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Table of contents :
List of figures
List of tables
The concept of alienation
The plan of the book
PART I Alienation and affect in historical context
1 Alienation and affect, from the ancient world to early modernity
Alienation in the ancient world
Alienation in medieval and early modern times
17th- and 18th-century social contract theorists
2 Alienation and affect in 18th- and 19th-century social philosophy
From early modernity to the Enlightenment
Enlightenment rationalism, Enlightenment sentimentalism, and the passions
The roots of romanticism and romantic notions of alienation
Romantic opposition to reason and science
Religion, and alienation from passion and sexuality
Imagination and aesthetic expression
Critique of industrial, capitalistic society
3 Alienation, from Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels
Alienation and emotion in Hegel
Alienation and social dominance in Hegel
Economic alienation: from Winstanley, Smith, Ferguson, and Schiller to Marx and Engels
Alienation of bourgeois, Christian culture from passionate human nature
The estrangement of labor in capitalistic production
Marx and Engels abandon the concept of alienation
Assessing Marx: from dialectical materialism to prophetic vision
4 Alienation and affect in the late 19th and the 20th centuries
Subject and object
Means and ends
Emotion and reason
Transcending alienation through artistic creativity
The alienating conditions of the modern world
Instrumental and substantive rationality
Alienation, socialism, the New Left, and the counterculture
PART II Emotions basic to specific varieties of alienation: contemporary theory and research
5 Emotions as adaptive reactions to problems of life
Introduction to Part II
The concept of primary emotions
The case for primary emotions
The case against primary emotions
Emotions and social relations
Plutchik’s psychoevolutionary model of the primary emotions
MacLean’s rescue of Plutchik
Fiske’s social-relations model sociologically generalizes the Plutchik–MacLean model
From primary to higher-order emotions
6 Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions
Active, intentional normlessness1–anomie1
Active, intentional normlessness1
Passive, unintentional normlessness2–anomie2
Passive, unintentional normlessness2
Emotions in Durkheim’s social types of suicide
Ruthlessness and the emotions of active, intentional anomie1
Discouragement and the emotions of passive, unintentional anomie2
The fear component of shame
The sadness component of shame
Two causal models
7 Self-estrangement and despair
Self-estrangement and the primary emotions of sadness, disgust, and surprise
Despair: its depth and episodic nature
Despair as a tertiary emotion
The disappointment of experiencing rejection/disgust
A collapse of territory: surprise and loneliness
A shocking, saddening loss
Consequences of self-estrangement and despair
Excessive reliance on logic
Hubristic pride
8 Meaninglessness, ressentiment , and resentment
Introduction: meaningfulness and meaninglessness
Meaninglessness, suffering, ressentiment , and resentment
Forceful and helpless resentment
Resentment as a tertiary emotion
Primary–secondary emotional pathways to resentment
A contemptible breach of normative boundaries
An angering culture shock
A disgusting outrage
9 Cultural estrangement and the emotions
Cultural estrangement1 as rejection of, and disdain for, societal values and meanings
The primary and secondary emotional components of disdain
Sociomoral disgust and its function of rejection
State anger and cynicism: an explosive combination
Aggressiveness expressing disgust
An anticipation of contempt
Cultural estrangement2 as failure to ‘live up to’ cultural values
Existential dread as a tertiary emotion
Anticipation of alarm–awe
Surprise and anxiety
A fearful confusion
10 The emotions of powerlessness
Objective and subjective powerlessness in alienation theory
The emotional basis of subjective powerlessness
The four primary emotions of powerlessness
The six secondary emotions of subjective powerlessness
Objective powerlessness
Social inequality
Social inferiority
Social invisibility
Economic distress
External locus of control
A content-analytic study of life-historical interviews with Australian Aborigines and Euro-Australians
Wordlist indicators of objective and subjective powerlessness
Culture and sex differences
Two measurement models
A confirmatory causal model
11 A summing up, competing sociological models of alienation, and issues in alienation theory and research
Valence, focus, and clustering of the emotions of alienation
The externally focused cluster of tertiary emotions
The internally focused cluster of tertiary emotions, together with the emotions of powerlessness
Alternative sociological models of alienation
The emotions of alienation, 31 and possibly counting
Issues in contemporary alienation theory and research
Name index
Subject index
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Alienation and Affect

Alienation has objective, social-structural determinants, yet is experienced subjectively as a psychological state involving both emotion and cognition. Part I considers conceptualizations of alienation and affect in historical context, emphasizing Rousseau, Hegel, Marx, Simmel, and Weber. Part II develops a theory of the affective bases of Seeman’s original five varieties of alienation – normlessness, meaninglessness, self-estrangement, cultural estrangement, and powerlessness. The book argues that both normlessness and cultural estrangement manifest in two distinct forms and involve distinct emotions. Thus it develops the affective bases of seven distinct varieties of alienation. This work synthesizes classical and contemporary alienation theory and the sociology of emotions. It contributes to political sociology, and finds application in social psychiatry and related health and social-service fields that treat traumatized and highly alienated individuals. Warren D. TenHouten, Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles, is the author of nearly 100 publications, including Time and Society (2005), A General Theory of Emotions and Social Life (2007), and Emotion and Reason (2012). His interdisciplinary research interests have spanned the sociology of time, neurosociology, creativity, and life-historical and historiometric research methodology. His current work concerns emotions and the foundations of human rationality.

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Alienation and Affect

Warren D. TenHouten

First published 2017 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2017 Warren D. TenHouten The right of Warren D. TenHouten to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-1-138-77770-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-77247-9 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC

For Mef Seeman


List of figures List of tables Preface Acknowledgements Introduction The concept of alienation 1 The plan of the book 4

xii xiv xv xvii 1


Alienation and affect in historical context 1 Alienation and affect, from the ancient world to early modernity Alienation in the ancient world 7 Alienation in medieval and early modern times 9 17th- and 18th-century social contract theorists 13 Grotius 13 Hobbes 14 Locke 14 Rousseau 15 Notes 18 2 Alienation and affect in 18th- and 19th-century social philosophy From early modernity to the Enlightenment 19 Enlightenment rationalism, Enlightenment sentimentalism, and the passions 20 The roots of romanticism and romantic notions of alienation 20 Romantic opposition to reason and science 22 Religion, and alienation from passion and sexuality 23

5 7


viii Contents Imagination and aesthetic expression 24 Critique of industrial, capitalistic society 25 Notes 27 3 Alienation, from Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels Hegel 30 Alienation and emotion in Hegel 31 Alienation and social dominance in Hegel 31 Feuerbach 34 Economic alienation: from Winstanley, Smith, Ferguson, and Schiller to Marx and Engels 35 Alienation of bourgeois, Christian culture from passionate human nature 38 The estrangement of labor in capitalistic production 39 Marx and Engels abandon the concept of alienation 40 Assessing Marx: from dialectical materialism to prophetic vision 42 Notes 43


4 Alienation and affect in the late 19th and the 20th centuries Simmel 45 Subject and object 46 Means and ends 46 Emotion and reason 47 Transcending alienation through artistic creativity 47 Weber 48 The alienating conditions of the modern world 48 Instrumental and substantive rationality 50 Alienation, socialism, the New Left, and the counterculture 51 Notes 54



Emotions basic to specific varieties of alienation: contemporary theory and research 5 Emotions as adaptive reactions to problems of life Introduction to Part II 59 The concept of primary emotions 59 The case for primary emotions 59 The case against primary emotions 61 Emotions and social relations 62 Plutchik’s psychoevolutionary model of the primary emotions 62

57 59



MacLean’s rescue of Plutchik 64 Fiske’s social-relations model sociologically generalizes the Plutchik–MacLean model 65 From primary to higher-order emotions 66 Discussion 69 Notes 72 6 Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions Introduction 73 Active, intentional normlessness1–anomie1 75 Active, intentional normlessness1 75 Anomie1 76 Passive, unintentional normlessness2–anomie2 76 Passive, unintentional normlessness2 76 Anomie2 77 Emotions in Durkheim’s social types of suicide 78 Ruthlessness and the emotions of active, intentional anomie1 79 Contempt 80 Pride 81 Derisiveness 82 Discouragement and the emotions of passive, unintentional anomie2 82 Disappointment 83 Shame 83 The fear component of shame 83 The sadness component of shame 84 Alarm 85 Two causal models 86 Discussion 87


7 Self-estrangement and despair Introduction 91 Self-estrangement and the primary emotions of sadness, disgust, and surprise 92 Despair: its depth and episodic nature 93 Despair as a tertiary emotion 94 The disappointment of experiencing rejection/disgust 94 A collapse of territory: surprise and loneliness 95 A shocking, saddening loss 97 Consequences of self-estrangement and despair 99 Excessive reliance on logic 99 Alexithymia 100 Emptiness 101



Contents Hubristic pride 102 Discussion 103 Notes 104 8 Meaninglessness, ressentiment, and resentment Introduction: meaningfulness and meaninglessness 105 Meaninglessness, suffering, ressentiment, and resentment 106 Forceful and helpless resentment 111 Resentment as a tertiary emotion 113 Anger 114 Disgust 115 Surprise 116 Primary–secondary emotional pathways to resentment 117 A contemptible breach of normative boundaries 117 An angering culture shock 118 A disgusting outrage 118 Discussion 120 Notes 120


9 Cultural estrangement and the emotions Introduction 122 Cultural estrangement1 as rejection of, and disdain for, societal values and meanings 122 The primary and secondary emotional components of disdain 124 Sociomoral disgust and its function of rejection 125 Anticipation 125 Anger 125 State anger and cynicism: an explosive combination 126 Aggressiveness expressing disgust 127 An anticipation of contempt 129 Cultural estrangement2 as failure to ‘live up to’ cultural values 129 Existential dread as a tertiary emotion 130 Anticipation of alarm–awe 134 Surprise and anxiety 135 A fearful confusion 135 Discussion 137 Note 138


10 The emotions of powerlessness Introduction 139 Objective and subjective powerlessness in alienation theory 139




The emotional basis of subjective powerlessness 140 The four primary emotions of powerlessness 140 Sadness 140 Fear 141 Acceptance–acquiescence 141 Anticipation–expectation 142 The six secondary emotions of subjective powerlessness 143 Fatalism 143 Pessimism 144 Resignation 145 Anxiety 147 Submissiveness 147 Shame 148 Objective powerlessness 149 Social inequality 150 Social inferiority 150 Social invisibility 151 Economic distress 151 External locus of control 152 A content-analytic study of life-historical interviews with Australian Aborigines and Euro-Australians 152 Wordlist indicators of objective and subjective powerlessness 153 Culture and sex differences 154 Two measurement models 154 A confirmatory causal model 155 Discussion 157 11 A summing up, competing sociological models of alienation, and issues in alienation theory and research Introduction 159 Valence, focus, and clustering of the emotions of alienation 159 The externally focused cluster of tertiary emotions 163 The internally focused cluster of tertiary emotions, together with the emotions of powerlessness 163 Alternative sociological models of alienation 165 The emotions of alienation, 31 and possibly counting 167 Issues in contemporary alienation theory and research 167 Notes 169 References Name index Subject index


171 202 209


4.1 Social-scientific interest in alienation, 1939–2015: Ratios of annual number of ProQuest Sociological Abstracts’ title or abstract entries containing words for alienation or estrangement, as a ratio of the annual number of scholarly journal articles including words for society or social (a proxy measure of social-scientific publication volume) 5.1 (A) Plutchik’s model of the primary emotions and (B) Plutchik’s circumplex or ‘wheel’ of the eight primary emotions 5.2 Continuities in the models of MacLean, Plutchik, and Fiske 6.1 Primary and secondary emotions of two kinds of anomie 6.2 Causal models for two kinds of normlessness–anomie 7.1 Proposed primary and secondary emotional components of the tertiary emotion, despair 7.2 A conceptual model: causes of self-estrangement, primary–secondary pathways to despair, and selected consequences of despair 8.1 Hypothesized primary and secondary emotional components of the tertiary emotion resentment 9.1 Plutchik’s 1962 circumplex or ‘wheel’ of the eight primary emotions, with tags on the emotions of cultural estangement1 (CE1) and cultural estrangement2 (CE2) 9.2 Emotional components of disdainfulness and dread; affective bases of cultural estrangement1 and cultural estrangement2 9.3 Causal models for two kinds of cultural estrangement 10.1 Measurement models for objective powerlessness and subjective powerlessness 10.2 Causal model: subjective powerlessness as a function of objective powerlessness 11.1 Venn diagrams of the primary emotions associated with (A) predominantly externally focused and (B) predominantly internally or self-focused varieties of alienation (and powerlessness)

52 63 66 85 86 99 103 119 133 136 137 155 156


Figures 11.2 Plutchik’s 1962 circumplex or ‘wheel’ locating eight primary emotions in a two-dimensional space; the primary emotions of all seven varieties of alienation are plotted in the two-dimensional space and placed at their centroids 11.3 Alternative models of relationships between seven specific varieties of alienation and alienation as a general concept


162 168


5.1 Plutchik’s 1962 classification of the secondary emotions, a revision, and hypothesized associated elementary social relations. The secondary emotions included in one or more of the seven varieties of alienation are shown in italics. 6.1 Aetiological and morphological classification of social types of suicide 10.1 Word categories and partial wordlists for secondary emotions of powerlessness and for social and economic sources of objective powerlessness 11.1 Types and varieties of alienation and their bases of primary, secondary, and tertiary emotions 11.2 Cross-classification of the secondary emotions occurring in one or more varieties of alienation: valence of primary emotional components by external (social-situational) or internal (self) focus

67 74 153 160



In the 18th and 19th centuries, the ancient concept, alienation, emerged as a topic of interest in the developing fields of social philosophy and social theory. Long contested, the term alienation has assumed varied and sometimes incompatible meanings, reflecting differing assumptions, epistemologies, ontological, and ethical, normative, and existential perspectives. Despite widely different interpretations of alienation offered by such seminal scholars as Rousseau, Hegel, Marx, Simmel, and Weber, a consensus nonetheless held that the phenomenon of alienation implies distance, separation, or estrangement. This disengagement can be from one’s self, from significant others, from possessions or experiences of value, from aspects of one’s society, from cultural values, from work, from institutions and government, from nature, and beyond. Despite a gradual decline in alienation studies in the social and behavioral sciences since the early 1970s, the phenomenon of alienation has hardly disappeared. Indeed, alienation has become particularly salient in our contemporary fragmented and increasingly unequal and unstable societies. As economic elites solidify their grip on power, many millions of citizens experience hardship and thwarted opportunities. Soldiers, veterans, and civilians are traumatized by wars and regime change. Increasingly overpopulated nations confront ecological devastation. Multitudes of youth face futures without realistic chances of educational and occupational advancement or meaningful participation in economic and political life. Greed and corruption run rampant. Accompanying these increasingly troubling developments is a pervasive cynicism concerning government, the breakdown of civic culture and loss of democracy, and ineffectual efforts to control the relentless financialization of the global economy. Given these disturbing trends, individuals are sure to develop feelings of impotence and alienation that include an erosion of meanings, norms, and rules, and a sense of cultural incoherence. There is thus renewed need for alienation theory and research, so that alienation as an experienced state of mind can be understood, and both its structural causes and its sociobehavioral consequences better analyzed and addressed. This book aspires to take a step in that direction, through a two-part strategy. We first situate the concept of alienation in its historical, philosophical, and ideological contexts, and then develop it as a scientific concept. Throughout this work, we emphasize the role of affect, sentiment, and emotion in alienation. We elaborate



the concepts of sentiment and emotion, and present an emotions-classification theory. Second, we present an analysis of the affective basis of five specific varieties of alienation that Seeman (1959) first proposed. These are normlessness, self-estrangement, meaninglessness, cultural estrangement, and powerlessness.1 We thus focus on five varieties of alienation, but we additionally show that two of these varieties, normlessness and cultural estrangement, consist of two subtypes. Our study thus investigates the affective bases of seven varieties of alienation.

Note 1 Seeman, in 1972, proposed a sixth variety of alienation, social isolation. Social isolation, however, is arguably not a variety of alienation, and a huge literature on this subject has emerged with scant reference to alienation theory.


This book is dedicated to Melvin Seeman, my esteemed colleague in the Sociology Department at the University of California at Los Angeles. Professor Seeman has provided inspiration for this project and numerous useful suggestions and recommendations, all of which I have followed. Whatever quality of writing and theoretical clarity this work might possess is largely due to the tireless efforts of Maria Gritsch. She not only edited the entire manuscript, but provided theoretical criticism and evaluation that made it necessary to revise, elaborate, and clarify definitions and concepts throughout the text. She offered encouragement, support, and companionship that made working on this project enjoyable and rewarding. Additional criticism, suggestions, and recommendations, together with timely encouragement, were provided by Charles Kaplan, a research Dean of Social Work at the University of Southern California. A number of useful comments and suggestions were offered by philosopher Andreas Koch. Helpful criticism and suggestions for Chapter 6, pertaining to normlessness, anomie, and suicide, was provided by Seth Abrutyn of the Sociology Department at the University of Memphis. Valuable insight into the topic of alienation, and of the emotions, has been provided by scholars, colleagues, and students too numerous to list here. Mention must be made, however, of two scholars who contributed much to my life as a social researcher and theoretician, albeit before this project was initiated; they were Richard Morris of the University of California at Los Angeles’ Department of Sociology, and Eddie Rose of the Sociology Department at the University of Colorado. The cover is by Eddie Rose (EROS), which he titled “Δ6: A Pale White Corse,” and which was accompanied by (slightly modified) lines from William Blake’s (1797] 2008:302) “Vala I”: He sunk down into the sea, a pale white corse. In torment he sunk down & flow’d among her filmy Woof, His Spectre issuing from his feet in flames of fire! Chapter 10, “The Emotions of Powerlessness,” is supported by a data analysis based on a corpus of life-historical interviews with Australian Aborigines obtained

xviii Acknowledgements during three years of fieldwork in Australia. This effort was supported by the New South Wales Aboriginal Family Education Centres Federation (AFEC). This investigation was made possible by Lex Grey, a native New Zealander, who had worked extensively with early educational programs for Aboriginal children and their families in Australia, and the Aboriginal leaders of AFEC, Maisie Cavanagh and Kevin Cavanagh. The help with this effort provided by Maisie and Kevin Cavanagh has been deeply appreciated, and has long motivated me to work hard in an effort to justify their help, trust, and companionship. Dover Publications are thanked for granting permission to quote from Friedrich Schiller’s ([1794] 2004) On the Aesthetic Education of Man. The data analysis is presented in Chapter 10 only in summary form, and is available in full in an article titled “The Emotions of Powerlessness,” Journal of Political Power, 2016c, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 83–121. Chapter 4 is largely based on Chapters 1 to 2 of Emotion and Reason: Mind, Brain, and the Social Domains of Work and Love (London and New York: Routledge, 2013b). Chapter 6 is an enlarged argument of an article, “Normlessness, Anomie, and the Emotions,” published in Sociological Forum, 2016b, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 1–22. Warren D. TenHouten


The concept of alienation Melvin Seeman in 1959 provided a groundbreaking typology of five varieties of alienation: normlessness, meaninglessness, self-estrangement, cultural estrangement, and powerlessness. His seminal work challenged the longstanding conceptualizations of alienation as a general, unidimensional phenomenon. The general notion of alienation saw the social world as politically and economically organized in ways that systematically prevented individuals from realizing their human potential. This consequently promoted their detachment, separation, disengagement, or disconnection from the social world. Western civilization had engendered a daily life that tended “by its very structure to produce the alienated, the disenchanted, the rootless, and the neurotic” (Nisbit 1953:19). While generalists acknowledged different aspects of alienation, they saw these differences as subtle and assumed that each dimension reflected a “general syndrome of alienation” (Travis 1986:62; see also Suttie 1935; Glazer 1947; Pappenheim 1959). Alienation researchers further reasoned that, because there are substantial positive correlations among alienation subscales, “it is quite feasible to consider the sub-scales as belonging to the same general syndrome” (D. Dean 1961:756). In its baldest form, the unidimensional position identified the general “isolable feature” of alienation as the individual’s “lack of power to overcome the discrepancy between what is and what ought to be,” and researchers were accordingly urged to develop “a measure of this more general dimension of alienation in society” (John Clark 1959:852). There are good reasons to refrain from conceptualizing, and attempting to measure, a general concept of alienation. A general concept of alienation is a vague and ambiguous rubric that can reflect researchers’ varying and even contradictory assumptions concerning what constitutes a good society and what is socially pathological. These assumptions can include romantic, cynical, or even theological views about human nature, the exploitative nature of capitalism, the detailed division of labor, the loss of community in modern, industrialized, capitalistic societies, and the anonymity of urban life (Seeman 1972:467). While individuals in widely different circumstances (e.g., the dropout, the activist who distrusts those in power, the apathetic slum dweller) can share a sense of remoteness from aspects of the social-political-economic world, the origin and character of their



separateness can nonetheless differ so considerably that they cannot plausibly be seen as dimensions of a single syndrome. Those who insist on treating alienation as a general concept can only reduce it to a non-theoretical, classificatory term, analogous to “separation” (Schacht 1970:75, 175). It was against the background of this prevailing orthodoxy and its seemingly insurmountable obstacles that Seeman presented his pathbreaking and profoundly insightful work wherein he argued for and identified five specific varieties of alienation. The social-scientific literature on alienation had additionally predominantly advanced an objective, etiological perspective (Schacht 1970, 1994:45–52; Geyer 1980:11; Schweitzer 1981). That is, alienation theorists typically investigated the sociohistorical circumstances and structural conditions that constitute alienation. Many theorists held that “alienation consists of the structural, organizational, and exchange relations that diminish human capacities in work and elsewhere” and is “an objective fact independent of individual sentiments” (as described, but not endorsed, by Seeman (1991:19)). The investigative focus was upon the sociostructural conditions of alienation, not upon the experiences of individuals. Rinehart ([1975] 2001:14), for example, insists that, “alienation is objective or structural in the sense that it is built into human relationships at the workplace and exists independently of how individuals perceive and evaluate their jobs.” Other theorists (Etzioni 1968:618) omitted individual experience altogether by stating that, “[t]he concept of alienation does not assume that the alienated are aware of their condition. . . . The roots of alienation are not in . . . intrapsychic processes but in the societal and political structures.” A second aspect of Seeman’s pathbreaking work on alienation is that it directly challenges this structuralist, ‘objective’ approach to alienation. In particular, Seeman (1959, 1972, 1991) advances a ‘subjectivist’, social-psychological perspective (introduced by Rousseau 1754, 1762a, 1762b) that principally focuses on individuals’ subjective experience of alienation and holds that alienation consists of mental states. Seeman (1991:21) forcefully emphasizes the importance of defining alienation “in terms of subjective sentiments,” even as he acknowledges that the determinants of alienation lie outside of the individual in social-structural relations and conditions. Seeman states that, “structural circumstances . . . generate such sentiments, condition their interpretation, or influence their behavioral consequences.” Alienation is thus “a subjective state of an individual, to be distinguished sharply from alienating social structures” (Geyer 1980:11). These alienating structures and conditions of society and culture can trigger and influence the sentiments interior to individuals’ personal, psycho-affective experiences of alienation, but they do not constitute alienation. Alienation rather consists of interior sentiments that can range from vague feelings that life has lost its meaning to specific emotions experienced by individuals suffering socioeconomic deprivation or political disenfranchisement that they are powerless to overcome. Seeman’s empirical research concerning individuals’ experiences of alienation largely focuses on their cognition and learning, and his fivefold model of alienation has even been characterized as a “typology of cognitive alienation” (Mandersheid 1981:189n2). Other scholars agree that alienation is “a cognitive state,” and infer

Introduction 3 that, “therefore, investigators should measure the perceptions and understandings of their subjects (rather than feelings, beliefs, behaviors, etc.)” (Fischer 1976:46). Bacharach and Aiken (1979:854, emphasis expanded), for example, distinguish between dissatisfaction, as “an affective evaluation of a particular work situation,” and alienation “as a nonaffective description of a particular work situation.” Seeman (1991) moved beyond this purely cognitive framework by proposing that, as experienced by individuals, specific varieties of alienation comprise sentiments, meaning that they involve both cognition and emotion. This was a profound insight; it announced a paradigm shift in alienation theory. Suddenly, and most importantly, it became apparent that interpretations of alienation as purely cognitive contradict alienated subjects’ own accounts of their experience. Cognitive interpretations of alienation also contravene dictionary and other definitions which capture common meanings of the term as involving ‘feeling’. The Macmillan Dictionary (online), for example, defines alienation as “the feeling that you do not belong in a particular society, place, or group”; the Cambridge English Dictionary (online) similarly defines alienation as “the feeling that you have no connection with the people around you.” Dictionary definitions thus provide cautionary insight into how alienation is experienced. Seeman’s descriptions of ‘alienation’ as an affect-laden state of mind can be extended to alienation’s companion term, ‘estrangement’, which means ‘being separated from’ or ‘made a stranger to’ a person, object, or situation. Estrangement means a “separation, withdrawal . . . in feeling or affection” (Oxford English Dictionary online; hereafter, Oxford). Estrangement can range from an intentional, even derisive, estrangement from one’s popular culture to self-estrangement, or the unintentional separation from oneself or one’s social identity. Our aim in this work is to build upon and extend Seeman’s (1972, 1991) insights into the experience of alienation in social contexts in order to analyze the “feelings of alienation [that] are involved” (Feuerlicht 1978:15, emphasis added). Although Seeman’s empirical research on alienation focuses on learning and cognition, he provides important insights concerning the sentiments involved in his five varieties of alienation. Using the example of social isolation, Seeman (1983:181, emphasis expanded) notes that, while researchers can investigate the “‘structural’ connections between persons – i.e., not their sense of alienation, acceptance, or loneliness, but the form of their friendship ties (e.g., the frequency or duration of contact . . .),” often enough it is “direct inquiry about individual sentiments that defines these structures.” He further notes that, “it is the sense of support deriving from the network that is presumed to be the mediating link between structure and behavior.” Thus, “alienation . . . still lies in the sentiments (directly measured or inferred) not the structures” (Seeman 1983:181). Building upon Seeman’s legacy, this work proposes a theory of alienation and affect. In particular, we (i) focus on specific varieties of alienation rather than on alienation in general, and (ii) link specific varieties of alienation to sets of specific emotions. It is our central claim that all five of Seeman’s initial varieties of alienation can be linked to specific emotions.1 We also show that the emotional components of varieties of alienation include both positively valenced and



negatively valenced emotions. This investigation has been enabled by the remarkable advances in emotion theory and research, specifically in the sociology of emotions. This work endeavors to unify alienation theory and the sociology, or social anthropology, of emotions.

