Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Social Psychologising of Emotion and Gender:\ud A Critical Perspective

By Abigail Locke


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

Topics: H1, BF
Publisher: Rodopi
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2003). Ability versus vulnerability: Belief about men’s and women’s emotional behaviour. doi
  2. (1999). An invitation to social constructionism. doi
  3. (1996). Appropriating questionnaires and rating scales for a feminist psychology: A multi-method approach to gender and emotion.
  4. (1992). Are there basic emotions? doi
  5. (2003). Bill and Monica: Memory, emotion and normativity in Clinton’s Grand Jury testimony. doi
  6. (2000). Cognitive neuroscience needs affective neuroscience (and vice versa). doi
  7. (1997). Discourse and cognition. doi
  8. (1996). Emotion Talk across Cultures. doi
  9. (1998). Emotion work as a participant resource. doi
  10. (1995). Emotion: clues from the brain. doi
  11. (1996). Emotional Intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ. doi
  12. (2008). Emotional labour in health care: The unmanaged heart of nursing. doi
  13. (2009). Emotions in midwifery and reproduction.
  14. (2008). Emotions: A reader.
  15. (1990). Engendered emotion: Gender, power, and the rhetoric of emotional control in American discourse. doi
  16. (2004). Gender and emotion in the United States: Do men and women differ in self-reports and feelings of expressive behaviour. doi
  17. (2000). Gender and emotion: Social psychological perspectives. Cambridge: doi
  18. (2008). Gender and emotion. doi
  19. (2002). Gender and preschoolers’ perception of emotion. doi
  20. (2002). Gender stereotypes of emotional reactions: How we judge an emotion as valid.
  21. (2009). Gender, emotion, and the embodiment of language comprehension. doi
  22. (2000). Gender, sadness and depression: The development of emotional focus through gendered discourse. doi
  23. (2003). If I’m not worried, I’m nervous, does that make sense?’: The use of emotion concepts by athletes in accounts of performance. Forum: Qualitative social research 4:1: 41 paragraphs.
  24. (1980). Knowledge and passion: Ilongot notions of self and social life. Cambridge: doi
  25. (2000). Masculine identity and restrictive emotionality. doi
  26. (2009). Masculinities, femininities, behaviour and health. Social and personality psychology compass 3: doi
  27. (2003). Masculinity and emotionality: An investigation of men’s primary and secondary emotional responding. doi
  28. (1996). Metaphor and monophony in the 20thcentury psychology of emotions. doi
  29. (1984). Nonverbal sex differences: Communication accuracy and expressive style. doi
  30. (1984). On understanding emotion. doi
  31. (1998). Parental socialization of emotion. doi
  32. (1983). Personal being: A theory for individual psychology. doi
  33. (2001). Reconstructing female emotionality.
  34. (1998). Sex differences in emotion: Expression, experience, and physiology. doi
  35. (1993). Sex differences in emotionality: Fact or Stereotype? Feminism and psychology 3: doi
  36. (1976). Sex differences in sympathetic adrenal medullary reactions induced by different stressors. doi
  37. (2002). Sex Differences in temporo-limbic and frontal brain volumes of healthy adults. doi
  38. (2002). Speaking from the heart: Gender and the social meaning of emotion. Cambridge: doi
  39. (2006). The capacity to care. Gender and ethical subjectivity. doi
  40. (1998). The Emotional Self. doi
  41. The expression of emotions in animals and man. doi
  42. (1995). The heart and the head: Everyday conceptions of being emotional. In Everyday conceptions of emotion: An introduction to the psychology, anthropology, and linguistics of emotion, doi
  43. (1973). The Interpretation of cultures. doi
  44. (1983). The managed heart: commercialisation of human feeling. doi
  45. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. doi
  46. (1987). The psychological foundations of the affective lexicon. doi
  47. (1992). The psychologising of emotion and gender
  48. (1991). The psychology of emotions. doi
  49. (1994). Universal Antecedents Exist and are Interesting. In The nature of emotion: fundamental
  50. (1994). Universal antecedents of the emotions.
  51. (1988). Unnatural emotions: Everyday sentiments on a Micronesian atoll and their challenge to Western theory. Chicago: doi
  52. What is an emotion? doi
  53. (2007). What is emotion? History, measures and meanings. doi
  54. (1990). You just don’t understand. Women and men in conversation. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.