PM
Subject: RE: the psychology of dissent


Intriguing. Animals experience a kind of excitement manifested in very
specific manifestations like fur standing on end, increased heart-rate,
etc., which are triggered when physically threatened by one of their own

What do you think?

(Normally I abhor "natural scientific" approaches to social interaction, but
I guess I'm trying to find exactly where that connection between
action-motivation and cognitive structures happens. Vygotsky's work seems to
be fully inclusive of association of reactions, etc., inclusive of cognitive

At 08:08 PM 8/01/2004 -0500, you wrote:

Dear Andy and everybody


Although, anger seems to be an obviouslyuniversal human feeling some authors
disagree with that. Specifically, I think about the following book

Briggs, J. L. (1970). Never in anger: Portrait of an Eskimo family.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


Jean Briggs is an anthropologist who studied an Intuit community. She argues
and provides evidence that this community never experiences anger.


I read the book and found it is very interesting and convincing. But Im not
an anthropologist and I do not know where the field is with regard to
Briggsclaim. Id appreciate if some knowledgeable people educate me about







From: IRAJ IMAM []
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 1:32 PM
Subject: RE: the psychology of dissent


Can anyone tell me what exactly are those small range of distinct emotional

Fear is obviously one; anger; I have heard that shame is in common with the
animals; joy.

Can people help me with this one?




HI Andy,


Thomas J. Scheff of UC Santa Barbara has written books on the Sociology of
Emotions. He and her wife see shame as a basic emotion that is the base for
violence at interpersonal and in inter-group levels.

Scheff, T. J. (1977) The distancing of emotion in ritual. Current
AnthropologyVol 18. No.3:483-504.

Scheff, T. J. (1979) Catharsis in Healing Ritual, and Drama. Berkely:
Iniversity of California Press.

Scheff, T.J. (1990) Microsociology: Discourse, Emotion and Social Structure.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press





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