The plan of the book In Part I, Chapter 1 traces the intellectual history of alienation, from the ancient world, through the medieval period and its ideology of world-alienation, to the work of the social contract theorists, Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Chapter 2 examines romanticism, including its notions of alienation and its critique of industrial, capitalist society. Chapter 3 considers alienation in the thought of Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx and Engels. Chapter 4 focuses on alienation in Simmel, Weber, the New Left, the 1960s–70s oppositional counterculture, and the 20th century, with special emphasis on the contested role of alienation in critical theory. Part II examines contemporary theory and research. Chapter 5 sets the stage for analysis of the affective bases of varieties of alienation by explicating emotions theory and emotions classification. We distinguish emotion, affect, passion, and sentiment, and examine the concept of primary emotions, guided by Plutchik’s model of four pairs of opposite primary emotions, which are adaptive reactions to positive and negative experiences of the elementary problems of life. The concepts of secondary and tertiary emotional combinations (of primary emotions) are presented and explicated along with a classification of secondary emotions. We show that all eight primary emotions are involved in at least one of the variety of alienation. Additionally, of the 28 possible secondary-emotional pairings of these 8 primary emotions, 17 are shown to be involved in at least one kind of alienation. Chapters 6–10 examine five varieties of alienation. We link these to contemporary research and theory, drawing on advances in the fields of social psychology, sociology, psychology, political science, economics, philosophy, cognitive and affective social neuroscience, and psychiatry. Two varieties of alienation – normlessness and cultural estrangement, are shown to both consist of two subvarieties; each subtype is associated with a distinct tertiary-level emotion (combinations of three primary emotions). Of the resulting seven varieties of alienation, all except powerlessness are linked to a single tertiary emotion; powerlessness is rather linked to six secondary emotions: fatalism, pessimism, resignation, anxiety, submissiveness, and shame. Finally, in Chapter 11 we show that the complex emotions that form the affective bases of the seven varieties of alienation differ according to their focus. Varieties of alienation can consequently be clustered into two groups: one focused outwardly on the social situation, the other focused inwardly, on the self.

Note 1 There are, of course, many other kinds of alienation, including social alienation, work alienation, student alienation, parental alienation, etc., but while these are indeed important topics, and deserving of careful attention, it does not appear that such kinds of alienation can be linked to specific emotions.

Part I

Alienation and affect in historical context


Alienation and affect, from the ancient world to early modernity

The history of man could very well be written as a history of the alienation of man. – Erich Kahler (1957:43) Alienation was the problem of the 1840s, and it is the problem of today. – Morse Peckham (1976:138)

Alienation in the ancient world The concept of alienation has a long and colorful history. As its full accounting would require many volumes, we review only the most general trends. In Plato’s Republic, Socrates considered the brave and wise soul as least disturbed by external circumstances (ἀλλοιώσειεν, later rendered as the Latin alienatio). For Plato and Platonists, the soul that liberates itself from the known world’s contingencies and external realities achieves a positive state of alienation from everyday living as it apprehends the Ideal, or the Divine. In ancient Roman society, the term alienatio had three meanings. (i) Dominion ad alium transferimus referred to the lawful transferring of possession or ownership of something of value from one individual to another. Through this act, the item becomes alien to its former owner upon becoming another’s possession. In ancient Rome’s atomistic social life, individuals were legally regarded as either property owners or property, and disposition of property was the law’s main concern. (ii) Adding a psychological dimension to the concept, alienatio mentis denoted one who is absent-minded, lacking in concentration, or lacking sanity, as when one is separated from one’s reason, out of one’s mind, or ‘insane’.1 (iii) Alienatio also meant aversion, dislike, and the withdrawal of the feeling of goodwill, friendship, or love; if one’s significant other is ‘stolen’ by a third person, an alienation of affection follows. In all three cases, alienation is a separation, or an estrangement, from one’s possessions, from one’s own mind, or from one’s loveobject. These three meanings have been brought forward to the Medieval English alienacioun and to the Modern French alienation. In the Old Testament, prophets of monotheism considered practitioners of heathen and pagan religions self-alienating because they expended energy and artistic capacities building idols which were simply human artifacts. Worship of

8 Alienation, affect in historical context man-made things, prophets argued, transforms men into things; rather than experiencing oneself as creator, one becomes “estranged from his own life force, from the wealth of his own potentialities and is in touch with himself only in the direct way of submission to life frozen in the idols.” This self-estrangement is no less than “man’s relinquishment of himself” (Fromm 1961:44, 46).2 In early Christianity, the concept of alienation acquired another, opposite, meaning, namely the separation or estrangement of the individual from the divine. According to Gregory ([c. 578–95 CE] 2015:xii, 36), in his Moralia in Job and in numerous other texts, Satan, the fallen angel, is alienus, the alien or stranger par excellence. Satan was first among the beings alienated from God, for (i) not experiencing love of God, and (ii) refusing to adhere to His divine order, rather competing with God. In the Bible, Paul, speaking of the Gentiles, said: “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”3 This lament, of being ‘alienated from God’ or having ‘fallen from Grace’, informs Judeo-Christian mythology and has motivated the “messianic mission of rescuing man from this state of self-alienation which he had brought upon himself” (Mészáros 1970:28). Ancient Christianity contributed to an apocalyptic tradition, providing accounts of alienation as historical processes that change incrementally from an original condition of domination and oppression to the eventual attainment of total salvation in a perfect community. Christian theology’s narrative had a four-stage structure, which Luther, the Lutheran philosopher Hegel, and Hegel’s erstwhile disciple, Marx (Rotstein 1982), elaborated. In the narrative’s initial stage, an antithesis obtains between the tyrannical oppressor, the lord, and those subjected to bondage. The Old Testament represented this as bondage to Pharaoh in Egypt, the New Testament as bondage to the sinful, mortal body. In stage two, an inversion occurs, as the oppressor is vanquished and those in slavery attain an exalted position of bondage: Yahweh defeats Pharaoh in the Old Testament, and Christ defeats death in the New Testament. In the third stage, slaves’ status is inverted, as they become the chosen lords: in the Old Testament they become “the head, and not the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:10, 13), and in the New Testament there is an advancement from being slaves of Christ (douloi Christou) to becoming “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), a royal priesthood that attains liberty and equality. In the fourth stage, oppression itself is transcended by a new kind of ‘community’: this is a “kingdom of priests and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6) in the Old Testament, or the “Kingdom of God” in the New Testament. This new community is characterized as a total identity of the new lords and the Supreme Lord, who holds all power (Colossians 2:8). Here, the original antithesis has been totally resolved, and the initial alienation of the bondsman is overcome. Humanity’s plight is thus an ancient thesis concerning the nature of good and evil, and evokes an archetypal design by which humans have tried to confront their nature and destiny. In numerous ancient pagan cultures, there was in the Beginning a primordial unity, the One, the Good, which overflows into mind, individual souls, and the material universe. A disastrous process of splintering next created individuality, self-centeredness, division, and multiplicity. This introduced Sin into

The ancient world to early modernity 9 the world, and resulted in a ‘fall’ of humanity, a tragic departure from the One or the All. The human being became, as Plotinus [270 CE] (1952:iv.vii.4) stated, “a partial thing, isolated, weakened, full of care, intent upon the fragment; severed from the whole . . . [and] buffeted about by a worldful of things. . . . It has fallen.” The only redemption from such a falling-away-from the One, or “remoteness and a condition of alienation from the source” (Abrams 1973:151), the myth holds, is a process of reintegration, wherein human fragmentation is overcome by a return to the originary One, a spiritual journey in quest of humanity’s lost home (Plotinus [270 CE] 1952:vi.v.3). This neoplatonic myth of the ‘great circle’ requires a powerful current of supernatural energy, a sustaining force of ‘love’, which flows from the One down to remote humans. This energy hold the universe together and instills in human awareness a yearning to return to a state of earlier unity, to attain a circuitus spiritualis (Abrams 1973:152, 500–1n12). This overall ancient theme of Oneness–Separation–Return can be seen, for example, in Homer’s tale of Odysseus, who fled the sorcery of Circe and Calypso, before eventually finding his Fatherland. This myth of circular design has had innumerable incarnations, including Gnosticism, Kabbalism, Hermeticism, and alchemy (see Abrams 1973:147–252). In this mythology, the end is its beginning, as the movement is from unity to multiplicity and back to unity, a falling from good to evil, and a final return to the good. This eternal circle was in Christianity a tale of creation, incarnation, passion, second coming, apocalypse, and a heaven on earth freed of evil and oppression. The originary One in many conceptualizations was reduced from an absolutely perfect ‘God’ to a concrete historical epoch in which humanity was less alienated; this was variously situated in imaginations of life in ancient Greece, in primitive societies, in the Middle Ages. As we enter the medieval period of human history, however, alienation was still largely a theological concept, but its economic meaning was to be elaborated in a context of social power and political life. Alienation thus developed both positive and negative meanings in ancient times. Positively, it meant an ecstatic elevation of mental experience, wherein the mind transcends its own boundaries, categories, and limitations, not through human agency but through divine grace; mind as independent subject attains unity with a transcendental object (Rotenstreich 1963). In theology, alienation meant an apocalyptic transformation of the social order that liberated individuals from an oppressive bondage and revealed humanity’s natural existence as an external, alien force. Alienation’s negative connotations in ancient times ranged from sensing that a valued possession had been lost to being separated from the divine.

Alienation in medieval and early modern times Situated at the boundary between the ancient and medieval worlds, St. Augustine focused on introspective conscience and an individualistic freedom of the will. From his preoccupation with the soul’s immersion in itself, and the concurrent achievement of immersion in the divine (Rotenstreich 1963), Augustine ([392–418 CE] 1956:lxvii) developed the term, alienatio mentis a sensibus corporis. This

10 Alienation, affect in historical context referred not to an estranged and forlorn mind, but to a spiritual elevation beyond the senses; this positive act was believed to constitute union with God, or being at home in a divine realm. Here, alienation means the separation of the individual from ordinary reality, upon experiencing an extra-ordinary, spiritual reality. The attainment of this spiritual enlightenment involved a circular journey of the kind taken in Augustine’s own life. In his vanity, Augustine had fallen away from ‘God’; he had gone to a far country where he engaged in fornication and experienced disunity, fragmentation, and scatteredness, whence he returned to seek purification. Augustine thus ended where he had begun, “in a marital union with the Bridegroom from, whom, in our wandering, we departed; the journey ended in the City of New Jerusalem,” and to “a person who is both male and female, a father who is also the mother, the bridegroom, and the spouse” (Augustine [397–400 CE] 2006:270, cited in Abrams 1973:167). It might perplex that a world beyond sex would be described in such terms, but in the works of Christian fiction, the individual seeks a land, or a home, “which is the dwelling of a woman of irresistible erotic charm.” Success is characterized as “betrothal or marriage,” where the female becomes the “focus of all desires, whose beauty lures the pilgrim by degree back up to the fons et origo of all love, light, and joy” (Abrams 1973:168). Throughout the Middle Ages, alienation from the world and from involvement with others, an other-worldly mysticism or a veritable world-alienation, had, in European civilization, been seen as desirable. Hannah Arendt (1958:209–10, 248–56; see also Arendt and Kohn [1961] 2006:25) developed the concept, “world-alienation,” to signify a turning away from the common world, a sense of otherness toward human-made things and from the sharing of experience with others. In this mentality, which persisted through the so-called Renaissance period and into the 17th century, only alienation from ‘God’ was seen as undesirable; this was exemplified in the myths of Satan’s expulsion from Heaven and of the Fall of Man. The doctrine of John (2:25) exhorted: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, . . . the lust of the flesh, . . . of the eyes, and the pride of life.” There was in the Middle Ages “a predilection for voyaging, wandering, and homelessness as expression of spiritual world-alienation” (Howard 1974:52). This notion of the homeless wanderer existed in early Christianity, according to which believers’ terrestrial lot is that of the alien or stranger, the viator or traveler, who seeks only temporary shelter on the journey through this life. The early Christian tradition thus brought to the Middle Ages two distinct conceptualizations of alienation: estrangement from God, a purely evil condition; and estrangement from the world, considered a duty and a privilege necessitated by rebel angels’ and Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience. Had these calamities not happened, there would be no need to feel as alien or stranger in this world. Because they did occur, St. Paul could assert that, as long as the human being is embodied, he or she is an exile from the Lord (Ladner 1967:238). In the 12th century, the meaning of purposeful alienation-from-this-world slightly changed. That century experienced a remarkable, yet poorly understood, upsurge in the production of cultural and social forms.4 Alongside this burst of positive energy a sense of pessimism and gloom developed and the world was

The ancient world to early modernity 11 condemned with “extravagant language.” Individuals were preoccupied with the notion that “worldly life is mutable and transitory, that its pleasures are vain and disappointing, that man is fallen, his nature corrupted, and his body infirm” (Howard 1974:53). A specific emotion accompanied this pessimism, namely a despising, scorn, or, more generally, contempt, for worldly things, a contemptus mundae (Howard 1966:68–75). Here, the ‘world’ refers not to the earth or to the heavens, or to the physical universe, but to all that is human, including ‘worldliness’ or engagement in spheres of actions, institutions, and carnal temptations. When we commune with nature, indwell in a God-concept, or sink deeply into our own thoughts, we are in a state of non-communication with the world, and experience “world-alienation.” This term describes the medieval and Renaissance mentality, and Arendt (1958:248–57) used it to describe “loss of the common world,” and sense of otherness with respect to man-made things, or a sense of the meaninglessness and uselessness of the world. The world-alienation that was ‘endemic’ to the Middle Ages ushered in an irrational distrust of reason (partly as rebellion against scholastic rationalism); reason was assessed as possessing but feeble power to influence nature or the corrupted social world replete with vanity, misery, and mutability. World-alienation existed both as an ideology and as a complex of emotions. It was the sentiment that, in order to lessen one’s alienation from ‘God’, one must alienate oneself from the world. Pope Innocent III ([c. 1195] 1969), for example, in his highly influential De Miseria, articulated this belief, and claimed that “Riches lead to immorality, pleasures to shame, and honors to vanity.” Especially in the 14th and early 15th centuries, this de contemptu tradition promoted a view of death as the great leveler, that “illustrates the mutability of all worldly things and alienates every man . . . from the transitory loves of this world” (Howard 1974:57). Only a few treatises upheld human dignity, and only in Italy; contempt for the world prevailed throughout Europe, until the 17th century. Indeed, “the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries were obsessed with death, with the vanity of earthly pursuits, with the mutability of the world itself. The final alienation of the dying man from the world was forever in their thoughts” (Howard 1974:58; see also O’Connor 1942). During the Middle Ages and the so-called Renaissance, this world-alienation formed the dark undertone of a gradually emerging secular spirit, for “surely fear of death goes hand in hand with love of life” (Howard 1974:59). Schisms in European civilization stimulated a 12th-century burst of cultural energy. Society was torn between the despairing demands of, and warning by, adherents of contemptus mundi, versus those who participated in the emergence of secular feelings. This age “became at once more zestful and more despairing, more worldly and more otherworldly” (Howard 1974:59). The palpable threat of a secular mentality led to “various persecutions,” and in the 14th and 15th centuries, “the alienation of man from their fellows came to its fullest potential of horrors” (Howard 1974:59). With sadistic fury, heretics, Cathars,5 deviants, and witches were tortured and burned alive (Ladner 1967:255–6). The medieval doctrine of world-alienation was not a pure condemnation of worldliness, but was rather a “special style of worldliness” (Howard 1974:61).

12 Alienation, affect in historical context While the human condition is largely wretched and painful, the human being is created good, and therefore possesses a certain dignity. The body, while vile, was created by God, and is therefore not evil. While our senses lead to temptations, bodily impulses can lead to good actions. In the Renaissance, the idealized sculptures of the human body make it an object of interest, of artistic appreciation, and of contemplation. The secular trend that gradually developed was an overcoming of medieval alienation from the world. There developed a veritable thirst for knowledge of the natural and historical world. An inclination to observe things developed, not as they ought to be but rather as they are and as they actually appear to the observer (using the geometry of perspective space and, more generally, mathematics) at a particular time and place. Following St. Augustine and the triumph of Christianity in Western civilization, theology was controlled by a Church increasingly bent on the acquisition of power and wealth. Under this regime, the concept of world-alienation very gradually transformed into a secularized conceptualization of alienation, albeit within a religious shell. As the Middle Ages transitioned to the modern era, a trend emerged of converting everything, including what had been seen as sacred and inalienable, into an alienable, that is, saleable, object. The term, ‘alienation’, came to be given an economic meaning, universal salability, or the transformation of everything, including humans and human relationships, into marketable commodities. Balzac’s (1835) Melmoth Reconcilié (cited in Mészáros 1970:33), for example, describes an imaginary state, in a totally secularized society, where “even the Holy Spirit has its quotation on the Stock Exchange.” Martin Luther (lived 1483–1536) criticized the Catholic Church’s economization of religion, disputed that forgiveness from sin could be purchased with money, and, in 1517, confronted indulgence salesmen with his Ninety-Five Theses. As a man of genius, Luther had accused the Church of alienating men from God, and then created a religious movement. Paradoxically, Luther’s notion of “liberty” embodied that very secular principle of “universal saleability” which Luther had denounced. (Mészáros 1970:34–5). The Reformation created equality between individuals by dispensing with the priestly mediation between man and God. Now common people as well as titleholding religious functionaries had access to the Divine. Luther’s Reformation intensified a sense of alienation on another level, however. Because it emancipated the Many from the controls of an apparently unitary and communal world, it fragmented followers into separate, more or less free, individuals now compelled to act as their own agents in an increasingly competitive economic order. Amidst these trends, the medieval Lord acquired power to “dispose of his own [servant], and transfer the same at his pleasure, the master may therefore alienate his dominion over them . . . by his will” (Hobbes [1640] 2009:104). This idea found fuller expression in the emerging corporate-liberal ideal of the free alienability of everything, whether land or personhood, through contractual arrangement. The alienation, through sale, of inanimate objects remained unproblematic, and feudal society’s prohibitions concerning the alienation of certain living things had been overcome. It only remained for the individual “to be reified – converted into

The ancient world to early modernity 13 a thing, into a mere piece of property for the duration of the contract – before it could be mastered by its new owner (Mészáros 1970:34–5). Luther’s theological conceptualization of human alienation preserved the fourstage structure articulated in ancient Biblical texts, especially in Paul. In the first stage, ‘oppression’ lies in the duality of the carnal nature of the body and of human spiritual nature (and in the oppressive tyranny of the Catholic Church and its doctrine of ‘good works’). In the second stage, this oppressive situation experiences inversion, through a willful act of faith, in which one commits to servitude to others, thereby turning an oppressive bondage inside out, advancing to an exalted stage of bondage. In stage three, through faith there is a disengagement, or an alienation, from finite reality; this elevates the individual’s status to ‘lord’ over sin and even death, enabling one to attain the fourth and highest stage. Here, one is a free ‘servant of all’, yet ‘lord of all’, overcoming death and attaining eternal life in a realm where all structures of power are abolished, all are equal, and there is compatibility between individual and community. This requires full submission to the will of God, so that, for the fortunate inhabitant of this putative paradise, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9). This theology has been described as a ‘negative transcendence’ of human alienation.

17th- and 18th-century social contract theorists Several 17th-century scholars, particularly Grotius, Hobbes, and Locke, employed the concept of alienation to analyze the relationship between individuals, as citizens, and political leadership. They hypothesized a social contract wherein individuals alienate their freedom to a sovereign power in exchange for protection and social order. Only when social order prevails can individuals enjoy a true higherorder liberty (Schacht 1970:17). Eighteenth-century social contract theorists, especially Rousseau, further elaborated such a social contract and additional alienating features of everyday social life in the modern world. These scholars secured the concept of alienation a place in social and moral philosophy, and inspired later theorizing in the emerging social sciences. Grotius Hugo Grotius ([1631] 1977:41–2) viewed the individual’s “sovereign authority,” or unrestricted right to self-determination, as alienable, or transferrable to another. Just as an individual alienates, or freely relinquishes, his freedom to another, in return for protection and services, so also a whole people can subject themselves to a sovereign power. Grotius considered this surrender of freedom the basis of all political authority. While an individual might transfer use rights over his own freedom to a master, he may not entirely dispose of his freedom by contract, for one’s self is a possession to which has only limited rights, not complete ownership (Grotius [1625] 1901:1.1.5). The most fundamental human characteristics, or attributes of character that make of men moral beings, are inalienable (Grotius [1631] 1977:47).

14 Alienation, affect in historical context Hobbes In his Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes similarly explored alienation as key to the relationship between a social contract and individual liberty. Hobbes ([1651] 1985:189–90) wrote: “To lay downe a mans Right to any thing, is to devest himself of the Liberty, of hindering another of the benefit of his own Right to the same.” An individual thus enters into a social contract by relinquishing, or alienating, his right of “doing anything he liketh”; he transfers to the sovereign the right to use his power “for the preservation of his own Nature; that is to say, of his own Life.” Only a sufficiently powerful sovereign, Hobbes maintained, can “bridle mens ambition, avarice, anger, and other Passions, without the feare of some coercive Power” (Hobbes [1651] 1985:196). Hobbes, a radical individualist, believed that when individuals relinquished their political autonomy to one person, they gain life in a commonwealth and avoid a state of nature, which he imagined as a “warre of every man against every man” (Hobbes [1651] 1985:188). Without such order based upon laws, and rulers to enforce them, there could be no civilization – no industry, navigation, knowledge, time-reckoning, arts and letters, law and justice, and no true civil liberty. Instead, “continuall feare, and danger of violent death [would obtain, making] the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes [1651] 1985:186). Alienation of one’s power to a sovereign individual is not necessarily irreversible, however, and the overthrowing of a sovereign can result in de-alienation, insofar as power is restored to the citizenry. Locke and Rousseau further considered abrogation of a social contract.6 Locke In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke (1690b) held that humans have no innate ethical or logical principles, only appetitive inclinations, particularly “a desire of happiness, and an aversion to misery” (Locke [1690a] 1980:70). Locke’s view of the social contract was milder than Hobbes’s was. Individuals relinquish political power, but to a ruler constrained by law and a legislature, whose powers are not arbitrary, but rather limited to adjudicating and punishing offenses against “lives, liberties, and estates,” that is, against property (Locke [1690a] 1980:70). Many scholars regard Locke’s qualified view of the social contract not as an alienation social-contract theory, per Grotius and Hobbes, but rather an agency social contract, as the sovereign’s power is limited and only on loan (Hampton 1995:3–4). Locke’s views of alienation and unalienable rights remain controversial. One school of thought argues that Locke viewed most rights as alienable, with the qualification that the right to place oneself in extreme danger, or commit suicide, belongs only to God, and is therefore not alienable or transferrable to another (Simmons 1992:222–3). Other scholars (e.g., Glenn 1984) argue that Locke’s prohibition of suicide meant that Locke’s theory of inalienable rights was based on human reason, not on God.7 Locke’s concept of alienation was applied to cases wherein a ruler loses power. First, if a ruler becomes subordinate to another, this “alienation of his kingdom”

The ancient world to early modernity 15 betrays his people’s liberty by subjecting it to the “power and dominion of a foreign nation” (Locke [1690a] 1980:§238). Locke’s second case involves a ruler who quits, or designs to quit, and who, “ipso facto, becomes no king,” and thereby loses all royal authority. Nero of Rome, for example, schemed to ruin his kingdom, as he was “resolved to cut off the senate and people of Rome, lay the city waste with fire and sword, then remove to some other place.” The Roman Emperor Caligula similarly “wished that the people had but one neck that he might dispatch them all . . . and retire to Alexandria” (Locke [1690a] 1980:§238). Rousseau In The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762b) endeavored to explain how humans had advanced from a natural state of self-sufficiency8 to one of dependence and alienation within civil society. Rousseau’s political–individual solution to the problem of alienation extended beyond a critique of social-contract theory. Rousseau’s view of alienation was indeed a “pivotal point in the history of the concept” (Campbell 2012:xi), because it transformed the concept of alienation to reference the condition of humans’ self-awareness as conscious moral agents. Although Grotius, Hobbes, and Locke had explored this theme, Rousseau, in Émile (1762a) and The Social Contract (1762b), was the first to articulate a socialpsychological perspective on alienation. Rousseau maintained that, while the modern detailed division of labor made life more convenient and easier, it also separated individuals from their true nature. Rousseau saw wage labor separating men from the products of their labor. For Rousseau, as later for Marx, “the primary effect of the division of labor is . . . to enslave [men] by making the exercise of their own capacities dependent on their fellows’ alien wills” (Gauthier 2006:14). But whereas Marx was to emphasize the social relations of capitalist production as sources of alienation, Rousseau (1754, [1762a] 1979:40–1) focused on social and psychological factors that led individuals to seek external sources of esteem based on the high opinion of others. Individuals who present an artificial, false self to the social world through the creation of social fronts experience self-alienation, or a separation between the true self and the socially presented, inauthentic self, wherein “one’s needs, passions, and emotions are conventional and false” (Campbell 2012:xvi). Rousseau considered it paradoxical that socioevolutionary developments that had enabled self-awareness and empathy for others could nonetheless make individuals feel a sense of separation from both. This ability for both self-regarding and other-regarding, Rousseau believed, is what separates modern man from his primitive predecessors. Rousseau argued that, “[t]he problem that gives rise to alienation . . . is that one relies too much on what others think to confirm whatever conception of one’s worth one has” (Neuhouser 2008:85). This brought about a need for yet another emotion, acceptance, as there emerges an active desire for social acceptance and approval, placing a value on the evaluations of oneself by others, which instills a competitive desire to be “the best, the most esteemed (Rousseau [1754] 1986:149). In turn, this leads to a proliferation of emotional states, as the self-aware man comes

16 Alienation, affect in historical context to be “conspicuously lacking in contentment” (Campbell 2012:27). Rousseau ([1754] 1986:149) wrote, “From these first preferences were born on the one hand vanity and contempt, on the other shame and envy; and the fermentation caused by these new leavens eventually produced compounds fatal to happiness and innocence.” Thus, the alienation of modern man would appear to involve a range of emotions. The experience of alienation not only involves cognitive assessments of social situations but also involves the emotions. Different kinds of alienation, Rousseau realized, result in the experience of different emotions. Rousseau also identified an emotional basis for the valuing of freedom and liberty, namely the natural sentiment of self-love which men share with animals and which motivates self-preservation. As self- and other-consciousness develops, comparison of oneself to others leads to the emotion of pride – a preference for oneself and one’s abilities. This necessitates replacing instincts with laws, values, and mores, and violence with right and rights. Rousseau observed that, in modern society, social interactions become damaging to individuals’ psychological state, standing in the way of attaining wholeness and independence (Yack 1992). The modern development of self and self-consciousness also stimulated the development of emotional ties to others, which enabled moral, that is monogamous, love. This narrowing of man’s desires creates the new passions of envy and jealousy (the emotion of mate-protection and possessiveness), as humans cultivate the capacity to see the similarities and differences in their own and others’ circumstances of life, and to value public esteem (Rousseau [1754] 1986:149). Rousseau’s accomplishment was thus to give alienation a social-psychological interpretation, and to link alienation to a variety of emotion-laden states of mind. His concept of alienation can be seen as self-estrangement and social alienation, illustrated by the modern preoccupation with esteem and social status, and with pride and shame: “To be and to seem to be became two altogether different things; and from this distinction came conspicuous ostentation, deceptive cunning, and all the vices that follow them” (Rousseau [1754] 1986:155). Alienated from his natural self, man comes to desire only his false self. The things that man strives for in an effort to satisfy these desires ironically drives him further away from his original nature. Jean Starobinski (1988:27) adds that, Social man constantly invents new desires which he cannot satisfy on his own. He needs wealth and prestige. He wants to possess objects and dominate minds. He is truly himself, he believes, only when he enjoys the ‘consideration’ and respect of others on account of his wealth and appearances. And as Campbell (2012:32) puts it, Man steps away from his natural self in order to create a false, public self and, with this division, becomes weakened and distracted. . . . He must contend not only with the division between his appearance and his reality, but he must assume the same of those he meets. . . . He becomes, in a word, alienated.

