This chapter offers an overview of psychology’s approach to sex differences in emotion, beginning from a discussion of how psychology has approached emotion. The chapter takes a critical, social-constructionist stance on emotion and critiques psychology’s essentialist stance. Moreover, it introduces a new direction in psychology in which emotion and gender are studied from a discursive perspective, in which emotion words and concepts can function interactionally. The article considers two examples. In the first, a woman is positioned as emotional and by implication, irrational. The second example investigates how the popular concept of ‘emotion work’, one that typically constructs women as down-trodden, can in fact be used as a resource for young women to manage their identities in interactions. Indeed it is constructed as something that makes them powerful in relation to the vulnerable males they discuss
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