The ancient world to early modernity 17 The modern, urban sense of alienation, Rousseau recognized, contains the irony of feeling isolated, even lonely, in a crowd, where social behavior is characterized by a “false veil of civility” (Campbell 2012:xixn1). Whereas social-contract theorists had considered life and morality as inalienable, Rousseau ([1754] 1986:168) asserted that, as for life and freedom, “it would offend both nature and reason to renounce them whatever the price.” Rousseau demanded that one’s spirit, one’s self-integrity, also be preserved. He recognized that the self is to some extent socially embedded, influenced by social arrangements and social relationships, and has a psychosocial reality beyond life and property. Rousseau rejected the idea that monarchs are divinely empowered to create laws, for in a just society citizens can alienate their power only to those who uphold the general will (volonté générale) of the citizenry; this a form of social solidarity is achieved and institutionalized by a social process on behalf of the welfare of the whole. Governments, which must function separately from the sovereign body politic, exist as particular wills necessary to address particular matters. Rousseau thus argued that even heads of governments are legitimate only insofar as they are subordinated to the sovereign rule of laws protecting the equality, character, freedom, and perfectibility of the citizenry. Individual alienation is thereby overcome through the higher-level alienation of the self to the community. Through the triumph of the moral will, unifying collectivities emerge which can enable true citizens to create true communities. Rousseau thus advanced the idea that alienating one’s interests to the community’s will enables retention of political liberty and remedies the alienating characteristics of modern, materialistic civil society. Rousseau thus transformed the meaning of alienation from the objective, structural, and legal-political interpretation of earlier social-contract theorists, to an interpretation of alienation as a subjective, social-psychological condition. He developed many insights into the importance of “social configurations,” social relations, and community in overcoming alienation, and for imagining a sociopolitical order in which one’s social identity, liberty, and freedom are unalienable (Campbell 2012:2). Under no conditions, Rousseau maintained, can one’s freedom be legitimately surrendered to another, either voluntarily or by force, for freedom is an inalienable aspect of human nature. Rousseau nonetheless pessimistically argued that such freedom could not be found in sophisticated constitutional arrangements, because “the very fibre of modern society itself was utterly corrupt, alienating man from man in ways that sapped liberty, destroyed virtue, and caused decay” (Porter 2001:25). Rousseau (1754) advanced the concept of alienation beyond the legal-political relationships it denoted in ancient times, and paved the way for the modern, socialpsychological conceptualization of humans’ alienation as conscious and moral beings. Rousseau also inspired the development of Romanticism and influenced the use of the notion of alienation by romanticists. We will return to this topic in the next chapter, but first we set the stage for understanding romanticism as a protest against the scientific and industrial development of the modern world, especially of the Enlightenment.

18 Alienation, affect in historical context

Notes 1 Words for an insane person include aliéné in French and alienado in Spanish. In a court of law until recently, a psychiatrist evaluating a possible case of insanity in a legal proceeding was called an “alienist” (see Schacht 1970:10–13). In Middle High German (from the 12th to 15th centuries), Entfremdung referred both to taking or stealing a person’s possessions and to an individual’s loss of consciousness, as in cases of coma or stupor; later, this term indicated estrangement of one person from another. 2 Erich Fromm (1961:44n2) observed that this psychology also applies to the fanatic, who experiences an emptiness and inner deadness, but chooses an idol (a state, a party, a leader, an idea, or God), which is made into an absolute and submitted to absolutely, which can convey a sense of meaning and excitement but which is unproductive and permits the redeeming of only a part of what the believer originally possessed. 3 In St. Jerome’s 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, the phrase is “aleinatea a vita Dei.” 4 The Renaissance of the 12th century was marked by a fresh and vigorous aesthetic, social, and cultural life. The accomplishments of this period include the construction of Gothic abbeys, monuments, and cathedrals; chivalry and courtly love; the development of a love of beauty and belief in the value of works of art; an explosion of vernacular poetry; the establishment of universities; translations of Hellenistic and Islamic works of natural science, mathematics, and philosophy; the beginnings of bureaucratic states; the renewal of Roman law and literary classics; the journeys of exploration of, and trade with, the East; and innovations in technology, including windmills, paper manufacture, the compass, the stern-mounted rudder, and the development of cartography and sailpowered galleons (Haskins 1927). 5 Catharism was a Gnostic reformist version of Christianity which saw matter as inherently evil, created by the Devil, so the body was as an unholy prison housing the pure soul. The worst crime, they believed, was procreation, because it imprisoned yet another soul. “At the extreme of their alienation for the material world was the occasional practice of the ‘endure’, ritual suicide by starvation” (Kinsman 1974:60; see also S. Runciman 1947). 6 Hobbes’s contractarian argument faced a thorny problem in the idea of succession, which in the ancient world could be simple indeed. For example, when the dying Alexander the Great was asked who would succeed him, he is reported to have replied, “The strongest.” 7 The fundamental ambiguity of Locke’s views resulted not from conceptual confusion but rather from Locke’s political intentions. His complex view of human nature enabled him to argue that while men cede power to civil society, government has not consequently been given unlimited power; rather men rather retain the right to alter governments if a majority wishes change. This provided Locke, and the Whigs, a clever rationale to covertly conspire against Charles II in 1679–83 and openly oppose James II in 1688, leading to the rule of Mary II and William III in 1689. 8 Rousseau advanced the dubious proposition that primitive humans lacked self-consciousness and a conscious awareness of others, and therefore lacked the mental capability of being alienated. One measure of self-consciousness is the mirror test: An animal or human is marked on the forehead; touching the mark while looking in a mirror indicates self-recognition. Given that many large-brained animals (including bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, dolphins, and elephants) can pass this test, it is likely that primitive humans could also (TenHouten 2013b:168–9). Possession of self-consciousness is a prerequisite for the possibility of self-estrangement, but does not imply its existence.


Alienation and affect in 18th- and 19th-century social philosophy

From early modernity to the Enlightenment Early modern Europeans had sought a ‘scientific’ discourse concerning the emotions and passions. Initially they relied on a psychophysiological conceptualization, Galenic humoralism. Galenic four-humor theory held that a person’s health and temperament depended on a balance between four humors and their associated affective states (black bile, sanguinity and optimism; yellow bile, anger and irritation; phlegm, calmness and apathy; blood, melancholy and depression) (Temkin 1973). This fourfold model held sway for two millennia, before the development of modern medicine upended it in the 17th and 18th centuries. Galenic descriptions of passions and temperaments were henceforth downgraded from actual phenomena to mere metaphors (Paster 2004), and scholars began to see the passions of the mind and body in a new light. The rationalist philosopher René Descartes’s (1637, 1641) thought experiments led to his assurance that Mind, conscious of its own reasoning, must exist: “Cogito ergo sum.” Descartes posited the solitary individual, the thinking self, as certain of its own existence, yet skeptical about the existence of other selves and the sensed external world. Descartes’s speculations about the relationships between reason and passion, while invalid, facilitated seeing the passions as phenomena subject to understanding and, therefore, to better control. For Descartes (1649), the passions (desires and emotions) were a partial solution to Mind–body dualism insofar as passions create a unity between Mind and body. Felt within ourselves and observed in others, passions provide clues and cues for functioning effectively in the social world. Despite his gesture to the emotions and his half-hearted effort to classify them, Descartes had nonetheless introduced an ontological division between cognition and emotion. Kant later reinforced this dichotomy by identifying reason as the primary basis of law, morals, and constitutional government. Despite the ascendance of rationalism in the works of Descartes and Kant and its celebration in the so-called ‘Age of Reason’, widespread attention in the 17th–18th centuries focused on the human mind’s non-rational aspects. Focus on the passions contributed to a view of the mind and the world that went beyond a Cartesian dualism, to a subjectivist participation in the world. Consistent with a synthesizing urge in early Western philosophy, many prominent scholars1 endeavored to classify, and

20 Alienation, affect in historical context tame, the passions. These scholars, however, recognized that reason and emotion, while different categories of the mind, can operate synergistically and generate productive action. If properly channeled and morally grounded, human sentiments and emotions, such as love, pride, and ambitiousness, can contribute to human progress (L. Crocker 1963; James 1997; Frazer 2010).2

Enlightenment rationalism, Enlightenment sentimentalism, and the passions Within the Enlightenment, during roughly the 1620s–1780s, two primary streams of thought were developed: First, the Enlightenment rationalists created a putative ‘Age of Reason’. They believed that, while the passions are not to be banished, they must obey the duties of their station and keep their proper place. These rationalist views were supported by the emergence of science, logic and mathematics, technology and industrialization, and, most generally, by modernization. A second stream of Enlightenment thinkers, the sentimentalists, recommended not only an age of reason but also of “moral sentiments,” or “reflectively refined feelings,” based on the faculty of sympathy, or empathy (Frazer 2010:4). Besides sentimentalism, a deeper critique of Kantian ethics, rationalism, industrialization, science, mathematics, and more generally of the Age of Reason, emerged. This intellectual, artistic, and literary movement was Romanticism, which especially flowered in the first half of the 19th century. It was a reaction against several interrelated developments, including the Enlightenment’s so-called Age of Reason; the Scientific Revolution led by Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton, particularly its cosmic displacement of humanity as the center of the universe; and the Cartesian view of human and animal bodies as physical mechanisms. Enlightenment rationalists venerated reason-based science and differentiated thought and feeling, but typically they did not endeavor to suppress passion and emotion. Many Enlightenment philosophies regarded feelings and sentiments as the wellsprings of true morality (e.g., Ashley-Cooper 1711; Hutcheson 1728). With a few lamentable exceptions, romanticists likewise did not entirely dismiss the scientific enterprise, or seek to overthrow reason per se, but rather held that truth can only be fully apprehended by the mind’s non-rational faculties, that is, by insight, enthusiasm, passion, intuition, originality, and, above all, imagination.

The roots of romanticism and romantic notions of alienation [H]e who discerns nothing but Mechanism in the Universe, has in the fatalest way missed the secret of the Universe altogether. – Thomas Carlyle ([1840] 1993:149)

The Enlightenment’s hegemony of reason and resultant skepticism engendered many responses, including the proto-romantic or early-romantic Sturm und Drang, a late-1760s–early 1780s movement in German music and literature. Its members saw individuality as a form of creativity based not primarily on reason but

18th- and 19th-century social philosophy 21 rather on feeling and emotion.3 They also rejected Enlightenment philosophers’ and scientists’ mechanistic view of the physical universe, and insisted instead that the individual is self-regulating and capable of acting, not mechanically, but with will and agency. They sought to overcome the ontological division consequent to Cartesian Mind–body dualism, and held that feeling and emotional experience are necessary for knowing the world of objects, for creativity, for imbuing life with meaning, and for acting with intentionality. Romanticism can be traced to the early Greeks. In discussing Eros in his Symposium, Plato focused not on a dispassionate rationality, but on Ideas possessing a transcendental essence. When directly experienced by the pure philosopher, these Ideas could evoke an intense emotional response, even a mystical rapture. Romanticism, as an intellectual, literary, and artistic movement, thus began long before it gained prominence. It was later to spawn existentialism, phenomenology, and humanism, and persists today (Kravitt 1992; Berlin 1999:118–47). The romanticists believed that industrial mechanization had corrupted humanity’s highest imaginative values, for men had grown mechanical in head, heart, and hand. As a 19th-century social movement, Romanticism represented a recrudescence of forces that had accumulated in Western civilization since the 12th century’s Renaissance. These forces militated against cold science and administrative technology, which increasingly prioritized quantitative, instrumentally rational thought and action and diminished the importance of value-based rationalities, emotions, sentiments, and passions. Rousseau became an intellectual inspiration for romanticism; indeed, he has been described as its “father” and its “high priest” (Ergang [1939] 1954:641).4 Rousseau showed enthusiasm for the intrinsic goodness and beauty of nature – of wild landscapes, primitive peoples, and medieval exoticism (e.g., in Keats’s “La Bell Dame sans Merci”). Romantic landscapes, forces of nature, were personified into spirits with mood and feeling; even a tree could be lonely and dream of an exotic, far-away love (e.g., Heine’s “A Tree Is Standing Lonely”). In celebrating the sublime and the wild in nature (Walzel 1932; Honour 1979), romanticists held that instinct, desire, passion, feeling, emotion, sentiment, and imagination propel authentic human action. Their veneration of human imagination found expression in art, literature, music, and poetry, and in the world of dreams, visions, and folkand fairy tales; some believed these could eventually obviate science. Rousseau advanced the cause of a radical individualism and potential freedom from oppressive institutions and governments. He appealed to emotional experience, believing that emotion comes from nature and from the natural facts of sexual love, which he saw as humanity’s core source of inspiration.5 In addition to his personal confessions, Rousseau (1781) articulated an objectless yearning, a sentimental nostalgia, which expressed the very essence of the romantic orientation. Through valorization of nature and distrust of cultural forms that prevent men from living naturally, Rousseau demonstrated that thinking alone will not provide necessary answers; we must naturally feel what is right, for only our feelings’ and emotions’ intrinsic goodness can protect us from oppressive social institutions’ corrupting influence. Rousseau, and the romanticists, did not focus only on the positive ‘sentiments of being’, such as happiness, love, awe, and pride; they were also concerned with

22 Alienation, affect in historical context melancholia, dejection, pessimism, humiliation, despondency, despair, sorrow, and loneliness (see essays in Faflak and Sha 2014). Perhaps in part for this reason, the romanticists were the first to regularly use the concept of alienation. This emerges from man’s awareness of his own uniqueness and terminates in a conscious feeling of separation from someone or something, with whom or with which one should be united. Consensus concerning concepts and values diminished during a “heartless time” of political and social turmoil and upheaval, including the American Revolution (1775–83), the French Revolution (1789–99), and the Napoleonic Wars (1799–1815). These distressing, violent episodes of modernity in crisis had impressed upon the romantic imagination a sense of malaise, which was given several names, including ‘alienation’ (Entfremdung), ‘estrangement’ (Entäusserung), ‘separation’ (Trennung), and ‘division’ (Entzweiung). These terms all denoted the undesirable condition wherein someone or something that should have a sense of unity with itself is rather opposed to itself. Romanticists identified three levels of alienation: (i) Within the self, there was a division between reason and imagination – sensibility, and a one-sidedness whereby the reasoning self had been developed at the expense of all other dimensions; in part, this resulted from occupational specialization and the detailed division of labor in civil society. (ii) Atomism resulted from the breakdown of communities, families, and guilds and their replacement with the competitive marketplace; this promoted competitive individualism and a kind of ruthless anomie (a topic of Chapter 6). And (iii), the self became separated from nature (Beiser 2003:30–1).

Romantic opposition to reason and science Le coeur a ses raison que le raison ne connaît point. – Blaise Pascal [1670] 1897:277

Alienation became a major theme in romanticism (Abrams 1973; Currie 1974; Peckham 1976; Beiser 2003:30–3; Alison Stone 2014), and, as we show in later chapters, many modern theorists of alienation had a romantic orientation. Both sentimentalism and romanticism were counter-Enlightenment movements that opposed the growing hegemony of Reason. Enlightenment rationalists had supported a mechanistic worldview, but its emphasis on analysis was seen by romanticists as divisive insofar as it sought to explain physical, mental, and social phenomena not by synthesis but rather by disaggregating them into elementary parts.6 This engendered a view of the human mind as “totally diverse and alien from its non-mental environment” (Abrams 1973:170–1). This had crystallized in Descartes’s disembodied Soul, or Mind, and undermined human life’s emotional character and connection to the world. Romanticists were not against science per se, but believed that materialistic science had created a world no longer responsive to human values. Romanticists conceded that science had contributed to humanity’s liberation from theological dogma and animistic superstition, and some romanticists were also prominent scientists. Science and technology appeared to have triggered “a new sense of human

18th- and 19th-century social philosophy 23 alienation,” wherein no “redeeming context” could explain “the larger issues of human existence” (Tarnas 1991:326). A disturbing rift had developed between man and nature. If the universe really were a gigantic clocklike mechanism designed by God, as many early modern philosophers and Deists believed, once set in motion, it would no longer need its Maker (beyond minor adjustments). And, if mechanical laws of nature governed even human minds, there could be no free will and no ethical responsibilities (Eichner 1982:12). Romanticism represented a rear-guard action opposing the dreary inferences seemingly compelled by the modern unity of science and logical, calculative reason. As an alternative to science, romanticism offered a pseudo-scientific worldview intended to overcome alienation from nature, from the oppressive Enlightenment morality crystallized in Kantian ethics and from the Christian–Enlightenment’s explanatory ideologies and repression of the passions. Romanticists endeavored to replace the ‘mechanical philosophy’ (including the Calvinist doctrine of predestination) with an organic view of the cosmos and sought to escape modern science’s dilemmas and disturbing implications. Philosophies that posited the existence of matter obedient to mathematical laws, for example, had been driven to conclude that there is no free will. The romanticists rather posited a universe that is essentially mental and argued that nature is merely the ego’s field of moral activity, the ‘nonego’. Whereas Western philosophy had held that whatever is ‘lower’, or further from perfect, must have been created by something ‘higher’ (Plato’s ‘Supreme Good’, Christianity’s ‘God’), romanticists posited the reverse: the ‘higher’ develops from the ‘lower’, so that an imperfect world develops and evolves.7 This evolutionary, romantic position conceptualized history as a teleological process, in which emerging human consciousness would become capable of fully comprehending the conditions of its own existence. In this romantic image, the world is no longer a ‘great engine’ or ‘mechanism’ but rather a great organism, a ‘cosmic animal’, wherein Nature is an unconscious Spirit striving for consciousness. Rivers do not fall mechanically into the sea, but rather strive to the sea. Romanticists endeavored to overcome ‘the alienation of nature’ by refuting science and its quantitative, logical, and mathematical reasoning. They promoted the idea of a dynamically changing biological and ethical human nature, in an evolving universe wherein everything is alive and organic (Eichner 1982:16–17).8 With traces of Renaissance vitalism, romanticists imagined an integral universe without absolute divisions, in which everything is interrelated and there is continuity between the living and the inanimate, man and nature, matter and mind, emotion and reason (Abrams 1973:172). The romantics were on a quest for spiritual and erotic ecstasy, unity with nature, self-fulfillment, a mind that feels as well as reasons, and the restoration of human community.

Religion, and alienation from passion and sexuality As a phase of secular culture, romanticism downgraded ‘God’ from the universe’s perfect creator to an evolving, omnipresent Spirit. Yet, romanticism gradually yielded to the forces of modernization and embraced aspects of modernity, at

24 Alienation, affect in historical context least on the aesthetic and erotic levels (Brunkhorst 1986:410–14). While Christianity had advocated transcending alienation by attaining a higher plane of being, a far-off, divine world beyond sexuality, romanticism provided a more secular understanding of alienation and advocated its transcendence through sensual experiences beyond the limits of bourgeois morality. Many romanticists denounced Christianity’s asceticism (as propounded by Kant [1775–80] 1963:163–7, [1797] 1996:62), which viewed sexuality as a necessarily exploitative, objectifying, undignified, animalistic degradation of human nature (see Hailwood 2014).9 The term ‘alienation’ became a widely used catchword for romantic intellectuals’ conceptualizations of nature, which referred not only to the life of plants and animals, but also to humans “doin’ what comes naturally” (Irving Berlin 1946).10 Passion transforms conventional bourgeois life – with its rigid social conventions and efforts to limit sexual behavior to procreation – for it now includes seduction, courtship, homosexuality, promiscuity, even incest; it provides “means whereby man can rise above the estrangements of ordinary experience” (Currie 1974:62). Through sexual enjoyment, Hoffman’s Don Juan believed, the resulting longing enables ‘intercourse’ with the supernatural; this hints at “a secular religion in which erotic communion with the supernatural transcends man’s alienation from higher existence” (Currie 1974:63). Besides its “preponderantly sexual connotation” (Feuer 1969a:73; see also Sha 2014), the romantic concept of ‘alienation from nature’ developed at least two additional meanings. First, although modern humanity had become estranged or alienated from nature, humankind was entitled to overcome anything in nature that is alien to the human mind. Second, the early German romanticists, Novalis (1798–9) and Schlegel (1799), conceptualized alienation from, and reconciliation with, nature as the recognition that nature is not fully understandable. We are, they rightly understood, merely limited parts of nature’s all-encompassing domain (Alison Stone 2014).

Imagination and aesthetic expression The romanticists’ path to the transcendence of alienation was erotic but also involved music, poetry, art, and aesthetic intuition. Romanticists advocated free expression of artists’ passions and emotions, especially awe, apprehension, terror, the sublime experience of untamed nature (including human passions), and the exotic, unfamiliar, strange, unbound, and indefinable. Whereas “a purely rational existence negated life itself” (Koch 1993:123), strong passions and emotions enabled authentic, aesthetic experience. Romanticists especially sought to revive the emotions and sentiments of pride and sensuality that Christianity had suppressed. They encouraged naïve credulity and love of wonder, even at the expense of critical thinking. Through the exercise of imagination, they sought to experience a new way of perceiving the world, a coloring of the world whereby ordinary things can be presented to the mind in an unusual way. This allows a freshness of sensation, a moment that defamiliarizes the familiar; it renders the commonplace a source of wonder and promises the attainment of a redeeming vision of a new world.

18th- and 19th-century social philosophy 25 Romantic artists and writers rejected their culture’s explanatory modes and implemented a strategy of alienation that validated their deviance. They created space between selfhood and role that allowed a sense of freedom and cultural transcendence that facilitated their impressive artistic production. They did not overcome alienation, but plunged into alienation, “with no assurance of what – if anything – might lie beyond” (Peckham 1976:137, also 21–2, 44, 124). Many early romanticists believed that the individual of genius, the One among the Many, would surmount the world’s alienation and establish a realm of perfection and unity.11,12 Genius attains power to rule, redeem, and create through inner kinship with the transcendental. To restore the harmony of earlier times, romanticists embraced a revived medievalism, or the Hellenistic ideal (Currie 1974:70, 26–7). Harmony lay not in reason and science, but in the arts, the humanities, and the passions. Instrumental music and poetry were preeminent among the arts, for they were evocative of emotions but free of the constraints of reason and precise concepts (Boyer 1961). Romanticists sought not to discover the truth but rather to invent it. As John Keats ([1848, 1878] 1947:67) famously stated, “What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be Truth – whether it existed before or not.”

Critique of industrial, capitalistic society Romantic poets, artists, and writers were prominent among the early critics of the modern, industrial, bourgeois, capitalistic civilization that had emerged with the Industrial Revolution. Romanticism was both an intellectual current and an anti-capitalistic worldview that condemned the dehumanization and impoverishment of workers, child labor, and draconian Poor Laws. The moral views of the past had nurtured the creative and imaginative features of handicraft, wherein the essential components of labor, production, and invention had been fused, and art and labor had been one (Löwy 1987). Romanticists idealized earlier forms of life as a Golden Age imagined to have existed in ancient Greece, in the Middle Ages (where chivalrous knights in shining armor defended the Faith as Crusaders and rescued damsels in distress), in traditional rural and folk societies (Tönnies 1887), and, especially for Rousseau, in primitive societies. The quality of life in such close-knit, egalitarian communities had been sacrificed to the hegemony of quantity, of market exchange, with its cold, instrumentally rational calculation of price and profit. The law of the market meant that all was measured by utilitarian standards, qualitative human bonds were dissolved, and imagination, romance, and enjoyment of nature were extinguished. In the terminology of Chapter 5, a shift in emphasis of social relations had occurred, from communal sharing to market pricing. This loss of communal life and its substantial replacement by competitive individualism was widely seen as a source of alienation in the modern world. Two scholars, Popitz (1953) and Regin (1965), have mistakenly seen the romanticist Schiller as the ‘father’ of the concept of alienation (a claim thoroughly refuted by Rippere 1981). Immersed in the romanticism of his day, Schiller wrote that the advent of modern society, with its division of labor and specialized sciences, meant that humanity had become fragmented and alienated from both itself and from

26 Alienation, affect in historical context nature. Schiller (1794) imagined that the art of the beautiful would solve modern humanity’s alienation; this would stimulate the imaginative faculty and thereby reconcile and unify a “disintegrating mental and social world of alien and warring fragments” (Abrams 1973:212). Schelling (1800) similarly described imagination as the artist’s ability both to think and to reconcile contradictions, to unite in a single activity nature and mind, subject and object, passion and reason. While artfully rendered, Schiller’s description of his age was but a very conventional conceptualization, composed largely of “social-critical clichés” (Rippere 1981:67). In Schiller’s late-18th-century intellectual milieu, a commonplace understanding of alienation had shaped his sociocultural criticism. This romanticist view, drawing on Rousseau, held that modern societies had undermined the institutions that encourage the flourishing of the individual, and thereby plunged individuals into an abyss of unsociable experience and oppressive circumstances. The romanticists described workers in the ‘satanic mills’ of the new industrial age as stultified, atrophied, anaesthetized victims of a vast industrial machine. In misery and degradation, human beings were now “bound to the Ixion’s wheel of the modern factory” and has become “suffering victims” of the new division of labor (Coser 1984:xii). Thus, “Schiller’s bureaucratic cog had become Marx’s cotton-working cog, a different employee who, nevertheless, suffers the same alienation” (Currie 1974:34). To overcome this alienation, Schiller (1794) argued, required a balancing of “sensuous nature” and “reason.” Schiller ([1794] 2004:38) wrote that workers’ mental faculties shew them in idea, and we see not merely individual persons but whole classes of human being developing only a part of their capacities, while the rest of them, like a stunted plant, shew only a feeble vestige of their nature. Schiller ([1794] 2004:38) added that, “by combining our activities to a single sphere we have handed ourselves over to a master, who is not infrequently inclined to end up by suppressing the rest of our capacities.” While the ancient Greeks could represent their own time, because their focus was on an all-uniting Nature, modern individuals, in contrast, do not dare to represent their age, because their form of life is primarily determined by an all-dividing, fragmenting intellect. As Schiller put it, Eternally chained to only one single little fragment of the whole, Man himself grew to be only a fragment; with the monotonous noise of the wheel he drives everlastingly in his ears, he never develops the harmony of his being and instead of imprinting humanity upon his nature he becomes merely the imprint of his occupation, of his science. ([1794] 2004:39) The romanticists had argued that the development of enlarged human experience and more precise scientific questioning necessitated (i) a fragmentation of the

18th- and 19th-century social philosophy 27 sciences; (ii) specialization of ranks and occupation in the economy, wherein the worker was reduced to “an ingenious piece of machinery, that botching together a vast number of lifeless parts,” so that “enjoyment was separated from labor”; and (iii) a more intricate machinery of governmental bureaucracy emerged, the ‘clockwork of the state’. These interrelated developments had severed the unity of human nature, such that “the essential bond of human nature was torn apart, and a ruinous conflict set its harmonious powers at variance” (Schiller [1794] 2004:39). Man’s resultant fragmented, crippled, wounded existence was not limited to the workplace, for one’s very personality and humanity were also affected. Schiller ([1794] 2004:29, 31–2, 38–40, 73–4) described a disparity that had developed between man’s physical existence, “in time,” and his abstract reason, or intellectual nature, “in idea.” Every man’s task, Schiller asserted, was to harmonize the two and overcome being at odds with himself. Schiller saw a historical progression based on a dialectical antithesis between Nature (material phenomena, multiplicity) and Reason (form, unity, and the moral demands of consciousness). After the Hellenistic era, the story goes, the antagonism of these forces had disintegrated the human personality; a fall of humanity, to be reconciled in a renewed wholeness. The perfected moral humanity will emerge through aesthetic education and usher in human freedom and contentment. The romanticists felt alienated by life in cities, and regarded the realities of urban life as separating individuals from their fellow men and preventing the attainment of their true nature. The wrenching shift from rural to urban life (Donnachie and Lavin 2003) had disrupted contact with nature, created indifference to others, and destroyed human feelings (Simmel 1900; Pribic 2008). The romanticists thus came to see modern man as increasingly self-alienated through the deterioration of cultural values, urbanization and its resulting social estrangement, and contradictions of character. All of these rendering men vicious and immoral, capable of cruelty and slaughter, and prone to bullying and humiliating others, while pretending to be honest and just. In summary, “The romantic generation suffer[ed] from the increasing profanation of the world, from its mere mechanistic interpretation, for the disappearance of the poetry of life. . . . Therefore, one can summarize romanticism . . . ‘as the first self-critique of modernity’” (Von Henkel 1967:296). Romanticism was an effort to regain a sense of the sacred in the face of Enlightenment beliefs that only quantifiable, material phenomena constitute the real world (Sullivan [1933] 1959:135–6), that ‘soul’ is reducible to ‘mind’, and that mind, in turn, is but an artifact of delicate brain mechanisms obeying physical laws.

Notes 1 These include Thomas Wilson (1604), Hobbes ([1640] 2009:30–9), Senault (1642), Charleton (1674), Malebranche ([1674–5] 1997:337–407), Spinoza (1677), Locke ([1690b] 1995:160–3), Hutcheson (1728), and Hume (1739:Book II, 1748). 2 As a corollary, it was widely believed that control of the passions enabled a transformative unleashing of personal efficacy, both for rulers and for the citizenry. These inquiries stimulated inquiry into the relationship between knowledge and power. A ruler, it was

28 Alienation, affect in historical context





7 8


recognized, must be in control of his own emotions and able to grasp and manipulate the passions of those around him, “to detect and play on the ambition, envy, fear, or esteem of courtiers, counselors, and citizens” (James 1997:3). Members of the Sturm und Drang had not given names to emotions, believing there is nothing in such names but empty vaporing and the potential for undermining the experience of being swept along by ecstatic enthusiasm (Walzel [1932] 1966:12). But later romanticists came to indulge in painful forms of self-analysis, in which they began to feel isolated and separated, and sensing loneliness and frustration, thus “activating the inherent propensity to alienation” (Pribic 2008:5). Isiah Berlin (1999:46–67) suggested that Early German (Jena) Romanticism was not traceable to Rousseau, whose doctrines still appealed to reason, but to the spirit of German pietism, especially as articulated by Johann Georg Hamann. Hamann argued that the Enlightenment’s disembodied reason and instrumental rationality had blocked human sentiment, and advocated a radical anti-rationalism, claiming that God was not a geometer or a mathematician but a poet. Words which classify and arrange things analytically and scientifically destroys their unity, continuity, and vitality; myths and symbols, in contrast, convey mystery of nature as a living whole in artistic images, which can revitalize spirituality. Hamann’s student, J. G. Herder, was a main supporter of the proto-romantic Sturm und Drang association. In Émile (1762a), however, Rousseau took a very straight-laced view of his student’s sex education, and tried not to leave him alone, night or day, as he worried about the potential “dire results of a practice about which he [Rousseau] seems to have had firsthand experience” (Durant and Durant 1967:185). Rousseau told Émile, “I can free you more easily from slavery to women than from yourself” (letter of March 29, 1765). Romanticists of the conservative German variety opposed the liberal analyses of the social world that isolated various sociocultural fields such as law, government, and economy, and the abstraction of individuals from their social contexts. They rather insisted that society should be seen as an organic whole. This orientation to the social order as a synthetic totality was shared by Hegel and Marx. Consistent with this view, Marx argued that because society is a totality, if anything can be changed, everything must be changed. A difference between conservative romanticists’ and Marx’s antiindividualism was that the romanticists placed men in their families, estates, and nations, whereas Marx placed them in social classes (M. Levin 1974:409n2). While opposed to materialistic science, romanticism was a philosophy of evolution, and contributed, albeit indirectly, to Darwin’s later theory of evolution (see Mead [1936] 1972:215, 153–8). The romanticists embraced an organic theory of nature. While their conceptualization of the organic was, in today’s terms, largely philosophical rather than scientific, they were on the right side of a paradigm shift, for they saw matter as acting forces rather than inert extension. Mechanical physics had experienced great difficulty explaining forces of attraction and repulsion, which implied action at a distance, but advances in understanding electricity, magnetism, and chemistry suggested these forces were indeed omnipresent in nature. Also in biology, the doctrine of preformation due to supernatural causes was giving way to a model of epigenesis, which saw organisms developing, and evolving, due to natural causes. Both of these developments led to a view of the unity of the inorganic and organic joined in a living force (Kraft) that permeated the universe (Beiser 2003:84). Kant’s aversion to sexual exploitation was consistent with his moral philosophy, which opposed any form of domination of one person by another. He argued that any use of others for purposes which are not these other peoples’ but one’s own is a monstrous form of degradation, which deprives others of their dignity, self-determination, and liberty. This passionate denunciation of the evils of exploitation, which Berlin (1999:71) called “the alienation of human beings from one another,” was to become the stock-in-trade of liberal and social writers in the 19th and 20th centuries.

18th- and 19th-century social philosophy 29 10 “Sister Rose has lots of beaus/Although we have no parlor/She does fine behind a tree/ Doin’ what comes naturally.” Also, “You don’t have to know how to read or write/When you’re with a feller in the pale moonlight.” 11 The romantic notion of genius signifies a quality or power, or of the One who possesses that quality or power. The ‘moral genius’, in German romanticism, in his ‘inner voice’ hears the divine voice and unites the impersonal, divine voice with his personal voice. Thus, while derived from immersion in his own subjectivity, by pursuing his own interests and desires, a community of romantic geniuses can articulate moral truth and make it available to humanity. 12 Humanity, the romanticists believed, needs genius to rescue it from alienation. In this concept of alienation, the self is divided from itself and from the world of objects. The ideology of genius holds that the alienated world is divided between the One, those of genius, and the Many, the masses. The lower values of multiplicity and division has overcome the higher values that once existed, leaving humanity no longer living as they once had, in a state of harmony, freedom, and unity, but now rather as fragmented and lost. But through the work of genius, there opens the possibility of realizing a higher realm, of restoring, or attaining, a de-alienated unity. The romantic individuals of genius included artists such as Goethe, Percy Shelly, and Kafka, but also included post-Reformation absolute monarchs, later charismatic leaders as Napoleon and Hitler, both of whom promised their followers that they could overcome their weakness, their alienation from nature and from history, and bring about a better, even transcendent, world, through the exercise of political and military power.


Alienation, from Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels

Since Marx introduced into social thought the concept of self-alienation, alienation has everywhere been viewed as an evil; but it need not be so, and was not so even in Hegel. For it is only through mind in its abstraction from the world that we can understand the world, and only in death that we can be fully alienated from it. Without mind we must be thrown utterly upon the world, and those who belong utterly to the world are aliens unto themselves. – Donald R. Howard (1974:76)

Hegel Under the influence of the proto-romantic Rousseau and participants in the romantic movement, the concept of alienation entered into general use in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Hegel’s first book (1807), Phenomenology of Spirit (Geist), focused on alienation as “a key concept” (Hyppolyte 1997:178) and a serious issue for moral and social philosophy. Indeed, Hegel’s entire philosophy arguably “assigns a central role to the problem of the alienation of the self and the overcoming of it” (Gadamer 1976:106). David Cooper (1999:26) even claims, hyperbolically, that “alienation is not so much the central issue of [Hegel’s] philosophy as the only one” (as cited in Rae 2011:3–7). To define alienation, Hegel distinguished between the parting with or relinquishing of property (Entäusserung) and the alienation of self, or self-estrangement (Selbstentfremdung).1 By self-estrangement, Hegel meant dissociation of the ‘self’ into an actor, an ‘I’, a subject striving to exercise agency and control its own destiny; and a ‘me’, an object, whose identity is controlled or at least influenced by others, or socially constructed through others’ interactions with and perceptions of the ‘me’.2 In order not to consume itself, to develop, and to reach its full potential, the self must separate and become estranged from its innermost subjectivity; it must engage in painful encounters with the objective world of others (largely through language use, and requiring estrangement of the self from itself), and cannot fully return to any former state. Knowledge cannot come from an inner peace or harmony, as romanticists believed, but through individuals’ engagement with others in a struggle for mutual understanding. These untidy social interactions involve conversation and contestation of ideas; the self’s sense of itself is, of necessity, destabilized and subject to dialectical changes and transformations.

Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels 31 This ordeal of sociality was seen by Hegel ([1807b] 1967:251) as a positive kind of alienation; it was painful, even torturous, but nonetheless necessary for the development of mind and society, for gaining “understanding of the world” (Howard 1974:76). Alienation and emotion in Hegel Hegel’s ‘dialectical’ development of self-consciousness saw emotions as necessary for transporting the self out of itself. Self-negation is an emotion-laden process that takes place within “a texture of sympathy” and manifests in feelings of brokenness, trembling, tears, and laughter (Pahl 2012:5–6, 222–3). These dialectical transports require involvement with other selves, with their own interests and agendas. Both subjectivity and the capacity for self-negation are crucial to this process, which generates a changed self out of the inner contradictions of one’s former being. The romanticists held that expressing feelings through words extinguishes them and sought to preserve the interiority of their emotional experiences. Hegel flatly contradicted this philosophy by emphasizing the self-disruptive quality of emotions. Emotions are dislocated from their human subjects, for emotion-laden experiences are deeply embedded in the ‘substance’ of social relations and social practice. In challenging the modern hegemony of rationality and rationalism, the romanticists viewed passion positively, as an expression of human nature. Hegel viewed passion positively, also, but in a different way. Hegel believed passions possess an ethical component, and he defined ‘pathos’ as passion for a cause that can motivate individuals to act upon what is good and right. Because passions propel social action, they cannot be, as sentimentalists and romanticists claim, merely interior to the heart. Such interior passions are prone to insincerity, for they can derive from a private end posing as a universal purpose.3 For Hegel, passions elevated to pathos can potentially reconcile emotion and reason; they motivate ethical social actions that are justified by valid reasons. The unity of pathos and reason enables effective actions based upon firm and steadfast commitments. This ethical calling indicates good character and proper discipline, and enables the individual to act positively and authentically in the social world and to thereby overcome any alienation of emotion and reason. Alienation and social dominance in Hegel To explain alienation more generally, Hegel posited a sociohistorical process wherein consciousness and self-consciousness experience successive stages of development in the changing relationship between ‘lord’ and ‘bondsman’ (Herrschaft und Knechtschaft). We saw in Chapter 1 that ancient Christianity’s rhetoric of transfiguration described an apocalyptic struggle between the powerful and the powerless. Luther had followed Paul in describing the dialectical struggle between the master and servant and saw the subjective experience of alienation in terms of the fall, redemption, and salvation of Christian believers at the End of Days. Hegel

32 Alienation, affect in historical context ([1807c] 1977:111–19) participated in this apocalyptic tradition, but rejected a religious framework in favor of an abstract philosophical model that incorporated theology and politics, and applied to all manifestations of domination and oppression as experienced by human consciousness. Hegel described human consciousness as historically progressing through transformative stages by means of a system of inversion (Umkehrung), consisting of a series of dialectical moments. The initial stage is an antithesis of lordship and bondage, wherein the bondsman (slave, serf, servant) internalizes the meaning systems, values, and desires of his lord. Having lost his own self, the subordinated self “finds itself as an other being,” a being-for-another; it sees only itself in this other, and does not see the other as real (Hegel [1807b] 1967:229). The lord is independent and acts for himself; the bondsman is dependent and lives for another. This dependent servitude is a condition of powerlessness, a variety of alienation, and involves a set of adaptive emotions. Hegel observed that, for the lord, power brings recognition, satisfaction of desire, and enjoyment. The powerless bondsman rather faces an “alien, external reality” resulting in “fear” and “trembling” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:239). The master has not established his viewpoint as truthful, but has merely coerced the slave, “out of fear for his life,” to “submit to the master” (Pinkard 1996:60). Besides fear, Hegel implicitly described the bondsman as experiencing acceptance. In choosing life over recognition, “[t]he dominance of the master’s point of view is . . . dependent on the slave’s having come to accept it as dominant” (Pinkard 1996:60). The slave thus adapts to powerlessness with a fearful acceptance, which we define (in Chapters 5 and 10) as a secondary emotion, submissiveness. In the second historical stage, Hegel observes that the bondsman retains his inferior position but undergoes an ‘inversion of substance’, or an experience of freedom, wherein his bondage advances to an exalted nature. The bondsman recognizes his freedom and independence in productive labor, and sees that the lord is dependent upon this labor. In the initial, fully subservient, stage, the bondsman had been but an object for another; through working to create objects he becomes an object to himself and attains freedom of self-consciousness, the ability to think for himself. Hegel called this historical stage stoicism. Stoicism represents doubt concerning the reasons for one’s servitude. The stoic sees the arrangement as arbitrary and capricious, and develops the idea of real freedom, or the ability to act for one’s own reasons and in one’s own interests. But this abstract freedom of reflective thought is not yet actual freedom, for it remains devoid of social content. In the third historical stage, stoicism is elevated to skepticism, the actual experience of freedom, in which self-conscious negation “procures for itself the certainty of its own freedom” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:248). The freed skeptic sees contingency in all points of view, including his own, and therefore commits a performative fallacy: the skeptic concludes that no claim can be validated, yet this claim contradicts or invalidates itself. This skeptical self-consciousness thus comes to know itself “as a consciousness containing contradictions within itself.” All that seemed fixed to the stoic becomes open to question to the skeptic, whose radical subjectivity is unstable, disorderly, aimless, and confused. The slave’s mentality, which had been divided

Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels 33 between two individuals, becomes a “dualizing of self-consciousness within itself” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:250–1). Hegel describes this skeptical consciousness as emotionally distressing, as “wearisome,” “withdrawn . . . into itself,” “self-perverting,” “negative,” “confusing,” a “giddy whirl,” and subject to “pain and sorrow” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:246–52). Confronting his own divided nature, the now-liberated bondsman abandons skepticism. Having no point of view is untenable; he indeed must accept certain facts and hold certain values and authoritative cultural beliefs even if he cannot validate such judgments. Skepticism thus advances to the “Unhappy Consciousness, the Alienated Soul which is the consciousness of self as a divided nature, a doubled and merely contradictory being” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:251). Upon reaching this stage, the now-exalted bondsman has undergone an ‘inversion of form’ (the experience of equality) and achieves a free and independent state of mind. He experiences membership in a community of equally independent others, thereby overcoming powerlessness and attaining the absolute negation of lordship. While this consciousness is undivided, it is nonetheless doubled, for it is itself “the gazing of one self-consciousness into another, and itself is both, and the unity of both is also its own essence; but objectively and consciously, it is not yet this essence itself––is not yet the unity of both” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:251). This internal disunity is not only a source of unhappiness, but “the soul of despair” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:753). The individual who attains the stage of the unhappy consciousness must endorse beliefs and values outside of his own subjectivity. He knows that objective truth cannot be attained by single individuals, and that his subjectivity is relative, contingent, and self-serving. Transcendence of the unhappy consciousness requires a fusion of the individual’s subjective view with a dispassionate, objective, or ‘God’s eye’ view; this can only eventuate as a sociohistorical project, manifested in the long and painful transition of humanity from its ‘ancient’ to its ‘modern’ form. Self-consciousness, to develop beyond its self-estranged phases, to become Spirit, must unite the personal and the detached points of view. A detached, universal point of view can only be attained by transcending the methods that have historically been tried, including meditation and prayer, belief in supernatural revelations, physical proximity to putatively divine places (a motivation for the Crusades), and the devotional practices, rites, and rituals of magic and theology. The ‘faculty’ that makes this transcendence of an unhappy consciousness possible, Hegel asserted, was the emergence of a culture of Reason, as applied to philosophy and the post-medieval investigation of nature through Science. The modern solution to doubt has been the establishment of “a socially constructed point of view” (Pinkard 1996:74). This has developed, at its zenith, in the everyday work of scientists who generate knowledge beyond perception and subjectivity. Theories and models produced and validated through the scientific method enable subjective points of view to become aligned with collectively generated knowledge. The self-estrangement of the “unhappy consciousness” is overcome with the attainment of a unity of the subjective and objective points of view, of the particular and the universal; this is indeed what Hegel meant by Reason. The

34 Alienation, affect in historical context power of a self-determining, modern, logically coherent, scientific methodology, Hegel believed, can uncover the secrets of physical and biological nature, and can uncover the hidden laws of social and political institutions. The only ‘faith’ needed to overcome the alienation of the “unhappy consciousness,” then, is “a ‘faith’ that the nature of the world is not something intrinsically alien to our own way of thinking” (Pinkard 1996:81). Hegel saw the transcendence of the unhappy consciousness, of self-estrangement, in the subjectivity of the agent (of his desires, objectives, and ideals), combined with an objective, ethical, and rational justification, an “objective spirit.” The self can then act with agency, and achieve and manifest “self-consciousness” (Hegel 1821). Once consciousness becomes aware that its subjective particularity has been reconciled with the universal, consciousness becomes spirit, experiences “the joy of finding itself therein” (Hegel [1807b] 1967:253), and transcends alienation.

Feuerbach The atheistic, materialistic, yet humanistic and romantic, philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (1841, 1846) responded to Hegel’s critique of romanticism with a critique of Hegel. Feuerbach employed the term Entäusserung to denote the externalizing, or projecting, of one’s mind into a fictitious, putatively supernatural realm, in a futile effort to transcend the natural world upon which humans depend. Feuerbach saw Hegel, and all other speculative philosophers, as priests in disguise. Hegel’s Absolute Idea, Fichte’s Ego, and Schelling’s Absolute and Infinite Spirit, he argued, were but substitutes for the Deity (Flew 1991:278). Feuerbach asserted that human confrontation with the objective, actual, natural world, which exists independently of consciousness, does not constitute alienation but is rather the natural condition of human existence. Hegel, in his idealism, had endeavored to derive nature from a transcendental ‘infinite subject’, a mysterious world Spirit, in order to conceptualize humans as the ‘finite subject’. But the world, Feuerbach countered, is objective, physical, and actual, not something merely conjured up as a sheer act of will by some infinitely intelligent and powerful primordial Spirit. Feuerbach’s study of religion illustrated the self-alienating process.4 He considered religious superstition and fetishism the source of alienation, whereby one part of mind invests in the actual world, another in the projective ideal world of spiritual perfection. Those who choose to indwell in an imaginary realm are alienated from the world that actually exists. Feuerbach ([1846] 2004:22) insisted that, “the incomprehensibility of nature” does not justify explaining the inexplicable “by the supposition of imagined beings, and in deceiving and deluding ourselves . . . by an explanation which explains nothing.” God, the object of religion but the creation of humans, is but a conceptualization of humanity’s essential nature. When humans see themselves as inferior to this ‘God’, they relinquish and renounce what is essential to humanity. For Feuerbach, religion was therefore the cause of alienation. Through a necessary disillusionment, his ‘new’ philosophy would eliminate alienation in all its dimensions, and reconcile individuals to their selves, to nature, to their fellow men.

Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels 35 Calling himself Luther II, Feuerbach noted that, whereas Luther had sought to destroy an institution that claimed to mediate between man and ‘God’, he, Feuerbach, sought the destruction of the God-concept itself. To overcome alienation, one must overcome Christianity’s heritage of venerating suffering – ranging from masochism to the tradition of clerical celibacy. Feuerbach found bourgeois and Christian sexual asceticism repulsive, and advocated the recovery of spontaneous emotional life as key to overcoming this alienation of humanity from its passionate nature. For Feuerbach, and for his followers, the concept of alienation was a romantic notion with a preponderantly sexual connotation, an expression of German intellectuals’ rediscovery of physical pleasures. Alienation involves denial of the physical world, in large measure a consequence of religious alienation from sexuality and an intentional separation from the physical and natural world, from the life of the human species. This abhorrence of the ‘flesh’ was a source of the idealistic, German, and, especially, Hegelian metaphysics: “Pleasure, joy, expands man; trouble, suffering, contrast and concentrates him; – in suffering man denies the reality of the world” (Feuerbach [1841] 1957:118). Only refutation of religion’s celibacy and its repression of humans as an animal species whose members naturally enjoy physical pleasure could humans overcome alienation. Feuerbach saw renunciation of human physicality as a source of alienation, for he saw humans as alienated from their own nature and from the natural world. Christians did not see themselves as part of nature, but were on multiple levels full of desires: (i) not to be bound by causality, revealed in the importance attributed to miracles; (ii) for immortality, a wish for a personal existence free of necessity; and (iii) for an explanation of human history, beginning, allegedly a mere 6,000 years ago, with the creation of the Universe, Adam and Eve, the predestined Fall, the Incarnation, and the final establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth, at which time the believing dead will rise, as immortal zombies, from the earth. Belief that these desires will be fulfilled assumes that nature itself only exists because of a supernatural Being’s will.

Economic alienation: from Winstanley, Smith, Ferguson, and Schiller to Marx and Engels An economic interpretation of the great-circle myth of human fragmentation and reunification, or assimilation to the Biblical design of history, can be traced to Gerrard Winstanley (1649), an agrarian communist leader and philosopher of the True Levellers (also called the ‘Diggers’), during the English civil wars. Winstanley anticipated Marx by two centuries. When humanity began to separate from its Maker, Winstanley argued, a corrupting lust for objects, covetousness of private property, and a frenzy of buying and selling ensued. Communal life deteriorated into a competition for private property, with destructive effects upon individual liberty. Acting on these beliefs, the Diggers occupied lands that had been privatized by enclosures and dug them over to plant crops. Winstanley advocated an end to the private ownership of land and advocated the leveling of wealth. A universal love could restore the earth to a common treasury, and

36 Alienation, affect in historical context undo alienation from communal life, so that all could live in righteousness as members of a single household. A communistic life with an equality of work and possessions would fulfill the Revelations prophesy of ‘a new heaven and a new earth’. Adam Smith ([1776] 1960:302–3) saw the increasingly specialized division of labor as necessary for the development of economic prosperity, but acknowledged that it created problems for industrial workers (West 1969, 1975; Lamb 1973; Drosos 1996; Hill 2007). While Smith used the term ‘alienation’ only to refer to the sale of property, he did use the concept of alienation. He suggested that repetitive manual labor degrades the cognitive capabilities and natural inventiveness of the “laboring poor,” creating a “torpor of the mind”; such work deadens workers’ moral sentiments and corrupts their ‘courage’, thereby rendering them unfit for military duty. These unfortunate, unintended effects of specialized labor, Smith believed, could be ameliorated by establishment of a universal and compulsory educational system, which would inculcate in students a level of civility rendering them amenable to life as citizens in a market society. Smith recognized that, in modern, capitalistic society, industrial workers, who form “the great body of the people,” pay a price; he nonetheless believed the problem could be solved with existing social relation and institutions. Sociologist Adam Ferguson [1767] 1996:182–3) also documented the price that workers in industrial society must pay for the efficiency and affluence enabled by the detailed division of labor in manufacturing and commerce under capitalism.5 In the modern “commercial state,” Ferguson argued, individuals experience a loss of community and find themselves isolated, solitary beings, in competition with fellow workers; the bonds of affection have been broken. Worse, repetitive performance of manual operations fragments thought, and reduces workers to mindless automatons. Ferguson ([1767] 1996:174) exclaimed, Many mechanical arts . . . require no capacity; they succeed best under a total suppression of sentiment and reason [and] prosper most where the mind is least consulted, and where the workshop may . . . be considered as an engine, the parts of which are men. Ferguson was the first to conduct a serious investigation of occupational specialization and its adverse effects on workers. He saw commercialism’s alienating effects, wherein repetitive work operations narrow workers’ intellectual functioning and reduce their capacity to participate in civil life. Despite modern, commercial society’s economic development, Ferguson identified what later thinkers would label ‘alienation’, particularly from the work process, from community, and from human nature. Both the social division of labor and the technical separation of tasks lead to social alienation and an erosion of moral community (Hill 2007:350). Occupational specialization led individuals away from public involvement towards a concern with what is private, so that society increasingly consists of parts, “of which none is animated with the spirit of society itself” (Ferguson [1767] 1996:207). Commercial forms of production contributed to a sense of

Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels 37 meaninglessness among workers by impugning the ideal of meaningful work; it required that workers be bound to no tasks [and] . . . are left to follow the disposition of the mind, and to take that part in society, to which they are led by the sentiments of the heart, or by the calls of the public. (Ferguson [1767] 1996:176) Ferguson saw that economic specialization alienates both industrial workers and members of the dominant and advantaged classes. For the elites, the alienating effects of idleness, avarice, and luxury enervated civic virtue and national strength, while the powerless must perform mind-numbing manual labor. This economic order contributes to a pathological imbalance of power, wealth, and status, so that “the exaltation of the few” can “depress the many” (Ferguson [1767] 1996:177). Ferguson’s description of the dehumanizing effects of occupational specialization foreshadowed Marx’s and Engels’s later discourse on the same subject, and Marx acknowledged his debt to Ferguson’s observations about the alienating effects of the division of labor on manual and mental work, and its stultifying effects on industrial workers (Marx [1867] 1971:334). Interestingly, while Marx condemned the exploitation of workers and saw it as leading to revolution, Ferguson was a conservative whose main concern was the preservation of public virtue, not the alleviation of worker ‘alienation’. Ferguson was more concerned with the elites’ welfare than workers’ (Hill 2007:354).6 Romanticists had also harshly criticized the plight of industrial workers and the poor; they targeted the exploitative capitalist enterprise and engaged in “an angry critique of some aspects of bourgeois society” (Peckham 1976:2). Thomas Carlyle’s (1843) stinging assessment of capitalism profoundly impacted Engels’s and Marx’s thinking, as did Honoré de Balzac’s relentless romantic critique of capitalistic civilization (Petrey 1988). In Capital, Marx made frequent mention of Balzac and urged Engels to read Balzac’s short story, “The Unknown Masterpiece.” Engels ([1888] 2010:168) later proclaimed, “I have learned more [from Balzac] than from all the professional historians, economists, and statisticians put together.” Although Marx and Engels rejected romanticists’ past-oriented illusions, the work of Marx and later Marxists contained an important romantic component, namely “the romantic revolt against a world which turned everything into a commodity and degraded man to the status of an object” (E. Fischer 1970b:15; cited in Löwy [1993] 2013:5).7 The romanticist Schiller shared Marx’s admiration of Ferguson’s work, and assimilated his sociological insights (together with statements by Rousseau and Herder) into his own diagnosis of modern society’s ills: division, conflict, isolation, fragmentation, and alienation had conspired to sever the inner unity of human nature, leaving individuals only a mechanical kind of collective life. Schiller’s (1794:letter 6) statement on work and alienation poetically critiqued modern, industrial society and was widely shared by romanticists and early sociologists. Romanticists promulgated a view of modern societies’ members as fragmented,

38 Alienation, affect in historical context isolated, and alienated. Romantic anti-capitalism was a thorough critique of modern industrial civilization, advanced in the name of largely idealized, precapitalist sociocultural values. While the romanticists bemoaned worker exploitation, their focus more generally attacked the quantification of life, the domination of the god Money (e.g., in Carlyle’s 1843 “Mammon,” a personification of the materialistic spirit of the 19th century), calculative rationality, profit, price, and the law of the market. These ills had crowded out qualitative values, creating the death of imagination and romance and poisoning social life by money and the air by industrial smoke. In his 1854 Hard Times, Charles Dickens’s romantic faith in sensibilities and affections defied the harsh worldview of utilitarianism, political economy, laissez faire, and the cunning algebra of mercantile quantification (Löwy 1987). Against a quantified, industrialized, capitalistic world, an alternative, the emerging romantic worldview, represented a great turn to emotionality. It manifested new interest in the remote, the primitive, the savage, the wild of nature, infused with a bitter sense of melancholy and alienation from an organic wholeness based on family and community ties. Enlightenment rationalism and its cold, calculative rationality were thus challenged by the other side of human reason, which venerated totality, connection, interdependence, emotion, and the freedom to love. This alternative mentality appreciated the flow of life and the individuality of the creative individual, and rejected the hegemony of logical-analytic reason. Confident that all separation could be overcome, romanticists promoted a gestalt-synthetic mode of thought (Löwy 1987; McGilchrist 2010:330–51). Alienation of bourgeois, Christian culture from passionate human nature Marx’s future father-in-law, Auguste Cornu, baron of Westphalia, had inspired the youthful Marx’s enthusiasm for the Romantic School, and introduced him to Voltaire, Racine, Homer, and Shakespeare. Marx’s few romantic plays and romantic poetry (mainly written in 1836–7, published in Wessell 1979:225–84), stressed the importance of the passions in human nature. He asserted that “a human being as an objective sensuous being is therefore a suffering being, and because we feel our suffering (Lieden), we are passionate [Leidenschaftliches] beings. . . .8 Passion is our essential power vigorously striving to attain its object” (Marx [1932] 1974:390). In romanticism, Marx and Engels found a foundation for further developing the notion of alienation. Only a year after the publication of Carlyle’s (1843) Past and Present, their ideas concerning alienation aligned with the morality of romantic humanism. They embraced the romanticists’ notion that bourgeois, Christian culture alienated individuals from their sensuous, human nature. Marx and Engels shared in the German intellectuals’ rediscovery of physical pleasures, seeing the alienated individual as one whose denial of the reality of the material world, and from the life of the species, was very much an alienation from sexuality. Humans’ alienation from themselves was tantamount to their

Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels 39 self-destruction and self-mutilation. Christianity wanted to free individuals from the domination of the flesh, seeing the flesh, and its desires, as alien to us. In Christianity, human nature existed only as an external, alien force, a heteronomy, and “an inverted world-consciousness” (ein verkehrt es Welt bewusstein) (Marx [1843b] 1972).9 In The Holy Family, Marx and Engels (1845) considered alienation and the passions in the context of Christianity, particularly Calvinism. Here, Marx and Engels followed romanticists’ view that the Christian religion, with its veneration of asceticism, masochism, suffering, and admiration of the virgin ‘mother of God’, is a religious alienation from sexuality, alienating individuals from the very life of the species. At this early stage of their intellectual development, Marx’s and Engels’s ([1932] 1964:135) definition of communism did not refer to class struggle. It rather signified the “complete return of man to himself as a social . . . being––a return become conscious, and accomplished within the entire wealth of previous development.” Communism, for Marx and Engels, constituted at the time the overcoming of all alienation. The sexual overtones of ‘alienation’ persisted as they tended to generalize the concept to signify the subjective state that accompanies any situation of emotional frustration that is the outcome of man’s own misconceived social behavior and social arrangements. (Feuer 1969a:79) The estrangement of labor in capitalistic production Besides rebelling against the repression of human sensual nature, Marx embraced romanticists’ and early sociologists’ harsh evaluation of industrial workers’ plight. Compelled to follow the movements of the machine, work and workers were dehumanized. Whereas the romanticists hoped to restore a largely imaginary past, Marx saw the restoration of the whole man – beyond fragmentation, division, and alienation, in a future Golden Age, in which the capitalistic world order is replaced by a communist social order that values the social and natural qualities of human life. Rousseau’s appreciation of sociohistorical forces’ influence on the development of human nature, and insights from Feuerbach and Schiller, inspired Marx ([1932] 1974) to consider alienation in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (hereafter, the Paris Manuscripts). In the important chapter, “Estranged Labor,” Marx expanded the concept of alienation and applied it to political economy. Marx saw alienation as the experience of powerlessness, self-estrangement, and social isolation, resulting from the breakdown of the natural interconnections between workers and (i) their productive activities, (ii) the products they produce, and (iii) their relations with fellow co-workers (Ollman 1971:131–53). Factory labor under capitalism is external to the worker, for it does not belong to his essential or species being. Marx thus located the source of human alienation in the labor process (Arbeit) and grounded philosophy in concrete human activity. The wage laborer must carry

40 Alienation, affect in historical context out repetitive, stupefying actions and execute plans he has not formed. The worker objectifies himself in a product that is taken from him. Workers produced palaces, but lived in hovels; they created beauty, while deforming themselves. By focusing on the inhumanity of factory labor, Marx saw alienation as central to workers’ predicament in capitalist society. He conceptualized dehumanized productive work as “the core of all alienation” (Schaar 1961:264), and alienated labor colored the life space of the individual in profound and disturbing ways. Romanticists sought meaning in history, and imagined earlier times when craftsmanship was honored and humans were not alienated from their essential nature. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels dismissed romantic dreams of a return to precapitalist modes of production as reactionary. Capitalism, they acknowledged, was an advance over the exploitative nature of feudalism and other earlier kinds of economic production. While even more exploitative, capitalism enabled the development of class struggle on the part of the oppressed. Romanticists sought to overcome bourgeois–Christian alienation from nature by plunging into sensual and aesthetic experience. Marx located the problem not in human mortality and alienation from the flesh, but in industrial capitalist society’s socioeconomic order. In capitalism, the products of human labor become alien to the producers, and private property subverts and estranges individual workers from their own human nature. Marx saw Herrschaft as domination by private property, and Knechtschaft as the bondage of alienated labor (entäusserten Arbeit). Marx’s idea of ‘bondage’ was thus very different from Paul’s, Luther’s, and Hegel’s, but his theory of class struggle retains their apocalyptic rhetorical structure (see Rotstein 1982). In industrial capitalism, there is first an antithesis of capital and labor, wherein the laborer is alienated from the commodities he produces; the laborer is emptied out, devalued, experiencing nothingness and non-being (ihr eignes Nichtsein) (Marx [1939] 1973:454). In the second stage, the proletariat, while still in a subordinate position, organizes and develops a revolutionary boldness; it moves from being a class in-itself to a class for-itself, and acts upon its newfound revolutionary class consciousness. In stage three, the proletarian revolution succeeds on a global level, and the proletariat becomes the ruling class; victorious proletarians now live in a community of free and equal individuals. In step four, the powerless have gained all power, private property is negated, social classes dissolve, the state withers, the advent of communism brings about the overturning of all earlier relations of economic production, and there is a total salvation of humanity. Marx and Engels abandon the concept of alienation In an 1837 letter to his father, Marx renounced his romantic poetry and romanticism in general (Wessell 1979:10), yet romanticism continued to influence his scholarly writings beyond that pronouncement. Marx’s vision of a communist utopia was not unlike the romanticists’ fantasies of primitive, ancient, or medieval experiences of communal wholeness. Many scholars have recognized continuities of Marx and romanticism (M. Levin 1974; Löwy 1987; Löwy and Sayre

Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels 41 2002:88–116). Marx’s vision had incorporated “the romantic revolt against a world which turns everything into a commodity and degrades man to the status of an object” (E. Fischer 1970a:15). The young Marx’s thinking was a kind of “romantic socialism,” which waxed nostalgic and bemoaned the loss of community, family, and guild under competitive, industrial capitalism (Habermas 1990:15). Marx’s interest in alienation quickly waned after his Paris Manuscripts. With his newfound view that only class consciousness mattered, the concept disappeared from his work entirely. In their Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels ([1848a] 1955:37) pronounced the literati’s musings on money “philosophical nonsense,” and derisively noted that it was written under the heading, “Alienation of Humanity.”10 Marx had endeavored to elevate his work from philosophy to science, and he dismissed the concept of alienation as a ‘myth of origins’ presupposing the simple unity of an originary human essence (Althusser and Balibar 1968; see also Gouldner 1980). Hook ([1936] 1994:5) contended that the concept of alienation in the early Marx was “originally and primarily religious,” and therefore played no role in Marx’s mature work, noting that, even in the 1848 Communist Manifesto, Marx “pokes fun at those socialists who make great play with the obscure term ‘alienation’.” Yet, orthodox Marxists of the Old Left were mistaken in seeing Marx’s later work as purely scientific, and Marxist scholars such as Garaudy (1967) have acknowledged that Marxism does not present a value-free and purely scientific system of knowledge; it rather presents a vision of human history that provided for the psychic life of modern individuals many of the functions that were once fulfilled by mythic and religious beliefs and activities.11 Romanticists pursued a strategy of alienation, in which alienation from culture and society was a positive event, tantamount to “a therapy in which consciousness heals itself by a complex act of invention” (Bloom 1971:17, 324). Hegel similarly saw alienation as painful, but ultimately positive, because self-estrangement enabled the development of the mind and the evolution of society. While Hegel was thus an anti-romantic (Reid 2014), he and the romanticists both saw a positive side of alienation. This was not the case with Marx. Although Marx had abandoned the concept of alienation in his later works, important themes of alienation, and of de-alienation, persisted in his vision of communism and his concept of the victorious proletariat. The first generation of romantics had sought emancipation from the weight of oppressive and obsolete social institutions and social practices, as Schelling attacked dogmatism, Fichte advocated self-determination, and the Jena Romanticists sought liberation of their natural passions. Marx ([1843a] 1970:8) similarly espoused a critical philosophy intended to expose “mystical consciousness” and to put “the searing knife of criticism” to the existing institutional order. Marx sought to overcome reification, whereby society appears external and coercive, rather than humanly constructed and responsive to its members’ actions. Marx’s call to fight for a communist society had been anticipated by earlier romanticists, as Fichte ([1797] 1889:218) had called for “the universal commonwealth,” Schleiermacher ([1800] 1957:26) for a “community of free spiritual beings,” and Thoreau ([1849] 1991:245) had sought

42 Alienation, affect in historical context a “perfect and glorious state.” Marx had embedded abstract philosophical notions within his ‘scientific’ and ‘materialistic’ socioeconomic concepts and categories, but his ‘proletariat’ was a Promethean, heroic force that would rescue humanity from its own alienation. This is a thoroughly romantic vision, in which, as Novalis wrote in his Astralis poem, “The world becomes a dream, and dream becomes a world.” Assessing Marx: from dialectical materialism to prophetic vision Marx did not see himself as a Marxist. Following the Gnostics, Paul, Luther, and Hegel, Marxists viewed the world as bearing an overwhelming burden of domination and oppression; they offered to the oppressed a vision of a social world without capitalistic exploitation, repression, or alienation. Marx assumed “a dialectical-material process of nature which in its course leads from the alienation of private property and belief in God, to the freedom of a fully human existence” (Voegelin 1968:11). Alienation (Entäusserung) gives way to the positive expression of life (Lebensentäusserung), so that the alienation of humanity from its potential species being (Wesensentäusserung) ultimately leads to the full expression of humanity’s essential nature (Wesensäusserung). Our analysis of alienation in Rousseau, Schiller, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, and Engels might tempt us to infer that alienation had become an important topic in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. But during this period, Ferguson’s (1767) and Adam Smith’s (1776) ideas about workers’ alienation were hardly noticed, and Marx’s analysis of alienation had slight impact. Most of Marx’s Paris Manuscripts and Marx’s and Engels’s The German Ideology published only in 1932, and were translated into French and English at least 15 years later.12 Hegel’s notions of alienation similarly lacked impact, as idealist scholars have long ignored his Phenomenology and focused instead on his later works.13 In his early work, Marx had posed an important question: “Why is man alienated?” Marx sought the answer in the historical development of the division of labor, private property, and capital. Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution, Marx believed, had destroyed the historical relationships between craftsmen and the goods they produce; assembly-line work reduced laborers to cogs in machines. Under these conditions, labor was not creative but was rather forced, coerced, lacking self-direction, and dehumanized. The essential human quality, of labor, was externalized and made alien to the worker. Finally, we must ask if Marx’s notion of a perfect communist utopia as the cumulating stage of human and social development is consistent with the romantic worldview. Following the advent of communism, Marx believed, there will be an abolition of private property and an end to human self-alienation. Moreover, following this great event, humans’ natural existence will become their social existence, for nature has become humanized. This statement of a humanistic naturalism developing into a future state which solves the riddle of history is one we have seen before. It is an end that is a return to the beginning, but at a higher level, for the tragic fragmentation of humanity has been replaced by the experience of

Hegel and Feuerbach to Marx and Engels 43 wholeness, in relations with others and with a nature “which is no longer dead and alien but has been resurrected and has assumed a companionable, because a human, form” (Abrams 1973:326). Coleridge (1818), 25 years earlier, had argued that art “is the mediatress between, and reconciler of, nature and man, . . . the union and reconciler of that which is nature with that which is exclusively human.” The difference between Coleridge and Marx is that the integrative role that Coleridge – together with Schiller, Schelling, Wordsworth, and many other romanticists – had assigned to the imaginative work of the artist, Marx had expanded “to include all the work of men’s hands – provided, that is, that this work is performed in the social ambience of free communal enterprise” (Abrams 1973:316). Thus, Marx’s communistic utopia would, ultimately, comprise a work of art.

Notes 1 Feuerlicht (1978:214) presents an excellent etymology of these and closely related German terms. 2 The distinction between the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ was developed in Hegel’s (1807) phenomenology of self-consciousness (see Russon 1997), and in process philosophy, and was given a sociological interpretation by George Herbert Mead ([1934] 1962:135–220). 3 More specifically, Hegel saw in Friedrich Schlegel an affront to bourgeois decency, for he viewed Schlegel as a seducer and a poser, who mastered his public with his particular selfhood (Ichkeit), which had elevated itself to become an aloof, dominating subjectivity that sees the world from a peak (Spitze) or summit (Gipfel), sophistically pretending absolute knowledge or “worldly wisdom” (Weltweisheit), while manipulating desired objects in the world, and doing so without respect to established norms, right, and duties. 4 Sloterdijk (1987:26), in his critique of religious illusions, stated this idea perfectly, citing Genesis 1:27: “And God created man according to His image, in the image of God created He him.” “Without doubt,” Sloterdijk adds, “this ‘image’ relation can also be interpreted the other way around. From then on it is no mystery where the images come from; humans and their experiences are the material from which the official dreams about ‘God’ are made. The religious eye projects earthly images into heaven.” And to this Cutler (2005:173) adds a cynical view of the God-concept “as simply another chaos-controlling illusion to make sense of a confusing world.” 5 Smith accused Ferguson of plagiarizing his ideas about occupational specialization and the division of labor, a priority dispute that remains unresolved (see, e.g., Brewer 1986). There approaches were different, however, for Smith was focused on the positive effects of specialization on economic development, whereas Ferguson focused on workers’ ‘alienation’ and other pathologies of simple and repetitive work tasks. 6 Marx, living in the 19th century, was writing about a more developed and malignant source of alienation, as the modern industrial system of Ferguson’s time was far less developed and workers retained some level of control over their work (Hill 2007:355–6). 7 Harold Mah (1986) argues that the young Marx, immersed in “passionate Romanticism,” was slow to develop a radical agenda, and that it is difficult to draw connection between his early romanticism and his later revolutionary theorizing. Mah concludes that Marx’s romanticism had no discernible effect on his later radical thinking. However, Marx was from early on well aware of, and intellectually involved in, romanticism and its critique of modern, industrialized, capitalistic society. Marx’s position that social change comes about through the conflict of contradictory tendencies, while associated with Hegel, was also developed by the romanticists Müller and Schleiermacher, and was part of the heritage of German romanticism. The revolutionary romanticists had

44 Alienation, affect in historical context







seen how the capitalist present could mediate between aspects of the precapitalist past and the socialistic future (Peckham 1976:7). The more conservative romanticists, in contrast, were harsh critics of the advance of capitalism as undermining the agrarian feudal order which they saw as superior (M. Levin 1974:408n1, 411). It is useful to distinguish between passions and emotions, for their meanings differ. The term passion derives from the Latin pati, meaning to suffer or to undergo. A passion can be seen as a precursor to an emotion. The key difference is that passions are passive in nature, for the experience of a passion is always caused by an object or situation external to, yet acting upon, the individual, whereas emotions are first experienced as internal to the mind, but are both stimulated by and responsive to ongoing social interactions (as made clear by Pahl’s analysis of Hegel’s Phenomenology), an insight that totally escaped Marx’s own reading of Hegel. Thus, a passion is suffered, but an emotion is produced by the socially embedded subject. Marx’s statement of passions as suffered yet energizing and directing is quite correct, and was indeed insightful. Marx and Engels ([1845] 1956:32) described the German idealistic philosophers, including Hegel, as estranged from reality insofar as they repressed their natural sexual senses of “love” and “passion,” and endeavored to spiritualize its reality. They wrote that these idealists had used linguistic tricks to translate love into “a theological thing,” a being “separated from and as such endowed with independent being. By this simple process, by changing the predicate into the subject, all the attributes and manifestations of human nature can be critically transformed into their opposite[s]” (Marx and Engels [1845] 1956:32). Love, they argued, is un-Critical and un-Christian, and sexual repression leads to a distortion of thought and impairs the sense of reality (Ollman 1971:240–1). Robert Tucker (1958:176) dubiously claims that in Marx’s mature works, “alienation remains his central theme, but it has gone underground in his image of society,” and that Marx had merely replaced “alienated labor” with “wage labor.” Sidney Hook noted that after the Manuscripts of 1844 Marx’s only explicit reference to the concept, alienation, were derisive. Hook ([1936] 1994:5) wrote: “Aside from the specific sociological doctrine of ‘the fetishism of commodities’ . . . the central notion of ‘self-alienation’ is foreign to the historical, naturalistic, humanism of Marx.” Howard Parsons (1964:70) likened Marx’s critique of capitalism to the prophesying of the holy men of the world’s religions: “Like the biblical prophets, Marx’s critique of religion and other forms of alienation is not primarily impelled by metaphysical or even scientific purposes. It is humanistic and prophetic.” When this work appeared in Germany, in 1932, it was reviewed, but with the advent of the Third Reich, open discussion of Marx had become impossible, and those sympathetic to Marx’s views remained silent or left Germany. Translations of the Manuscripts first became available in French by Rubel in 1947 and in English by Bottomore in 1956. These translations, however, did not adequately distinguish between Entäusserung and Entfremdung, and referred to both as ‘alienation’. As Arthur (1986:159n3) points out, in his supplement to his Jubilee edition of Hegel’s ([1807a] 1952) work, Glockner (1935–9) did not even list Entäusserung or Entfremdung in the Hegel-Lexikon of 1935–9 (nor in its 1957 edition). Hoffmeister also excludes these terms in his edition of the Phänemenologie des Geistes. A. V. Miller, in his translation of Hoffmeister’s German version of Hegel ([1807a] 1952), excluded both alienation and estrangement from his index to Hegel (Hegel 1807c).


Alienation and affect in the late 19th and the 20th centuries

The scientific enterprise, including the scientific study of the human mind, developed throughout the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and accelerated in the modern age. In opposition to this triumph of scientific reasoning and the development of modern, industrial civilization, the counter-philosophy of romanticism portrayed the modern world’s scientific and mathematical orientation as highly alienating. Romanticists denied the existence of a rational, objective order, a putative rerum natura, from which all knowledge and morality originated, and denounced the “suppression of individuality and irrational and unconscious forces in men” (Berlin [1976] 2000:54; see also Berlin 1999). While the romanticist did not seriously engage in physics, chemistry, and biology, they did contribute to the emerging social sciences. The romantic perspective influenced 19th- and early-20th-century founders of sociology, including Tönnies, Simmel, and Weber. Although modernization and the detailed division of labor had raised productivity and created wealth, these theorists argued that many processes of modern society negatively impacted individuals’ quality of life. Their insights provided the concept of alienation a place in critical social science. Tönnies (1887), for example, advanced a penetrating analysis of how the advent of individualistic, competitive Gesellschaft society promotes the loss of community, the folk-Gemeinschaft, while Simmel and Weber described alienation’s manifestations in the 20th century.

Simmel Georg Simmel was both a sociological theorist and a romantic critic of modern, urban life. His theory of alienation, first presented in The Philosophy of Money (Simmel [1900] 2003:429–512), partly coincides with Marx’s, but is conceptually more highly developed and deserves careful attention. Like Marx, Simmel held that individuals in modern, industrialized, and urbanized societies are alienated from their work, from the objects produced through their work, from each other, and from their selves. Modern society and culture promote anonymity and degrade self-identity by ‘dispersing’, or ‘fragmenting’, the individual into a cluster of separate, specialized roles. Three interdependent levels of alienation result and are expressed in the growing separation between subject and object, means and ends, and emotion and reason.

46 Alienation, affect in historical context Subject and object The impoverishment of personal life in the modern world, a key source of alienation, follows from the modern separation between objective and subjective conditions of work (Simmel [1900] 2003:64–5, 453–69). The increasingly detailed division of labor promotes the glorification of the objective mind and leaves little room for the harmonious growth of one’s total personality and character; the subjective mind retreats, is devalued, and risks becoming selfish and egotistical (Capetillo-Ponce 2004). “Where the division of labor prevails,” Simmel ([1900] 2003:455) asserted, “the person can no longer find himself expressed in his work; its form becomes dissimilar to the subjective mind and appears only as a wholly specialized part of our being that is indifferent to the total unity of man.” The lifestyles of modern, urban communities, which depend upon the relationship between objectified culture and the individual’s capacity to subjectively experience this culture, also promote alienation. Man-made objects become existentially meaningful and valuable when an individual can project his or her self onto the object, rendering object and subject congruent. Because the individual can only incorporate a diminishing number of manufactured objects, which proliferate and diversify in modern society, the individual confronts a complex, objective culture perceived to be remote and inaccessible (Arditi 1996:93). Means and ends Another source of alienation in the modern world is the disruption between goals (or ends) and the means used to attain them (Simmel [1900] 2003:204–21, 228–34). In particular, individuals in modern society have lost sight of ultimate ends, and increasingly regard the means to ends as ends in themselves. Animals and “uncultured” humans can reach goals through acts of will, in “a straightforward line . . . by simply reaching out or by using a small number of simple devices; the order of means and ends is easily observed” (Simmel [1907] 1986:3). Individuals in modern society, however, find it more difficult to understand the relationship between goals and the means employed to attain them. Due to bureaucracy, technology, and other aspects of modernity, the path to goal attainment has “become long and difficult, [and] filled with stops and curves.” The “simple triad of desire–means–end” is degraded by the “increasing multiplicity and complexity of higher life” (Simmel [1907] 1986:3). In the modern money economy, goal-oriented series of actions have lengthened and often require intermediate steps; implementing appropriate means require nearly endless preparation. The satisfaction of achieving ends lies beyond the moment, even beyond the horizon of the individual. Most importantly, means to ends are no longer pursued only to meet basic survival needs but have become worthwhile goals in and of themselves. Simmel’s (1900) central example is money, which once was pursued as a means to acquire valuable things needed for survival, but is increasingly sought as an end in itself. This transformation of means into ends is at the heart of modern

The late 19th and the 20th centuries 47 humanity’s alienation. The universalization of monetary transactions in the spheres of exchange and circulation destroys the perceived value of ultimate ends and contributes to the heightened centrality of means and techniques. Objects are experienced as distant if one’s access to them is mediated by money; money enmeshes us in a veritable labyrinth of means, renders relations between things abstract, and reduces things to common values. The resulting discontinuity of experience in the money-based economy, particularly in urban areas, is a principal source of alienation (Frisby 2011:89). Economic striving, without aim or end, deprives individuals of final goals, rules, and norms, and leads only to an unbounded, insatiable willing (Simmel 1907; see also Schopenhauer 1818; Durkheim [1897] 1960:255–6). Simmel argued that this transformed understanding of means and ends has undermined life’s meaningfulness. Emotion and reason Simmel distinguished sharply between emotion and reason; he argued that nonrational, emotional values are tied more closely to ends than to means. As individuals’ focus has shifted from ends to means in modern society, a corresponding shift in mentality from emotion to reason has also occurred. Simmel (1900) identified emotions as a topic of sociological inquiry. He saw emotions as (i) causes of social interactions (“primary emotions”), or (ii) as results, or psychical effects, of experienced interactions (“secondary emotions”).1 Emotions are thus produced in the interplay between the individual and social structures, and the subject’s interpretative schemata of these sociorelational conditions. As goods are bought, sold, or traded according to objective, calculative criteria, Simmel proposed, they lose their emotional value. In modernity, economic behavior contributes to the hegemony of rational, quantitative reasoning. This reasoning influences all areas of life, suppresses subjective, affect-laden decisions and judgments, and eclipses the relatively stable and emotion-laden structuration of pre-money-based society. Transcending alienation through artistic creativity Simmel saw the modern, urban situation as alienating, and incompatible with living as a total personality (Fuchs 1991:4). Under this condition, human relations involve only part of the self, so that individuals are leveled, suffocated, even swallowed up in social and technical mechanisms and institutions; in the process, they become alienated from their natural creativity and sociality and reduced to an anonymous existence. While Simmel saw the modern individual described by Enlightenment philosophers as alienated on many levels, he recognized a potential transcending of this alienation in the romantic vision of the individual. In opposition to the ‘pale’ and ‘fleshless’ rationalist concept of individualism, the romanticists conceptualized the individual as an idealized, artistic genius who rescues the world from alienation

48 Alienation, affect in historical context (Walzel 1932; Currie 1974:9). As described by Isaiah Berlin ([1976] 2000:330), the romantic individualist believes in self abandonment to spontaneous feelings and passion, hatred of rules, and a desire for unbridled self-expression and self-assertion on the part of the artist, whether in life or in the creation of his works – the conception of the poet, the thinker, as a superior being, subject to agonies not known to the common run of men, seeking to realize himself in some unique, violent, unheard-of fashion, obedient to his own passion and will alone. Only individual subjectivity can mitigate the tragedy of culture, and Simmel imagined that harmony of subject and object could be attained through artistic creativity. While the modern individual is subjected to occupational specialization and fragmentation of the self and is alienated, the romantic artist can transcend alienation and live as an integrated, total self. Despite widespread alienation in modern life, an individual can “secure an island of subjectivity, a secret, closed off sphere of privacy” in the world of aesthetics (Simmel [1900] 2003:469). Inherent ecstasy is achievable through immersion in producing a work of art, wherein the lost accord between subject and object is recovered. Through analysis of “social forms,” Simmel found that subject–object unity was also attainable within the social and political arenas. Simmel’s student, Salz, noted that “whoever speaks of forms moves in the field of aesthetics. Society, in the last analysis, is a work of art” (cited in Frisby 2003:16). Ultimately, however, the exchange and circulation of produced art as commodities penetrate even the art world proper (Poggi 1993); immersion in creative and productive activities cannot guarantee transcendence of alienation. Happiness attained in artistic creativity, while heroic as gesture, does not last; artistic creations quickly become alien to their creators and objectified as they acquire monetary value and are sold.

Weber The alienating conditions of the modern world Like Simmel, Max Weber recognized that modern society enhanced economic productivity and the efficient administration of social life. But these advances were accompanied by a decline in personally meaningful activity. Weber was highly critical of the 18th-century Enlightenment, which he believed had created an alienating worldview, wherein subject and object, mind and matter, emotion and reason, are separated (Koch 2006:ix). Weber accepted Kant’s (1781a) epistemology, but rejected his ethical system of moral philosophy. Kant saw reason harnessing the emotions, passions, and the impulsive side of life and leading to a more just, civilized, and rational sociomoral order. Whereas Kant (1790) saw values arising from the exercise of pure reason, Weber recognized that values rather emerge in a social context and possess the subjective elements of freely willed choices. Like Simmel, Weber was influenced by romanticism, which saw emotion and the

The late 19th and the 20th centuries 49 creative, spontaneous expression of ideas and social relations as the essential feature and purpose of human nature. Weber embraced the romanticists’ commitment to set emotion and creative freedom against cold and impersonal bureaucratic and political organization (Koch 2006:28–33). Rationality’s relentless expansion into the social world manifested as an oppressive, bureaucratic, orderly society which undermined human individuality’s spontaneous, creative, and emotional character; it stifled the freedom he saw as an ontological necessity and made alienation inescapable. Whereas Marx believed the advent of a communist utopia could counteract alienation, and Nietzsche optimistically imagined the coming of the Übermensch, Weber, a pessimist, offered no way out. He saw that the alienating consequences of modernity follow from insurmountable epistemological, ontological, and societal conditions. Value commitments are based on emotion, but the increasing rationalization of everyday life erodes the development of personal individuality, resulting in “the increasing alienation of ourselves within the structures of the institutional order” (Koch 2006:33). Weber rarely used the term ‘alienation’, but the concept permeates his many research areas and his worldview. His comparative study of major religions (Weber 1904–5, 1915a, 1916, 1917–19) involved exploration of the intersection of reason, emotion, and human nature. While the world can seem a bewildering and irrational place, religions offered rational schemes that provided believers a coherent orientation. The quest for meaning is a unique human property that can overcome the experience that life is ‘senseless’. For Weber, the primary function of religions of salvation is to enable individuals to interpret their lives, and the cosmos, in a meaningful way. In the Middle Ages, the search for spiritual meaning led to other-worldly mysticism and rejection of involvement with the existing world. Beginning in the Renaissance, and reaching full expression in the modern world, an opposite orientation, this-worldly asceticism, crystallized in the Protestant ethic (Weber 1904–5). This disenchantment signifies a loss of the sense that we are confronted by inexplicable phenomena, that the world is haunted by tabooistic magic, ghosts, witches, angels, demons, and mercurial agents. Recourse to magical means to master or implore the spirits was largely abandoned (Weber [1927] 1950:265; see also Thomas 1971). Both paths led to an irreversible disenchantment of the world (Entzauberung). In the case of modernity, the natural sciences, with their scientific explanations of life and the cosmos, reinforced the sense of meaninglessness and cultural estrangement associated with the decline of religion. Religious understanding originally springs from charismatic leaders’ putatively supernatural revelations, which originate in the non-rational, affect-laden elements of their personalities. As charismatic revelations become ossified into official doctrines, religious intuition gives way to ritual and bureaucracy, so that organized religions later oppose the sources from which they sprang. Religions come to be ruled by inflexible bureaucracies and work to “bring impulsive emotions under control”; these processes of rationalization “split the primitive, united image of the world into rational cognition and mystical experience” (Weber [1915c] 1972:282; Koch 2006:120). While the science of the Middle Ages was largely based on

50 Alienation, affect in historical context ‘magic’, the modern individual was now confronted by the hard facts of scientific knowledge; since the 17th century these have called into question the existence of “mysterious incalculable forces” (Weber [1919] 1972:139; see also Schneider 1993). Weber saw humans as desiring and needing meaning or inner coherence and certainty, but finding this desire largely unattainable with the erosion of metaphysical certainty. The result was a Western crisis of meaninglessness that originated in the deterioration of religious belief and has been aggravated by “the objectifying environment of capitalism, bureaucracy and science” (Chowers 1995:124). Instrumental and substantive rationality Reasoning means the exercise of analytic thought in a logical, exact, and orderly way; this includes the powers of inference, seeing patterns in data, and understanding single truths. In a narrow sense, rationality is the quality or state of openness to reason and to valid arguments; one’s choices, decisions, goals, values, and beliefs are all subjected to reasoned scrutiny (Sen 1983). Rationality is a dominant theme in Weber’s writings on economics, politics, and religion. Weber also focused on the process of rationalization, whose historical development involved two main phases. First, traditional societies’ belief systems shifted emphasis from supernatural, religious, and magical to science and precise calculation using mathematics and measurement instruments (hence, instrumental rationality). Second, bureaucratic organizations emerged, involving impersonal organizational-level decision-making, universally applicable rules, technocratic skills, and means–ends reasoning. Reflecting on the hegemony of instrumental rationality, Weber ([1921] 1978:506) observed, “As intellectualism suppresses belief in magic, the world’s processes lose their magical significance, and henceforth simply ‘are’ and ‘happen’ but no longer signify anything.” According to Weber ([1921] 1978:85–6), substantive or value rationality involves decision-making and actions that acquire meaning and validity within the context of affect-laden belief and value systems; it is not based upon formal rules, expediency, or common-sense premises. Weber defined substantive rationality as uniquely involving “ultimate” values, or ultimate ends, which may or may not be economic in nature. Value rationality means one’s actions uphold one’s core beliefs. It principally emphasizes choosing ultimate ends; once chosen, these constrain one’s choice of means. In this sense, substantive rationality differs radically from instrumental rationality, whose principal focus is choosing means to ends, using criteria of efficiency and expediency. Substantive, or value, rationality cannot be demonstrated by science, but is essential to the personality; it enables interpretation of reality according to a set of values, and brings ethics into confrontations with the social order. Substantive rationality is the necessary “link with the emotional part of human personality,” for “emotion is essential to the world of human beings. . . . To the extent that such a limitation comes from the social environment, it can be asserted as a social cause of alienation” (Koch 2006:140). All forms of rationality enable our understanding of the social world, but in modernity the necessary balance has been upset

The late 19th and the 20th centuries 51 by institutions’ and corporate actors’ prioritization of formal and instrumental rationality. Only by restoring balance among the several kinds of rationality2 can individuals embrace substantive values and escape the ‘iron cage’ (Stahlhartes Gehäuse) that entraps, alienates, and diminishes emotional life. A growing demand that the world be subject to a significant and meaningful order conflicts with the realities of modernity and its institutional order, which engenders various kinds of alienation, including “the intellectual’s flight from the world.” This flight, a kind of cultural estrangement, “may be more contemplative, or more actively ascetic; it may primarily seek individual salvation or collective revolutionary transformation of the world in the direction of a more ethical status” (Weber [1921] 1978:506). Weber ([1915b] 1972:357) wrote, “culture’s every step forward seems condemned to lead to an ever more devastating senselessness.” Bureaucracy is a human analogue to the machine, striving toward its own technical, even “mechanized,” perfection. Pessimistic about the future, Weber predicted that a growing influence of soulless bureaucracies and petrified social institutions would diminish individual freedom and contribute to individuals’ sense of powerlessness and meaninglessness.

Alienation, socialism, the New Left, and the counterculture [S]ome New Left fellow-travelers, labouring to escape the now abusive epithet ‘Stalinist’ began to contend that the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1944 were the true foundation documents of Marxist philosophy; and, hence, that its key word was not ‘dialectics’ but ‘alienation’. – Antony Flew (1991:272)

The Bolshevik’s October 1917 revolution and the later creation of the Soviet empire, the embrace of socialism in third-world anti-colonial movements, and the emergence of a Communist Left in Western democracies, all stimulated renewed interest in Marx and Marxism (Dunayevskaya 1965; Wesson 1976; Kołakowski 1978a–c). Following this revolution, a contest between ‘Eastern’ socialism and ‘Western’ capitalism gradually developed into the Cold War. The topic of alienation was barely mentioned within the Old Left’s debates concerning Hegelianism and whether socialism should be founded on philosophy or empirical science. In Hook’s ([1936] 1994:115, 248, 250, 291) pioneering study of Marx’s intellectual development, From Hegel to Marx, the word ‘alienation’ was mentioned, in passing, on just four pages. The major concern of the Old Left of the 1930s was the validity of historical materialism. With the advent of the New Left in the late 1950s–early 1960s (Savio, Walker and Dunayevskaya 1965; Horowitz 1966, 1970; Feuer 1969b), the topic of alienation gained importance. Its rise and fall in the social sciences is illustrated in Figure 4.1, which shows, annually from 1939 to 2015, the number of scholarly works using words for ‘alienation’ or ‘estrangement’ in the title or abstract, relative to the volume of social-scientific publications (roughly indicated by publications using keywords for ‘social’ or ‘society’). Figure 4.1 shows that interest in alienation

52 Alienation, affect in historical context

Ratios .18


.15 The Paris and Prague Springs

Lee’s “obituary” for alienation



.06 Seeman’s 1959 “varieties of alienation” article .03

0 1940







2010 2015 Year

Figure 4.1 Social-scientific interest in alienation, 1939–2015: Ratios of annual number of ProQuest Sociological Abstracts’ title or abstract entries containing words for alienation or estrangement, as a ratio of the annual number of scholarly journal articles including words for society or social (a proxy measure of socialscientific publication volume)

increased dramatically from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, and peaked in 1969. After 1969, relative (but not absolute) interest in alienation decreased and finally stabilized in the mid-1980s. During the four-decade period from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s, “the cultural intelligentsia brooded on themes of despair, anomie and alienation” (Bell 1976:43; cited in Seeman 1983:171). The concepts of alienation and estrangement rather suddenly gained prominence as the associated societal problems that had long concerned Western social thinkers continued to fester. The discourse of Western civilization had become preoccupied with the sinking feeling that modern society was “suffering from dis-ease,” including rejection of traditional values and beliefs, fear of technological change and atomic warfare, and emotional feelings of “anxiety, apprehension, loneliness, normlessness, haplessness, helplessness, [and] hopelessness” (Rippere 1981:37; see also Pappenheim 1959). Modern man needed “a guiding light,” a new center of focus in his quest for self-definition. The concept of alienation provided this focus, but was destined to generate more heat than light (Rippere 1981:37, 40). Signifying the discontentment of Western civilization, the concept ‘alienation–estrangement’ referred both to a deeply troubled spirit and to a sudden, profound disruption of an individual’s ability to function harmoniously in the social world (Suttie 1935). Alienation was not destined to attain clarity as a technical, scientific concept but instead became “a canonical name for the

The late 19th and the 20th centuries 53 comprehensively woeful condition of contemporary humanity” (Rippere 1981:40). The term “alienation” joined “transition” and “crisis” as a third “semantic beacon” of “the widespread belief that there has been a revolutionary change in the psychological condition of man, reflected in the individual’s feelings of isolation, homelessness, insecurity, restlessness, [and] anxiety” (Glazer 1947:378). The turmoil of the 1960s, especially the Vietnam War, triggered a radicalization of large numbers of American college-age youth, and especially the predominantly working-class youth compelled to fight it (Shay 1994, 2002; Vellenga and Christenson 1995). Outrage over Vietnam and injustices of the social order (including the struggles for women’s liberation and civil rights) merged into a widely shared sense of alienation from the ‘System’. Lacking a suitably ethical place in a corrupted social world, and experiencing grave “doubts and despair,” left-leaning intellectuals and students embraced Marxism (Meyer 1961:xxi). Alienation and Marxism became mutually reinforcing. Understood only as a “beautifully foggy concept” (Wesson 1976:186), alienation was suddenly the critical tool of “neo-Marxist methodology.” The New Left rebelled not against capitalism but against the hostile, alien forces of bureaucracy, hierarchy, and impersonality. C. Wright Mills (1959:73) described the alienation of progressive social scientists from the “research bureaucracy” that had “appropriated” social science research. Controlled by the “managerial class,” who limited theorizing to the “empty formalities” of Parsonian “grand theory” and who restricted research to “abstracted empiricism,” this bureaucracy aimed to eliminate “the great social problems and human issues of our time from inquiry” (Mills [1959] 2000:73). The bureaucratized ‘establishment’ was perceived as scientific and elitist. By turning against this system of control, many academics and counterculturalists turned against science and toward non-scientific knowledge practices, including the I Ching, sorcery and witchcraft, vision quests, the Tarot, and Tantric Buddhism (TenHouten and Kaplan 1972). The New Left rejected the Old Left’s appeal for a ‘scientific socialism’ precisely because it claimed to be (but was not) scientific. The New Left instead focused on the romantic notion of alienation that had briefly preoccupied Marx and Engels. Alienation was important for the New Left, not for its scientific clarity but for its very ambiguity; it expressed the meaninglessness of settling for an occupational niche in the System. On the political level, members of the New Left aimed to generate an ethical, voluntaristic, historical force. It would not result from the impersonal forces of economic development, but through individuals’ own personal will and direct action. The new student generation had found, and seized upon, the forgotten texts of ‘alienation’. In the 1960s, the notion of alienation was, above all, “suited to express the varied moods of resentment of youth” (Feuer 1969b:508). This decade witnessed an energized discontent, a nameless malaise, which was unable to find an appropriate object; this situation called out for “an equally ambiguous word, . . . devoid of any direct definition, to describe it; such a word is ‘alienation’,” which came to function as an “emotive symbol for idealistic students in generational revolt against the System” (Feuer 1969b:508). As a concept, alienation had lost all precision, and was “invoked rather than used, in order to identify the writer’s

54 Alienation, affect in historical context underlying moral assumption, namely that society cripples man instead of creating him; that it forces its members into a network of antisocial circumstances which must, in the end, dehumanize them” (Zweig 1970:248). As Diggins (1974:64) observed, “young radicals seized upon Marx’s essentially Hegelian concepts of ‘estrangement’, ‘alienation’ and ‘reification’ in order to turn a predicament of the human condition into a platform for social emancipation.” Seeman (1983:171), who was to become the 20th century’s premier alienation theorist and researcher, notes that the “wave of interest in alienation earned an almost undeniable mark of validity in the late ’60s when political protest and civil disorder appeared as . . . [its] world-wide incarnation.” During this time, scholars linked alienation to mass society (Gerson 1965), to student movements (Feuer 1969b; Horowitz 1970), and to the labor process (Pearlin 1962; Blauner 1964; Kornhauser 1965; B. Seligman 1965; Seeman 1967). Even at its peak, however, inquiry into alienation was beset by terminological ambiguities and conceptual and methodological difficulties. This led some (e.g., Horton 1964; Kon 1967; A. Lee 1972; R. Collins 1986:247–63) to question the term’s use, either descriptively or conceptually, and motivated Alfred Lee (1972) to write a virtual “obituary” for the concept. Lee’s arguments, however, were far from persuasive: he claimed that (i) because some usages of alienation are philosophical rather than scientific, all sociological usage of the concept should be abandoned, and (ii) changing the theorist’s language will change researchers’ motives and goals. But as Keniston (1965:452) notes, the same definitional problems would repeatedly resurface with the use of cognate terms such as estrangement, disaffection, dissatisfaction, or detachment. Many influential social psychologists and sociologists had chosen to simply ignore the concept of alienation (see Horowitz 1966:230n1). Seeman (1983) countered that the concept, alienation, possesses continuity in social theory, and this insight has been borne out by the continued theoretical and empirical research devoted to this topic. Do the many conceptualizations of alienation considered above possess an underlying unity that will make alienation, in general, a useful scientific concept? Clearly, such a unity does not exist. Following Seeman’s advice, it is more informative to disaggregate the general concept and phenomenon into its more specific varieties. The aim of this book, from this point forward, is to link specific varieties of alienation to specific emotions. To this end, Chapter 5 presents a classification of the emotions and cross-classifies these emotions with a model of elementary social relations. We then proceed to identify the primary (or basic), secondary, and tertiary emotions that form the affective bases of specific varieties of alienation. Chapters 6–10 will consider the emotions of normlessness, meaninglessness, selfestrangement, cultural estrangement, and powerlessness.

Notes 1 There is a level of coherence in Simmel’s distinction between primary and secondary emotions (which differs from the distinction to be introduced in Chapter 5). Simmel’s primary emotions are described as triggering adaptive reactions, as they distinguish the

The late 19th and the 20th centuries 55 important and the unimportant, the near and the far, community members and strangers, the sacred and the profane. Simmel recognized that primary emotions can possess a positive or negative valence, as he distinguished between desire and aversion (Gerhards 1986:913). Positive primary emotions create social solidarity; negative primary emotions are defensive of the individual, group, or community. Secondary emotions, in contrast, result from “the perception of Ego of a discrepancy between his own structures of evaluation and specific characteristics of his environment” (Gerhards 1986:910). This discrepancy gives rise to relatively complex affective states. While Simmel attempted not typology of secondary emotions, he considered gratitude, shame, love, and jealousy. 2 Weber saw all kinds of rationality as efforts to order the world into meaningful regularities that can be translated into patterns of social action. In addition to his instrumental– substantive distinction, Weber identified four other types of rationality: practical, theoretical, substantive, and formal (see Kalberg 1980:1145).

Part II

Emotions basic to specific varieties of alienation Contemporary theory and research


Emotions as adaptive reactions to problems of life

Introduction to Part II In Part I, we presented historical accounts of the relationship between alienation and affect. We turn now to contemporary research, particularly to recent advances in emotions theory, in order to link Seeman’s five varieties of alienation to specific emotions. We will utilize a partial classification of the emotions (TenHouten 2007, 2013a) that identifies the primary, or basic, emotions, the secondary emotions (pairs of primary emotions), and the tertiary emotions (triples of primary emotions) that are associated with each variety of alienation. We show that two varieties, normlessness and cultural estrangement, each comprise two kinds. Altogether, we examine seven varieties of alienation. We begin, however, by presenting the concept of primary emotions and we adduce supporting evidence. In emotion theory, there are multiple, conflicting perspectives and approaches to primary, basic, or elementary emotions.

The concept of primary emotions The case for primary emotions The primary emotions are a perennial topic in emotions theory and research. Many emotions researchers, particularly those with an ecological, evolutionary, or affective-neuroscientific orientation (Plutchik 1958, 1962, 1983; Ekman, Sorenson and Friesen 1969; Izard 1977, 2007; Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1989; Buck 1999; Panksepp 2002, 2011; Izard, Woodburn and Finlon 2010; Lövheim 2012) have adduced impressive evidence indicating that a small subset of emotions are elementary, basic, or primary. Many of these researchers see primary emotions as natural kinds having ontological status as causal entities (Shweder 2012). To regard these emotions as natural kinds simply means that they exist as natural ‘groups’ or ‘orders’, as a ‘real set’, and are not artificially combined together as an exercise of human classification. Abundant evidence suggests that the most basic emotions have evolved through natural selection across a wide variety of animal species (Darwin 1872; MacLean 1990). The basic emotions are neural, motivational, and expressive reactions that can occur rapidly in reaction to an environmental stimulus posing an


Emotions basic to alienation

opportunity or a threat (Buck 1999; Izard 2007; Panksepp 2011). These affective responses, in humans, are cognitively elaborated and crucial to the process of sharing important information with conspecifics about pressing problems of life (Plutchik 1962, 1983; MacLean 1990; LaFrenière 2000; Panksepp and Biven 2012:42–3). The basic emotions remain essential for humans’ ability to meet universal survival needs, reproduce, engage with the world, and flourish. Scholars have endeavored to identify the emotions that might be the most basic or primary. Two issues are involved: Is there a set of emotions that are primary, or basic? And if so, which emotions are they? Those who accept some concept of primary emotions have presented lists of these putatively primary emotions, often on the basis of raw intuition and without any theoretical rationale. We propose that there are indeed primary emotions, and that these possess the following properties: (i) address fundamental problems of communication between conspecifics; (ii) address the most central problems of life; (iii) can be shown to have developed in a wide variety of animal species; (iv) are recognized, by sight and sound, crossculturally; (v) are not themselves mixtures or combinations of simpler emotions; and (vi) are able to combine with other primary emotions to form secondary emotions, and combine with secondary emotions to form pathways to tertiary emotions. We propose a theoretical strategy for emotions classification, based upon a synthesis of four well-known typologies. These typologies are (i) Plutchik’s (1983) model of four existential problems; (ii) Plutchik’s (1958, 1962) model of four pairs of oppositely valenced primary emotions that address his four basic problems of life; (iii) MacLean’s (1990) model of four kinds of communicative action; and (iv) Fiske’s (1991) model of four elementary forms of human sociality. Numerous studies point to the existence of several cross-culturally understood emotions. Darwin (1872) argued that, because of their deep evolutionary origins, facial expressions of the simplest emotions, such as joy, fear, and anger, are similar among humans, regardless of culture. Confirming Darwin’s insight, Ekman, Sorenson and Friesen (1969), in studies in New Guinea, Borneo, Brazil, Japan, and the United States, found that tribal-living people, with scant exposure to outsiders, were able to recognize the emotional significance of facial expressions in pictures of individuals from modern societies. Conversely, individuals in modern societies were similarly able to recognize the emotions displayed in images of facial expressions of members of the preliterate cultures. Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1989) showed that deaf and blind children make facial expressions similar to those of non-impaired children, and inferred that several of these emotional expressions are universal, because of genetically inherited “fixed action patterns.” In a comparative study of culturally isolated Namibian villagers and Westerners, Sauter et al. (2010) extended cross-cultural recognition of these primary emotions (excluding surprise) to include nonverbal emotional vocalizations (including screams and laughs). Primary emotions are thus understood cross-culturally both in facial expressions and vocalizations, the two primary means of communicating social signals. On the basis of this and subsequent research, Ekman, Sorenson and Friesen (1969; see also Ekman 1992) have identified six primary emotions – joy, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise.

Emotions as adaptive reactions 61 The case against primary emotions Despite impressive evidence supporting the concept of primary emotions, there are emotions paradigms that do not accept the existence of primary emotions. Many cognitive theorists, psychological constructionists, and social constructionists typically or predominantly reject the existence of primary emotions. Cognitive appraisal theorists generally reject the claim that emotions are intrinsic to the more primitive regions of the brain (Ortony, Clore and Collins 1988; Scherer, Schorr and Johnstone 2001). They instead hold that emotions emerge as neocortical regions of the brain make cognitive sense of bodily processes and others’ behaviors in the context of social situations and events. The emotions we experience, this approach holds, are a function of how and what we cognize as having caused a situation or event and how we interpret the event, including whether we interpret the situation or event as positive or negative. Psychological constructivists (e.g., Lindquist et al. 2012) similarly see discrete emotions as based not on localized brain structures or mechanisms, but rather on general brain networks that are not dedicated to particular emotion categories, but instead are involved in both emotional and non-emotional, and especially, cognitive, operations. Psychological constructivists differ from cognitive-appraisal theorists, because they typically see affective responses as involving irreducible psychological functions which are not specifically dedicated to any discrete emotion. These hypothesized ‘psychological primitives’, however, have not been identified. Both cognitive theorists and psychological constructivists have also claimed that emotions emerge only with infant language capacity; this contention, however, is undermined insofar as (i) these basic, or first-order, emotions emerge in infancy while infants are still relying on subcortical behavioral mechanisms and well before the onset of language (Izard, Woodburn and Finlon 2010); (ii) human babies born without cerebral hemispheres (i.e., anencephalic) cannot become intellectually developed but can grow up to be affectively vibrant if raised in nurturing and stimulating social environments (Shewmon, Holmes and Byrne 1999); and (iii) basic emotions unfold through epigenetic programs according to precise, universal timetables (Sroufe 1997; LaFrenière 2000) and persist throughout the life-span (V. Demos 1983). Social constructivists see emotions as cultural products but not as evolutionary adaptations involving brain structures (Averill 1980; Gordon 1981; Harré 1986; McCarthy 1989; Mesquita and Frijda 1991; Boiger and Mesquita 2012). They find little meaning in identifying an emotion as either primary or complex and tend to dismiss the view that sentiments and emotions can emerge through the combining of basic emotions. Gordon (1981:567), for example, derisively pronounces such a view a “fallacy” and a “reduction” of the social to the psychological. Of course, affective states can be socially constructed, and sociologists and anthropologists of the emotions have contributed greatly to understanding cultural constructions of feelings, sentiments, and emotions. Additionally, in the face of overwhelming evidence from neuropsychology and affective neuroscience, most contemporary


Emotions basic to alienation

social constructivists would concede that emotions cannot arise in the absence of psychological processes, and that these mental processes are, in turn, impossible without underlying neural processing. Influenced by evidence from affective neuroscience, practitioners of the sociology of emotions have offered candidate inventories of primary emotions (Thamm 1992; TenHouten 1996, 2007, 2013b, 2016a, 2016b; J. Turner 2010; Scheff 2015). The utility of the concept of primary emotions depends to a great deal on whether it enables emotions classification, that is, the identification not only of the primary emotions, but also of complex emotions whose constituent elements are basic or primary emotions. Remarkably, little attention has been paid to this potential to use primary emotions as the basis for classifying complex emotions. We propose that, if a specific set of emotions are indeed primary, then all other emotions can be conceptualized as secondary (comprised of two primaries) or tertiary (comprised of three primaries). Plutchik (1962) was the first emotions researcher to attempt a classification of secondary emotions. After considering Plutchik’s model of the primary emotions, we will present, and modify, his tentative classification of secondary emotions.

Emotions and social relations Plutchik’s psychoevolutionary model of the primary emotions While Darwin (1872) saw emotions as adaptive reactions to problems of life, he did not identify these problems and made no effort to classify the many emotions he considered. Plutchik (1962, 1980, 1983), however, developed a psychoevolutionary model in which he identified four such life problems – identity, temporality, hierarchy, and territoriality. For each of these life problems, there can be either an opportunity, or a danger or threat; a situation is either negatively or positively valenced.1 There can thus occur any of eight problem–valence situations, each of which triggers a distinct subjective state of mind which activates a potential adaptive reaction. These eight prototypical adaptive reactions, Plutchik argued, constitute the primary emotions. Plutchik arranged these primary emotions in a circumplex pattern, with the distance between emotions proportional to their dissimilarity (TenHouten 1995, 2007:18–22). The resulting model, which Plutchik called his ‘wheel’ of primary emotions, is shown in Figure 5.1. Plutchik proposed that the eight resulting subjective states comprise the primary emotions. Thus, Plutchik identified eight primary emotions which he analyzed as four pairs of oppositely valenced primary emotions, with each pair addressing one of his four existential problems: For identity, these subjective-states/associated-function are acceptance/incorporation and disgust/rejection; for temporality, joy/reproduction and sadness/reintegration; for hierarchy, anger/destruction and fear/protection; and for territoriality, anticipation2/exploration and surprise/boundary-defense. Plutchik, for example, saw that the positive experience of temporality triggers a feeling of joy–happiness, and that the negative experience of a violation of one’s territory or resources triggers a surprise reaction.

acceptance disgust

incorporation rejection

reproduction reintegration

destruction protection

exploration boundary defense

identity .

temporality .

hierarchy .

territoriality .

positive negative


positive negative

positive negative Anticipation– Expectation











Figure 5.1 (A) Plutchik’s model of the primary emotions and (B) Plutchik’s circumplex or ‘wheel’ of the eight primary emotions

anticipation surprise

anger–rage fear–terror

joy–happiness positive sadness–grief negative


Life Problems Basic functions



Emotions basic to alienation

MacLean’s rescue of Plutchik One limitation of Plutchik’s primary-emotions model is that he presents only scattered evidence that he has correctly identified the most basic problems of life. He based his fourfold model of life problems not on rigorous experimental studies of animal and human brains, but rather on insights gleaned from other scholars who speculatively presented similar inventories of ‘existential’ problems. Additionally, Plutchik (1980:147) had little to say about the social processes through which individuals might confront these four problems of life. His conceptualization therefore suffers a sociological emptiness, which to some extent has undermined his model’s appeal to practitioners of the social sciences, social psychologists, and social neuroscientists. However, Plutchik’s model has gained a level of validation through the evolutionary neuroethology of MacLean (1990). In his program of comparative research on lizards, rats, and humans, MacLean reached two broad conclusions: (i) the human brain has evolved a triune structure, consisting of reptilian, mammalian, and neomammalian levels of brain development, and (ii) even for reptiles, there have evolved four kinds of communicative displays (see below). MacLean’s triune brain model has both critics (Reiner 1990; Butler and Hodos 1996; LeDoux 1996) and defenders (Cory 2002; Panksepp 2002), but his fourfold model of communicative displays is on solid footing. While the advent of the mammalian brain led to elaboration of the emotions as adaptive reactions, MacLean found that proto-emotional adaptive reactions are enabled by the forebrains of pre-mammalian animals, variously called the “reptilian brain,” the “R-complex,” and the “striatal complex.” The R-complex consists of the upper part of the brainstem, the diencephalon, parts of the midbrain, and the dorsal portion of the basil ganglia (the dorsal striatum, which contains as its major parts the caudate and putamen). The basil ganglia exist throughout pre-mammalian animals, including all reptiles, birds, fish, eels, and amphibians, and have been preserved and elaborated in brains of mammals and humans. The advent of the limbic system in mammals (Joseph 2012), and the neocortex in humans, have hardly rendered the R-complex obsolete. The human basil ganglia play an important role in rational decision-making by contributing to action selection, or the process of deciding which of multiple possible actions to execute (Balasubramani et al. 2015). The human brain’s basal ganglia contribute to social communication, social displays, and affect-laden social relations. Following caudate damage, there is degraded motivation capacity and degraded speech quality, with verbal responses slow, abulic, terse, incomplete, and emotionally flat. While the exact functions of the R-complex are not fully understood, studies (reviewed by Van Lancker Sidtis et al. 2006) suggest that, in humans, this ancient brain architecture remains essential for behaviorally motivated, affect-laden social signaling and communicative displays. MacLean identified exactly four such communicative displays: (i) signature displays; (ii) territorial displays; (iii) courtship displays; and (iv) challenge or dominance (and submission) displays. MacLean’s experimental studies indicated that

Emotions as adaptive reactions 65 these displays are found even in lizards and are enabled by the R-complex. There is clearly an isomorphism between MacLean’s and Plutchik’s models: Maclean’s signature displays underlie Plutchik’s problem of identity; courtship displays underlie temporality (the cycle of life and death); challenge and submission displays underlie hierarchy; and territorial displays underlie territoriality. Thus, if MacLean’s model is valid, and the mapping of one model onto the other is justified, then it follows that Plutchik’s model is likely also valid. Fiske’s social-relations model sociologically generalizes the Plutchik–MacLean model Given its alignment with MacLean’s communicative displays, Plutchik’s model of the eight primary emotions gains a neurobiological foundation. To enhance understanding of human emotions in their social contexts, however, it is helpful to generalize Plutchik’s four life-problems to the most elementary of social relations. Fiske (1991) provides a key for such theoretical elaboration. He proposes that, across human cultures, there are just four elementary social relationships, which he terms “equality matching” (EM), “communal sharing” (CS), “authority ranking” (AR), and “market pricing” (MP). Equality-matched social relations involve egalitarian interactions among peers who are distinct but co-equal. EM relations are manifested in turn-taking, in-kind reciprocity, distributive justice, matched contributions, lex talionis retaliatory vengeance, and equality of voice in decision-making. Communally shared social relations are close and personal, and include kinship relations which enable perpetuation of the group beyond the individual, which includes the functions of sexual reproduction and community reintegration following the loss of a member. Authority-ranked social relations pertain to communicative displays of social power, domination, influence, and status competition in social hierarchies that involve anger and fear. Market-priced social relations involve territory (an activity range) that provides valued resources; in humans, this extends to socioeconomic behavior. We propose mapping the combined MacLean–Plutchik model into Fiske’s social relations model: Accordingly: (i) signature–identity generalizes into EM-based social relations; (ii) courtship–temporality, into CS; (iii) dominance– hierarchy, into AR; and (iv) territory–territoriality, that is, control of resources in the environment, into MP (TenHouten 2013b:27–42). The resulting model is displayed in Figure 5.2. This model is useful for understanding, and even predicting, the relationship between involvement in (valenced) social relations and the experience of the primary emotions (and vice versa). Thus, for example, an individual immersed in a positive experience of CS, in a close personal relationship with a significant other, can be predicted to experience joy or happiness. Similarly, an individual experiencing a negative experience of MP (MP−), upon realizing that his or her resources are threatened, can be predicted to experience surprise.


Emotions basic to alienation

Anger Fear Plutchik’s Four Pairs of Primary Emotions

Anticipation Surprise

Fiske’s Four Social Relations

Market Pricing

Joy–Happiness Sadness Acceptance Disgust Authority Ranking Communal Sharing

Equality Matching Hierarchy

Plutchik’s Four Existential Problems


Temporality Identity Dominance and Submission

McLean’s Four Communicative Displays


Courtship Signature

Figure 5.2 Continuities in the models of MacLean, Plutchik, and Fiske

From primary to higher-order emotions [P]assions are susceptible of an entire union; and like colours, may be blended so perfectly together, that each of them may lose itself and contribute only to vary that uniform impression which arises from the whole. Some of the most curious phenomena of the human mind are deriv’d from this property of the passions. – David Hume ([1739] 1978:366)

Du and colleagues (Du and Martinez 2011; Du, Tao and Martinez 2014) have studied the 15 possible secondary emotions formed through pairings of the 6 emotions Ekman and colleagues have demonstrated to be cross-culturally recognizable (joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise). In a study of 230 subjects, they found that the facial muscles involved in the secondary-level emotions were the same facial muscles involved in the component primary emotions. For example, the facial expression for a happy surprise (interpreted here as delight) combines muscle movements observed in both happy and surprised facial expressions. For the 21 (6 primary, 15 secondary) defined categories, a computational model of face perception was used to produce facial expressions. It was found that most of these categories were visually discriminated by the subjects. These results lend important evidentiary support of the concepts of primary and second-order emotions. Using his primary-emotions model, Plutchik (1962:117–18) had attempted a provisional classification of secondary emotions. Plutchik saw his effort as a development of Darwin’s (1872) evolutionary theory of emotions, wherein Darwin provided a “principle of antithesis,” according to which opposite situations

Emotions as adaptive reactions 67 evoke opposite emotional reactions. Yet, Plutchik did not propose that opposite pairs of emotions could combine to form secondary emotions; for example, he did not show that the combination of anger and fear could induce a state of frozenness or tonic immobility. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) also presented no candidate for the combination of surprise and disgust, interpreted elsewhere as shock (TenHouten 2007:88–90). Thus, of 28 possible pairings of 8 primary emotions, Plutchik defined just 23. Plutchik’s designed his circumplex or “wheel” of primary emotions so that the distances between emotions reflected their dissimilarity. Pairs of adjacent emotions are called “primary dyads,” emotions two positions apart, “secondary dyads,” and those three positions apart, “tertiary dyads.” Plutchik did not define emotions that are four positions apart, but we include them in Table 5.1 and call them “quaternary dyads.” Plutchik’s model, and a revision, are shown in this table.

Table 5.1 Plutchik’s 1962 classification of the secondary emotions, a revision, and hypothesized associated elementary social relations Secondary Emotions Primary Dyads acceptance & joy joy & anger anger & anticipation anticipation & disgust disgust & sadness sadness & fear fear & surprise surprise & acceptance Secondary Dyads acceptance & anger acceptance & fear anger & disgust

disgust & fear joy & surprise sadness & surprise joy & anticipation sadness & anticipation

Plutchik’s 1962 Definitions

A Revised Classification

Social Relations

love pride aggression, revenge, stubbornness cynicism misery, remorse, forlornness despair, guilt alarm, awe curiosity

love pride aggressiveness


cynicism loneliness


shame alarm, awe curiosity


dominance submissiveness scorn, loathing, indignation, contempt, hate, resentment shame, prudishness

dominance submissiveness




repugnance, abhorrence delight disappointment






delight embarrassment, disappointment optimism, courage, hopefulness, conceit optimism pessimism




Emotions basic to alienation

Table 5.1 (Continued) Secondary Emotions Tertiary Dyads anger & surprise joy & fear acceptance & sadness surprise & disgust fear & anticipation sadness & anger disgust & joy anticipation & acceptance Quaternary Dyads acceptance & disgust joy & sadness anger & fear anticipation & surprise

Plutchik’s 1962 Definitions

A Revised Classification

Social Relations

outrage, resentment, hate guilt resignation, sentimentality ? anxiety, caution, dread, cowardliness, distrust envy, sullenness



guilt resignation


shock anxiety

MP− AR+ AR−, MP+

sullenness, balefulness derisiveness resourcefulness, fatalism

CS–, AR+

ambivalence bittersweetness frozenness, tonic immobility confusion, discombobulation

EM+, EM– CS+, CS– AR+, AR–

morbidness fatalism

— –– –– ––

EM–, CS+ MP+, EM+

MP+, MP–

Sources: TenHouten (2007:111, 2013b:18–19). Note: The secondary emotions included in one or more of the seven varieties of alienation are shown in italics.

Plutchik did not endeavor to define any of the 56 possible tertiary emotions, even though his classification of secondary emotions omitted affective states that would appear to be tertiary emotions, including jealousy, envy, discouragement, despair, resentment, hatred, dread, worry, and vengefulness. Yet, Plutchik ([1962] 1991:156) indirectly raised the possibility of tertiary emotions by suggesting that “feelings of resentment are composed of (at least) disgust and anger.” Additionally, Plutchik proposed that surprise is also linked to resentment, by suggesting that “anger + surprise = outrage, resentment, hate” (Plutchik [1962] 1991:118). It has been proposed that resentment is indeed a tertiary emotion, so that “resentment = disgust & anger & surprise” (TenHouten 2013b:20). A model of resentment as a tertiary emotion, that is, as containing three primary emotions and three secondary emotions, will be developed in Chapter 8. The present theoretical model, Affect Spectrum Theory (AST) (TenHouten 1996, 2007, 2013b, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c), suggests that – given knowledge of individuals’ involvement in (valenced) social relations – it is possible to predict occurrences of primary emotions and, in principle, of secondary and tertiary emotions. For example, the primary emotions joy–happiness and surprise are predicted

Emotions as adaptive reactions 69 by (CS+) and (MP−), respectively. If love can be defined, as Plutchik does, as a mixture of joy–happiness and acceptance, then love can be predicted to result from the interactive effect of CS+ and EM+. And, if resentment is comprised of disgust, anger, and surprise, then it can arise in complex situations in which an individual experiences EM−, AR+, and MP−. Moreover, this would mean resentment includes in its meaning the secondary emotions contempt (anger & disgust), outrage (anger & surprise), and shock (surprise & disgust).

Discussion The weight of contemporary evidence, much of it from affective neuroscience, strongly supports the view that primary emotions exist, and that all humans work from a common palette of affective responses (Tomkins 1962, 1963; Delgado 2004). This work advocates the view that basic emotions do indeed exist, each addressing a fundamental problem of life, each linked to a specific elementary social relationship, and all subject to classification. The four approaches to emotion – (i) cognitive appraisal theory, (ii) psychological constructionism, (iii) social constructionism, and (iv) primary emotions theory – all contribute to our understanding of emotions. While these theories have been widely seen as competitive, they all, to a degree, contain truth value (Chiao 2015:2). The position we develop here does not claim that appraisal and constructivist approaches have no explanatory power; clearly they do. We instead claim that practitioners of cognitive and constructivist approaches are unnecessarily dismissive of the concept of primary emotions. We further propose that development of the primary-emotions approach to the study of emotions is largely compatible with other approaches, and more importantly provides insights that draw us closer to a broader understanding of the emotions in relation to psychological processes and participation in the social world. Perhaps the two most useful models of primary emotions are those presented by Ekman and colleagues and by Plutchik. The six emotions that possess crosscultural facial recognition are identified by both Ekman and Plutchik as primary. Plutchik’s model also includes acceptance and anticipation, which do not possess distinct facial expressions. If Plutchik’s model is valid, then cross-culturally recognized facial expression is a sufficient, but might not be a necessary, criterion for regarding an emotion as primary. This would mean that anticipation and acceptance, despite lacking facial-expression correlates, are indeed primary. This issue cannot be resolved here, even though we hold that MacLean, Plutchik, and Fiske present valid models and that there is an isomorphic continuity between their models. There are at least two additional grounds for regarding anticipation and acceptance primary. First, if Darwin’s principal of antithesis is valid, then if disgust is primary, its opposite, acceptance, must also be primary; likewise, if surprise is primary, its opposite, anticipation, is also primary. And second, several emotions not regarded as primary can be classified as higher-order emotions that contain anticipation and/or acceptance. (i) According to the present classification, emotions


Emotions basic to alienation

that contain anticipation include aggressiveness (anger & anticipation), cynicism (anticipation of disgust), pessimism (anticipation of sadness), anxiety (a fearful anticipation), and confusion (anticipating one outcome, then being surprised by another). (ii) Proposed secondary emotions involving acceptance include love (joyful acceptance of another), dominance (experiencing others accepting one’s anger, functionally moving toward a contested goal), ambivalence (feeling both accepted and rejected), resignation (acceptance of an impending saddening outcome), submissiveness (fearfully accepting, or acquiescing to, the goal-directed anger of another), and curiosity (acceptance–openness to the new and surprising). (iii) The combination of acceptance and anticipation can be interpreted as resourcefulness (exploring the environment – the function of anticipation, and incorporating resources – the function of acceptance). A secondary meaning of resourcefulness is found in fatalism, where one hopes for resources enabled by some ineffable or subtle agent (e.g., Lady Luck). Of course, it can be argued that these putative emotions are really socialintention states, or sentiments, and being more complex than their primary components, they possess high levels of cognitive content. Both points are valid, but we note that (i) all emotions (with the possible exception of fear induced by a falling branch) and anger (upon stubbing one’s toe) are social intention states, a conclusion that has been amply demonstrated in the sociology of emotions; and (ii) it makes sense that secondary emotions would have more cognitive content than primary emotions. It also seems reasonable to speculate that tertiary emotions would, in turn, have a higher level of cognitive content than do secondary emotions. This would appear to be true of complex emotions such as resentment, envy, dread, and despair. The perspective developed here embraces the notion of primary emotions, each of which exists as a natural kind, with distinct neural correlates, and lack of which has evolved as a genetically inherited response to the most fundamental problems of life. Social constructivists tend to reject the idea of primary emotions, but, even if their position is incorrect, it does not distract from their contribution to our understanding of how socially learned cultural scripts transmit features of emotions and how they can communicate affective states (Chiao 2015). While the debate about the existence, or non-existence, of primary emotions continues unabated, less attention has focused upon what follows from the answer to this question. If there are no primary emotions, and all emotions therefore exist sui generis, then there can be no hierarchical classification of the emotions. However, if primary emotions do exist – and the evidence reviewed above points to that conclusion, then their identification becomes important. It then becomes possible to classify, and thus better understand, the complex emotions formed from pairs and triples of the primary emotions. It additionally becomes possible to distinguish complex emotions from affective states, or from sentiments, that are not emotions. Plutchik recognized this implication of his model of primary emotions, and this recognition led him to an innovative, if not entirely successful, classification of secondary emotions. Plutchik, however, took little subsequent interest in explaining or investigating his own classification of secondary emotions, and he made

Emotions as adaptive reactions 71 only a tentative gesture toward classifying one possibly tertiary-level emotion, resentment. There are important complex emotions that, according to the present classification, are neither primary nor secondary, and therefore might well be tertiary. Among these possible emotions are envy, jealousy, bliss, confidence, hatred, and despair. Other complex affective states important for social life might or might not be definable as tertiary emotions; these include ruthlessness, disillusionment, enmity, enthusiasm, and grouchiness. It will take considerable effort to determine which affective states are best defined as specific tertiary emotions or as socially constructed sentiments. Without a model of primary emotions, these questions about higher-order emotions cannot be resolved either conceptually or empirically. Many prominent scholars have argued that emotions cannot be classified. In philosophy, Spinoza ([1677] 1957:63) opined that, “the emotions may be compounded one with another in so many ways, and so many variations may arise therefore, as to exceed all possibility of computation.” In sociology, Durkheim and Mauss ([1903] 1963:86–97) reached the remarkable conclusion that all social classifications are ultimately based on sentiments, and that the “emotional value of notions . . . is the dominant characteristic in classification.” At the same time, they lamented, “States of an emotional nature . . . mingle their properties in such a way that they cannot be rigorously categorized.” In contrast, it is a premise of this work that there is indeed a set of basic, or elementary, emotions with deep evolutionary roots, existing as natural kinds, and that Plutchik correctly identified these nearly six decades ago, in 1958. If this is indeed the case, then the number of more complex emotions that can be formed from the basic emotions is not, as Spinoza asserted, beyond all possible computation. Instead, it can be inferred, by combinatorial logic, that if there are 8 primary emotions, then there can be as many as 28 secondary emotions, 56 tertiary emotions, and 92 emotions in all. While the neurophilosophical debate concerning the existence of basic or primary emotions will long continue, the evidence increasingly shows that there exists a set of basic or primary emotions that are deeply embedded in the evolution of animal life. While psychological constructivists have presented coherent, well-reasoned arguments to the contrary, it would not be unwarranted to propose yet another criterion for regarding an emotion as primary. In particular, we propose that a primary emotion can be evoked without great difficulty in a laboratory setting, where its associated brainwork can be neurometrically measured using various functional imaging technologies or evoked-potential paradigms. In their meta-analytic review of such research, which concludes that there are no primary emotions, Lindquist et al. (2012) reported extensively on just five emotions – joy, anger, disgust, sadness, and fear. What lies beyond the reach of contemporary affective neuroscience is a consideration of more complex emotions. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholars ranging from Enlightenment sentimentalists to romanticists, to Kantians and Hegelians, to empiricists were in broad agreement that human emotions such as love, pride, and ambition, if properly channeled and morally grounded, can contribute to human progress (L. Crocker 1963; James 1997; Frazer 2010). Are these and other complex emotions all sui generis, socially and culturally constructed, and beyond the possibility of classification?


Emotions basic to alienation

Or, can they be classified as secondary or even tertiary emotions? This remains a fundamental, unresolved question, not only for affective neuroscience but also for neuroanthropology, neuroeconomics, neuropolitics, and neurosociology. In order to address this problem, it will be necessary to take a multi-level approach, and to recognize that feeling, sentiment, and emotion not only involve brainwork, but also emerge at the intersection of body, mind, and society.

Notes 1 The experience of hedonic ‘valence’, meaning pleasant or unpleasant feelings, and the presentation of objects as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ has been shown not to be supported by specific brain systems (Lindquist et al. 2012). This does not mean, however, that specific primary emotions do not possess valence. Anger, for example, while hedonically negative inasmuch as it is typically unpleasant for all involved, can be considered a positive emotion in that it is an approach-oriented, goal-directed emotion that prioritizes the attainment of favorable outcomes (Tomarken and Zald 2009). It is a re-assertive response to goal blockage or denigration (Carver and Harmon-Jones 2009). Anger of mild intensity can enhance analytic processing (Moons and Mackie 2007), and its approach-motivated features are visible even in infancy (He et al. 2010). 2 Anticipation has an elaborate brain infrastructure (Panksepp 1998:144–63; Brunia 1999), and is synonymous with “interest–excitement” (Tomkins 1962:336–8; Izard 1977:189–238) and the “appetitive motivational seeking system” (Panksepp and Biven 2012:95–144).


Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions

Introduction In Part I, we examined major social theorists’ conceptualizations of alienation. Not included was the seminal scholar Émile Durkheim, whose Suicide ([1897] 1960:58–9, 67, 72–5) spoke of “mental alienation” in reference to individuals who have lost sanity, or are out of their minds. Durkheim also presented a penetrating analysis of normlessness, one of our five varieties of alienation; he linked normlessness not to alienation, but to the closely related concept of anomie. In particular, Durkheim investigated egoistic, altruistic, and anomic types of suicide and linked them to “fundamental” and “secondary” affective states. He further broadened his earlier conceptualization of anomie as a deficiency in social interaction (Durkheim [1893] 1984:291–309) by elaborating a microsociological analysis that conceptualized anomie as involving individuals’ departures from, or lack of regulation by, the normative order. Durkheim recognized that the normative order of the group is the ultimate source of social regulation that guides and constrains human behavior. Implicit in Durkheim’s Suicide are dualistic conceptualizations of both normlessness and anomie: one is a self-seeking, intentional, and ruthless disregard of norms; the other, an unintentional, discouraging uncertainty about the normative order. We explicate this twofold distinction in order to develop causal models relating two kinds of normlessness–anomie to specific emotions and to potential secondary affect-laden behavioral consequences, including both suicide and homicide. Durkheim argued that the management and control of the emotions plays an important role in maintaining social order. Normative dysregulation, Durkheim ([1897] 1960:258; cited in Marks 1974:332) asserted, manifests in “consequent sufferings,” which can in turn move affected individuals to acts of violence, including suicide and homicide. Durkheim identified annual rates of these violent acts as indicative of pathological social disorder. Durkheim developed a fourfold model of suicidality and attendant affective states of mind by combining two levels of social organization, the functional integration into, and the regulation by, the normative order of the group or society. He saw egoistic and altruistic suicide impacted by societal under- and over-integration, while anomic and fatalistic suicide resulted from under- and over-regulation.


Emotions basic to alienation

Durkheim further proposed a link between social organization and the emotions, and accordingly developed a highly tentative cross-classification of “basic” and “mixed” types of suicide, which he linked to “fundamental” and to “secondary” socioaffective states. Durkheim’s ([1897] 1960:293) summary chart is exactly replicated as Table 6.1. Rather than analyzing Durkheim’s entire model, we will focus on just one row entry of this “aetiological and morphological” cross-classification of basic and mixed types of suicide and their associated affective states, namely “anomic suicide.” Durkheim linked his entry, “anomic suicide,” (i) to the “fundamental” emotions “irritation” (more generally, anger) and “disgust” (with “disappointment” discussed in the text but not tabled), and (ii) to the “secondary” socioaffective states of “violent recriminations . . . against life in general” and/or “against one particular person (homicide/suicide).” Durkheim’s model of the emotions interior to anomie, and anomie’s possible links to suicide and homicide, is part summary, part speculation, and highly tentative; it does not broach the possibility that yet other emotions might be involved in anomie and its potential behavioral consequences. We elaborate Durkheim’s model of normative dysregulation – together with anomie as an affect-laden state of mind – in order to identify its potential behavioral consequences. Toward this end, we investigate Durkheim’s twofold conceptualization of normlessness–anomie, and identify key affect-laden, anomic states of mind which are associated with, and can emerge in, each of these two normative orientations. We conceptualize each of these two states of mind as based upon three primary emotions and three secondary emotions. We hypothesize that these affective orientations potentially contribute, on the one hand, to states ranging from shamelessness to premeditated homicidality; and, on the other, to states ranging from depression to suicidality. Table 6.1 Aetiological and morphological classification of social types of suicide Individual Forms Assumed Fundamental Character

Basic types

Secondary Varieties

Egoistic suicide


Indolent melancholy with self-complacence The skeptic’s disillusioned sangfroid

Altruistic suicide

Energy of With calm feeling of duty passion With mystic enthusiasm or will With peaceful courage

Anomic suicide

Irritation, Violent recriminations against life in general disgust Violent recriminations against one particular person (homicide-suicide)

Ego-anomic suicide

Mixture of agitation and apathy, of action and reverie

Anomic-altruistic suicide

Exasperated effervescence

Mixed types Ego-altruistic suicide Source: Durkheim ([1897] 1960:293)

Melancholy tempered with moral fortitude

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


Active, intentional normlessness1–anomie1 Durkheim’s analysis of normative under-regulation suggests that normlessness, as experienced by the individual, possesses a twofold nature: one of intentional and active norm violation (normlessness1) and the other of unintentional and passive norm violation, resulting from ambiguous normative expectations (normlessness2). Active, intentional normlessness1 Durkheim saw that, in modern societies, most individuals internalize moral norms, and are adequately socialized, becoming “docile to collective authority, that is . . . [possessing] a wholesome moral constitution” (Durkheim [1897] 1960:250). At the same time, Durkheim saw the necessity of normative constraints on individual action, because pre-socialized or under-socialized individuals inherently tend to pursue their self-interest. Durkheim defined self-interest as seeking, without limitation, one’s needs, passions, and desires. “Men’s passions,” Durkheim ([1893] 1984:xxxii–xxxiii), in a Hobbesian moment, declared, “are only stayed by a moral presence they respect. If all authority of this kind is lacking, it is the law of the strongest that rules, and a state of warfare, either latent or acute, is necessarily endemic.” Durkheim ([1897] 1960:255–6) saw modern industrial organization as creating tendencies in some under-regulated individuals toward a “liberation of desires” and “overexcited ambition,” such that, “From top to bottom of the ladder, greed is aroused without knowing where to find ultimate foothold. Nothing can calm it, since its goal is far beyond all it can attain.” Durkheim emphasized the destructive effects of individuals who show such disregard for the moral order, and fail to conduct themselves morally, “which is a matter of abiding by a norm, determining what conduct should obtain in a given instance” (Durkheim [1925] 1961:23, 37). Durkheim thus maintained that the force of human passions, desires, and emotions motivates individuals, especially in the modern world, to strive for social success, positions of dominance, and the acquisition of wealth and resources, a human propensity necessitating the social regulation of individuals’ behavior. While material needs are regulated by the body, socioemotional needs are not so regulated, for they are unlimited. “Our capacity for feeling,” Durkheim ([1897] 1960:361, 252) wrote, is an “insatiable and bottomless abyss.” Because individuals cannot easily limit their strivings, desires, and passions, Durkheim reasoned, these can only be controlled by the regulatory force of a society’s moral order. Society (and especially the state, which can back up its rules and norms with sanctions [Durkheim 1900]), is the only moral power superior to the individual. Adequate regulation of individuals’ desires, passions, and associated behavior, Durkheim explained, depends upon societal members sharing basic values and behavioral norms derived from their cultural heritage and belief systems. Societies undergoing rapid change provide opportunities for normless behavior. But even in the most stable societies, individuals can willfully break norms, violate rules, and immorally inflict injury on others. Normlessness1–anomie1 can


Emotions basic to alienation

obtain when individuals have not been adequately socialized to internalize group norms or intentionally violate norms (Meštrović and Brown 1985; Meštrović 1987, 1988). Durkheim discussed deviant individual-level behaviors wherein moral rules (règles) and norms are willfully broken; these aberrant behaviors include perversion, vice, debauchery, dissolute conduct, larceny, and cruelty. Durkheim saw these as the secular equivalent of sin, or the profaning of the sacred (Meštrović and Brown 1985; Meštrović 1988). Modern societies include many individuals who are alienated from the normative order or view it as navigable for their own ends. These individuals possess instrumentally manipulative, aggressive, even Machiavellian attitudes; they will lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, or cunningly outwit others to achieve their goals. Anomie1 The French anomie has been variously translated into English as ‘normlessness’, ‘normative confusion’, ‘dysregulation’, and ‘deregulation’ (see Dohrenwend 1959:472; La Capra 1972:159). Durkheim’s only synonym for anomie was dérèglement, for which ‘normlessness’ and ‘deregulation’ are poor translations (Lalande [1926] 1980:61; citing Durkheim [1897] 1983:281). The concepts of ‘normlessness’ came into usage only in the late 1950s (e.g., Seeman 1959) and did not exist in Durkheim’s time (Meštrović 1988:62–3). Our first kind of anomie (anomie1) differs from normlessness, and is perhaps best translated as derangement; it is a deranged, morally compromised state of mind in which the individual, holding an attitude that the norms of society can be violated out of self-interest (normlessness1), can develop an affect-laden state of mind that finds enjoyment and a sense of pride; this comprises an interrelated set of emotions including anger, disgust, contempt, and derisiveness toward any individual, or any normative order, standing in one’s way. There is thus a close relationship between active, intentional disregard for the normative order (normlessness1) and the resulting anomic state of mind (anomie1). There is nonetheless a distinction between the individual’s normless orientation to the social world (a willingness to ruthlessly manipulate and potentially cause suffering to others, in order to attain one’s desires and ambitions), and the passions that are released in service of these ends. These cognitive–affective sentiments, which Durkheim, rather vaguely, referred to as “passions,” find expression in specific emotions. Durkheim posited that the key emotions of anomie are anger and disgust; in terms of contemporary emotions theory, these can be described not as passions but rather as externally focused sociomoral emotions.

Passive, unintentional normlessness2–anomie2 Passive, unintentional normlessness2 A different kind of normlessness, normlessness2, can obtain when individuals are unsure of which norms to follow. This uncertainty can be due to moral dilemmas,

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


incompatible cultural or ethnic memberships, or a lack of moral clarity following acute or gradual social change in economy, polity, theology, or domestic life that undermines established value systems. Thus, in addition to active, intentional disregard for the norms of proper conduct, Durkheim also described circumstances in which the normative order is not disregarded but is rather not clearly understood. This can occur when tumultuous, or gradual, social and cultural changes generate considerable normative heterogeneity or present moral uncertainty. In such situations, individuals can be perplexed, suffer ambiguity and instability in the moral order; experience loss of a job or a valued social bond; suffer oppressive conditions of war or conquest; endure a norm-weakening national disaster; or be exploited, victimized, or perceive they are being harmed or humiliated by contemptuous, derisive practitioners of the cognitive-affective sentiment, normlessness1–anomie1. Thus, when norms of proper behavior have become unclear, confusing, nonbinding, or even incomprehensible, there is “uncertainty about what behavior is appropriate in various social situations” (Jessor et al. 1968:102). Neal and Collas (2000:122) observe that “Normlessness derives partly from conditions of complexity and conflict in which individuals become unclear about the composition and enforcement of social norms . . . and the norms that usually operate may no longer seem adequate as guidelines for conduct.” This moral uncertainty occurs where “the conditions of life are changed” and “the standards according to which needs were regulated can no longer remain the same” (Durkheim [1897] 1960:253). Under these unstable social conditions, Durkheim ([1897] 1960:253), with some exaggeration, wrote: The scale is upset; but a new scale cannot be immediately improvised. Time is required for the public conscience to reclassify men and things. So long as the social forces thus freed have not regained equilibrium, their respective values are unknown and so all regulation is lacking for the time. The limits are unknown between the possible and the impossible, what is just and what is unjust, legitimate claims and hopes and those which are immoderate. Anomie2 Durkheim’s broad definition of morality permitted him to stretch the concept, anomie, to include affect-laden states of mind arising where norms are not so much deliberately transgressed as they are in flux, even chaotic, and subject to unintentional violation. Under trying, distressing, and possibly confusing circumstances, individuals can become prone to develop an affect-laden state of mind wherein they experience a range of emotions (and consequent behavioral propensities) which are quite distinct from those of anomie1; these therefore can be seen as a second kind of anomie, anomie2, a distinction not drawn by Durkheim. But what are these emotions? Durkheim’s classification linked anomic suicide to the affective states “irritation, disgust,” “agitation,” and “exasperate[ion].” But these appear to describe emotions of anomie1. The only emotions Durkheim discussed that can reasonably be linked to the proposed more passive kind of anomie2 are


Emotions basic to alienation

disappointment and sadness. Identifying the specific emotions of anomie1–2, an obvious next step, requires a closer look at Durkheim’s linkage of emotions to suicide and at a useful model of how emotions are classified in emotions research.

Emotions in Durkheim’s social types of suicide Durkheim had sought to causally link “morphological” types of suicide (egoistic, altruistic, anomic) to actual procedures of suicide (hanging, shooting, drowning, etc.), but was “surprised and disappointed” at being unable to establish any such linkages (Gane 2005:232). In a departure from his own Rules of Sociological Method, Durkheim (1895) next linked types of suicide to affective states, using observations from historical accounts, literary fiction, and made-up dramatizations and illustrations. He saw egoistic suicide performed with “apathetic” emotional detachment; altruistic suicide, with “cool reserve”; and anomic suicide, with anger, disgust, and disappointment. Durkheim’s classification (in Table 6.1) also described “secondary emotional characteristics” of the three pure and three mixed social types of suicide shown in Table 6.1. For anomic suicide, Durkheim described the “secondary” affect as “violent recrimination” (Durkheim [1897] 1960:293). Upon attributing these affective states to types of suicide, Durkheim further identified these as the driving causal force of suicidality. With this theoretical model, Durkheim was “beginning to work with a sociology of social emotions” (Gane 2005:234). The affective states of mind Durkheim linked to egoistic and altruistic suicide, namely disillusioned apathy, and calm but energetic feelings of duty, respectively, are “highly specific emotional states” (Gane 2005:232). Yet, “disillusioned apathy” and “energetic feelings” are not emotions and, by the standards of contemporary emotions theory, are far from “highly specific.” However, the states of mind Durkheim attributed to anomic suicide – “irritation” (anger), “disgust,” and “disappointment,” are specific emotions, and therefore can be incorporated in the models of anomie1 and anomie2 proposed below. Despite Durkheim’s tentative forays into a sociology of emotions, his rationale for linking anomic suicide, and anomie in general, to the emotions disgust, anger, and disappointment, is problematic, for three reasons: (i) Durkheim was focusing on anomie, in general, whereas different kinds of anomie involve different emotions. While the three emotions (anger, disgust, disappointment) are indeed implicated in anomie, they cannot all be placed in the same subtype of anomie. We rather propose that, while anger and disgust are emotions basic to anomie1, disappointment belongs to anomie2. (ii) Anger and disgust are primary emotions, but disappointment is a secondary emotion, a mixture of surprise and sadness; this presents a problem of classification (see below). (iii) We will see that both subtypes of anomie involve emotions not identified as such, or even mentioned, by Durkheim. For anomie1, these additional

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


emotions include the primary emotion joy–happiness and the secondary emotions contempt, pride, and derisiveness; anomie2 additionally includes the primary emotions fear and surprise, and the secondary emotions shame and alarm. Pursuing Durkheim’s project, we propose a more complex model of the emotional basis of anomie. As our first step, we identify a sufficient inventory of basic or primary emotions, provide a justification for combining these emotions, and interpret the resultant mixtures as higher-order emotions.

Ruthlessness and the emotions of active, intentional anomie1 Normlessness1–anomie1-infused individuals can be understood both cognitively and by the prominence of certain complex emotions embedded in their personalities and character structures. These strong, externally focused emotions form the affective basis of anomie1. Contemporary research concerning personality variables identifies potential antecedents of unethical or immoral (normlessness1–anomie1-type) behavior. Durkheim’s model of normlessness1–anomie1 is close in meaning to the contemporary concept of social dominance orientation (SDO) (Sidanius and Pratto 1999). This is closely linked to two key secondary emotions of anomie, pride and shame. Individuals high on normlessness1– anomie1 are apt to be “‘ruthless’ in their pursuit of desirable goals” (Wilson 2003:549), and tend to display two pathologies: (i) Their morality is relativistic, meaning they tend to reject the moral comparability of actions across situations and actors, including the universality of moral rules; and (ii) their morality lacks idealism, the belief that one’s actions should never harm others. Seeking advantage in hierarchical social systems, those who seek to establish and maintain positions of social dominance can take pride in doing so, and can act to the detriment of those at lower levels, whom they can regard with contempt and treat derisively. In the analysis to follow, we assume that the reader has an intuitive grasp of Ekman’s six primary emotions, all six of which play a role in anomie. Anomie1 is hypothesized to include the primary emotions anger, disgust, and joy–happiness; these combine in a pairwise manner to form contempt, pride, and derisiveness. While a number of complex emotions can be associated with normlessness1, ruthlessness appears to be central. Given that the secondary emotions contempt, pride, and derisiveness share just three primary emotions, we propose that ruthlessness is a tertiary emotion, that is, a mixture of three primary emotions: Ruthlessness1 = Joy–Happiness & Anger & Disgust The word ruth (Middle English ruthe, reuthe) means: (i) pity and compassion for the misery or suffering of another, together with sorrow about such suffering; (ii) “sorrow for one’s own faults” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary online), “flaws,” or “misdeeds” (American Heritage Dictionary 1996). It follows from


Emotions basic to alienation

the definition of ruth that the adjective ruthless means “feeling or showing no pity or compassion; . . . unsparing, merciless, remorseless” (Oxford). Charney (1997:6) described ruthlessness in the cultivation of power as “stepping on other people entirely regardless of the cost to them.” These definitions do not equate ruthlessness with selfishness, for unselfish, utilitarian actions can nonetheless be ruthless, performed for utilitarian motives, and devoid of empathy or compassion. For normal individuals, the prospect of ignoring others’ feelings, harming others, or causing others’ loss of competitive position or suffering triggers anxiety and activates affective brain regions (e.g., Kiehl et al. 2001). Those whose behaviors and attitudes fall somewhere in the sociopathic spectrum display a utilitarian component to their moral judgments (Bartels and Pizarro 2011); they react with low anxiety and low activation of the emotion systems that typically trigger aversion to harming others. Some sociopaths experience high anxiety (Newman et al. 1990) and can be less utilitarian than low-anxiety psychopaths; both are, on average, less anxious than normal controls when facing moral dilemmas (Koenigs et al. 2012). The root of sociopathy is the placing of little value on treating others empathically and indifference to their fate or suffering; this is a cognitive–affective style that is freely expressed in the absence of anxiety (Perkins et al. 2013:618). Ruthless individuals, possessed of an angry urge to deride others, can feel an emotional compulsion “to discriminate against and control a given target group” (Charney 1997:4). If such individuals are in a position of power, this emotional predisposition can lead to abuse of subordinates, who suffer “chronic humiliation, tension” (Charney 1997:4). These effects will not distress the ruthless, whose mentality compels them to seek to dominate and humiliate others, and to have failed to internalize, or to otherwise be alienated from, the “moral codes as to the value and inviolability of other people” (Charney 1997:4). Of course, goalstriving and power-seeking are normal aspects of human nature; they become abnormal only if taken to an extreme; where one feels entitled to treat other with derision, scorn, or cruelty; one is ruthless with respect to the norms regarding treatment of others. Contempt The word ‘contempt’ originated in 1393 from the Latin contemptus, which essentially means regarding with scorn. Behavioral expressions of contempt involve the behavior of anger, moving toward the object of contempt, yet avoiding direct contact with what is despised, disdained, and disrespected. Because Durkheim linked both “irritation”/anger and “disgust” to anomic suicide, we begin with the combination of these two primary emotions. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118), with justification, defined, “contempt = anger + disgust.” In contempt, anger and disgust are present at high levels of intensity. Contempt includes in its meaning an externally focused feeling of disgust for that which is vile or scorn-worthy. Anger is also interior to the meaning of contempt, as it is a mental attitude or feeling and/ or action of indignation, in the present case, directed at some aspect of culture or of social trends or developments.

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


In Plutchik’s ([1962] 1991:96–9) model of the primary emotions, rejection is the core function of disgust. Insofar as disgust, on its sociomoral level, is a primary emotion characterized by revulsion, withdrawal, and rejection (Hodson and Costello 2007:691), it follows that the intentionally anomic individual rejects society’s rules and moral injunctions. Those seeking positions of social dominance are prone to showing prejudice and discrimination against and contempt for subordinates or for members of lower-status groups such as refugees, immigrants, foreigners, racial minorities, and socially deviant groups (Guimond et al. 2003). In contrast to individuals with authoritarian personalities, those with high-SDO are apt to have little sense of duty (Durkheim’s normative conformity), lack “morality, co-operation, and sympathy,” and tend to be “nasty” to others (Heaven and Bucci 2001:55). Normative conformity, or “righteousness,” Altemeyer (2004:100) asserts, “means little to someone who rejects being guided by moral laws,” and who believes, “There really is no such thing as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It all boils down to what you can get away with.” Thus, disgust for and rejection of the moral order of a society or group characterizes the ruthlessly amoral, normless individual. Pride In his classification of emotions, Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118; see also TenHouten 2007:57–60, 172–82, 2013b:134–6) reasonably defined “anger + joy = pride.” Such an expression of pride can be observed, for example, in a group of victorious athletes shouting, “We’re number one!” This definition can be understood by considering the behaviors and functions associated with these two primary emotions outlined by Plutchik (1983): anger involves moving toward a goal-state, and removing or destroying obstacles standing in the way of success; joy–happiness comes from gaining what has been desired, and finding pleasure in having done so. Pride, then, is the emotion one feels when objectives and goals have been met and situations have been mastered. Intentionally norm-violating, anomic individuals with a ruthless orientation to social competition typically experience pride in their ability to manipulate naïve others; they show disdain for and anger toward anyone perceived to obstruct their ambitions. Trait-based pridefulness, as a global, positive appraisal of the self, can function as a protective factor for suicidal tendencies; it can buffer or counteract the deleterious effects of shame, helplessness, despair, and other affective risk factors (Rudd 2006; Bryan et al. 2013). Durkheim ([1897] 1960:248) noted that, for individuals pursuing infinite or unlimited desires, “our glances behind and our feeling of pride at the distance covered can cause only deceptive satisfaction. . . . To pursue a goal which is by definition unattainable is to condemn oneself to a state of perpetual unhappiness.” Contemporary scholars have observed that an overweening, inauthentic sense of pride can be “hubristic” (Tracy et al. 2009) or “neurotic” (Ruotolo 1975), and the distorted self-bias afforded by such pathological forms of pride is not typically effectively protective; hubristic pride is correlated with neuroticism, narcissism, and disagreeableness (Bryan et al. 2013:213). Such false pride can be a “natural and powerful partner” to despair, a state of mind that invents possible


Emotions basic to alienation

alternatives to the dreary social world from which the self is estranged (Farber 1976:69). Even though the despairing individual, preoccupied with thoughts of suicide, feels miserable and humbled, “it is not humility but pride that rules his imagination in this enterprise” (Farber 1976:68). Thus, while an appropriate level of pride can be self-protective, either a deficiency or fragility of pride, or a bloated and hubristic pride, can compromise this basic function of pride. Derisiveness Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) tentatively suggested that, “disgust + joy = morbidness (?)”; this is plausible insofar as the morbid individual finds pleasure in what others see as disgusting. Morbidness, however, appears to be a socially embedded pathology of character rather than an emotion. Perhaps a better interpretation of the mixture of disgust and joy, it is proposed here, is derisiveness. This term comes from the Latin dērisus, the past participle of deridēre (to deride), meaning “contemptuous or jeering laughter,” and treating another as “an object of ridicule, a laughingstock” (American Heritage Dictionary 1996). When feeling derisiveness, ruthless individuals enjoy reducing targeted other individuals’ or groups’ sense of self-worth, rendering them less able to compete for goals. The behaviors associated with this externally focused emotion include laughing at, making fun of, ridiculing, and mocking. There is an enjoyment, even a pleasure, in treating others as objects of disgust. Thus, derisiveness = joy–happiness & disgust. Derisiveness can range from a mild put-down or joke on another to a mean-spirited effort to harm or weaken others’ social identities, even to dislodge them from their social group memberships, social places, or social roles. This can be done instrumentally, to reduce competition or obstruction of one’s own goals, or it can be done for sadistic pleasure. When combined with anger, derisiveness can assume a virulent form and cause the victim’s suffering and loss of self-esteem.

Discouragement and the emotions of passive, unintentional anomie2 We propose that the emotions underlying the passive, unintentional kind of anomie, anomie2, are very different from the above. While contempt, pride, and derisiveness (and their underlying primary emotions anger, disgust, and joy–happiness) can be seen as other-directed emotions, the primary emotions of anomie2, we propose, are Ekman’s other three primary emotions – surprise, sadness, and fear. Thus, discouragement can be defined as a tertiary emotion: Discouragement = Sadness & (Anticipation & Surprise). These three primary emotions, it is proposed, can combine in pairs to form the three secondary emotions disappointment, shame, and alarm. We begin with disappointment.

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


Disappointment Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) proposed that “surprise + sorrow = embarrassment, disappointment.” Embarrassment, however, is an emotion closely related to, if not a form of, shame (Tangney 1996; Sabini, Garvey and Hall 2001). It makes more sense to define disappointment = surprise & sadness; disappointment is felt when something that was anticipated, intended, or planned does not materialize. Experiencing either an unexpected loss or the non-occurrence of an expected gain triggers a feeling of surprise, then sadness, at the loss (TenHouten 2007:78–81). While disappointment involves a surprising loss or failure of what was anticipated to materialize, this is not the case with sadness. As Miceli and Castelfranchi (2000:238, 2015:70–1, 185–7, 192–3) note, disappointment involves a “negative expectation,” that is, an unwanted, surprising event. Durkheim ([1897] 1960:293) did not list disappointment or discouragement in his “morphological classification” of the affective states of anomic suicide, but elsewhere in the text of Suicide he referred to these emotional states. He argued that, to pursue goals that are unattainable is to “condemn oneself to a state of perpetual unhappiness,” because hope can sustain an individual’s aspirations for a time, but hopes are dashed “by the repeated disappointments of experience.” Moreover, Durkheim ([1897] 1960:248, 284) asserted, anomie, “whether progressive or regressive, by allowing requirements to exceed appropriate limits, throws open the door to disillusionment and consequently to disappointment.” Shame The second hypothesized secondary emotional component of anomie2 is shame. Several emotions researchers have declared shame to be a primary or fundamental emotion (Tomkins 1963:118–481, 385–419; Izard 1977:90–2; Heller 1985; Scheff 2015). No researchers have suggested other primary emotions that might possibly join shame to define potential resultant secondary or tertiary emotions. Plutchik proposed a secondary emotional combination, “fear + disgust = shame, prudishness.” Prudishness would appear to be a personality or character trait rather than an emotion. It is proposed here that shame = fear & sadness. Turner (2010) sees shame as a tertiary emotion, whose components are fear, sadness, and anger. While anger can be induced by the experience of shame, it does not, however, appear to be interior to shame; analyses of shame link it to anger, considered as a separate emotion, as for example in shame–rage cycles (Scheff 1991), wherein shame and anger are interdependent yet are clearly distinct emotions. The fear component of shame To interpret the mixture of fear and sadness that comprises shame, we first consider fear. Both guilt and shame involve fear. Guilt involves fear that one has violated norms of proper conduct, fear that one has caused another harm, or fear of retribution or punishment. Shame rather involves fear of negative evaluation, reproach, or


Emotions basic to alienation

condemnation of the self by others. Just as achievement contributes to pride, failure can result in shame. Individuals high in fear of failure report greater shame upon a perceived failure than those low in fear of failure (McGregor and Elliot 2005). Fear is a basic emotional reaction whose behavioral concomitant is withdrawal, avoidance, flight, and hiding, as if one had disappeared from society itself (Mascolo and Fischer 1995). The fear interior to shame can be seen in shame-driven behavior, which involves looking down or away from the gaze of others (Keltner, Moffitt and Stouthamer-Loeber 1995). It includes a desire to ‘hide’, to ‘crawl under the rug’, and to engage in various other forms of what Plutchik sees as the core behavior of fear, namely “running, or flying away” from (Plutchik 1980:289), disappearing from, or escaping the psychological pain of a shame-eliciting situation (H. Lewis 1971:196–250). Shame is typically hidden, and this hiding involves concealment of one’s shame, or the anticipation of future shame, from the self. The sadness component of shame While shame is a normal emotion, an adaptive reaction to a perceived disapproval by self or others, a global feeling of shamefulness becomes pathological. Expression of sadness is a natural reaction to the perception of devaluation or disrespect of one’s self by others and can potentially contribute to depression (which typically involves anger). The connection between shamefulness and depression often goes unnoticed or is described by indirect terminology. As Morrison (1989:119) observes, “because depression is so observable whereas shame so frequently remains hidden, this relationship has not been emphasized, and the elements of shame frequently have remained unexplored.” Michael Lewis (1992:143) observes that with repeated instances of shame (which result in a more global shamefulness), the sadness involved in loss of perceived self-worth advances to depression. A number of theorists have shown that depression: (i) emerges from internal attribution of failure, “having to do with the self’s faults”; (ii) is “global, having to do with the whole self”; and (iii) is “stable, consistent over time.” Thus, sadness–depression is “an element of shame” and “is not a conversion of shame but an accompanying emotion.” Moreover, Lewis maintains, When individuals experience shame in a particular situation, they show behavioral characteristics of a sad person. They gaze avert, hunch their shoulders up, push their bodies inward, become inhibited, and show problems in thinking. From an expression point of view, these people appear to be sad. (1992:144) Sadness, Lewis continues, occurs around unacknowledged shame. While the self does not admit shame, shame’s sadness component can emerge in consciousness with the realization that others have caused one harm, or that one possesses a deformed self. Feeling this sadness, the harmed individual focuses on the social conditions of the harmful situation and the elicitors of the emotion rather than on the shame itself. Lewis further suggests that sadness is more comfortable to experience than shame, so only the sadness is acknowledged, and is projected into the social encounter rather than back onto the self.

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


Alarm We have defined disappointment as a mixture of surprise and sadness; shame, as fear and sadness. This means our final secondary emotion must be a mixture of surprise and fear. Plutchik’s ([1962] 1991:118) definition, “surprise + fear = alarm, awe” is defensible. Setting aside awe (until Chapter 9), we simply define alarm = surprise & fear. Alarm is an adaptive reaction to danger, pain, and the prospect of social estrangement (Eisenberger and Lieberman 2004). More generally, it is an affective signal of response to aggression or other potential dangers including violations of and threats to one’s selfhood, reputation, and territory. Such an orienting response defines surprise and is interior to alarm; the individual’s self-protective reaction to the impending threat or challenge is definitive of fear. Plutchik sees the combination of surprise and fear as the primary ingredients of alarm. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118; see also TenHouten 2013b:144–7) defines aggression as a combination of anticipation and anger (e.g., a planned attack); given that the opposite of anticipation is surprise and the opposite of anger is fear, it follows that alarm is the opposite of and a reaction to aggression. Alarm is an individual’s or group’s reaction to a threatening situation. Alarm, according to its French derivation all’arme, means ‘to arms’, as it is an arousing to meet, and hopefully repel, an attack. For Durkheim ([1897] 1960:391), high suicide rates were an alarm signal for society, a sign of social pathology. He concluded that the abnormal development of suicide in advanced countries, together with general unrest, are manifestations of “the state of deep disturbances from which civilized societies are suffering, and bears witness to its gravity.” For the individual, the “presuicidal syndrome” is a state of mind that functions as an alarm signal indicating a tendency to suicide. This syndrome is characterized by constriction, inhibited aggression turned toward the self, and suicidal fantasies (Ringel 1976). The definitional models of the affective bases of anomie1–2 are illustrated in Figure 6.1.

A. Emotions of active, intentional anomie1



B. Emotions of passive, unintentional anomie2





Ruthlessness Disgust



Discouragement Sadness



Figure 6.1 Primary and secondary emotions of two kinds of anomie


Emotions basic to alienation

Two causal models Causal models linking normlessness, anomie, and their behavioral consequences are shown in Figure 6.2. The ordering of these variables is consistent with Durkheim, who had situated affective states as “intermediate facts, inserted between causes [in the normative order or lack thereof] and the individual’s suicide [and other behavioral consequences]” (Gane 2005:234). At least four issues pertaining to these models must be addressed. First, for expository purposes, both models show a directed arrow from normlessness to anomie. This aspect of the models must be interpreted with caution. Especially for normlessness1–anomie1, it must be acknowledged that the willful kind of normlessness is interior to anomie. It is the essence of anomie1 to eschew rules and norms and to act in a predatory manner, seeking one’s self-interest and social aggrandizement with scant regard for the rights and welfare of others. Durkheim was careful to exclude cases of mental illness from his analysis of suicide, but the practitioners of normlessness1–anomie1, while neither insane nor irrational, can be seen, in terms of contemporary understanding, as characterologically disordered, possibly narcissistic or sociopathic. Such individuals have an active kind of anomie, and while their activities are guided by instrumentally rational considerations, these cognitions are complemented by adaptive emotions, hypothesized to include pride, contempt, and derisiveness. In normlessness2–anomie2, there is rather a cognitive passivity and a likely cognitive confusion, which is reinforced with emotions of surrender. In this second case, there is more justification for

A. A model of active, intentional normlessness1 and anomie1




Premeditated homicide Shamelessness

Active, intentional normlessness1

Behavioral consequences


Immorality Acquisitiveness

B. A model of passive, unintentional normlessness2 and anomie2



Unpremeditated homicide


Suicidality Passive, unintentional normlessness2


Behavioral consequences

Depression Confusion

Figure 6.2 Causal models for two kinds of normlessness–anomie

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


the directed arrow from normlessness2 to anomie2; being confused or befuddled by changes (be they acute or chronic) which undermine the normative order and one’s valued meaning systems can indeed trigger emotional reactions of shame, disappointment, and a defensive sense of alarm. Second, if the present models are correct, then anger and disgust are not linked to suicide as a behavioral outcome, but disappointment is. Shame is undoubtedly a key emotion in suicidality, but here it is seen as one of three secondary emotions of anomie2. Shame, however, is not modeled as an emotion of anomie1; shamelessness is rather a proposed behavioral outcome, together with an uncaring ruthlessness and indifference to injuring others. Third, we note the distinction between homicide and suicide, which were combined in Durkheim’s preliminary classification of the secondary affective states of anomie. Anomie1 contains at least one emotion, pride, which, in a non-pathological form, can provide protection against suicide. The opposite of pride, shame, rather contributes to suicidality (as shown in Figure 6.2.B). The linkage between the ruthless form of anomie and shamelessness dates to the Greek goddess Anaideia, who embodied the spirit of ruthlessness, shamelessness, and unforgiveness. And fourth, the distinction between two kinds of normlessness–anomie suggests an expansion of Durkheim’s general theory of homicide. Contradictory versions of Durkheim’s (1897, 1900) theory of homicide appear in the criminology literature (Messner 1982; DiCristina 2005) and it is beyond the scope of this chapter to resolve these interpretations. However, Durkheim (1897, [1900] 1992:119) concerned himself primarily with homicide as an intentional, unpremeditated, impulsive act “inseparable from passions,” as opposed to premeditated or prearranged. If there are two levels of anomie, we might expect normlessness1–anomie1 to be most closely related to premeditated, calculative murder and normlessness2–anomie2, to unpremeditated, passionate murder.

Discussion Many scholars (e.g., Thorlindsson and Bjarnason 1998; Bearman and Moody 2004; Stack 2009; Abrutyn and Mueller 2014a–c) have explored the social contagion of suicidality; they have elaborated Durkheim’s conceptualization of the “imitation” of suicide, finding that suicides or suicide attempts of fictional characters, celebrities, friends and relations, and, especially, role models, can enhance the probabilities of suicidality among affected individuals. But what are the emotional experiences of those who are suicidal? For an individual, shame, arguably the key emotion of anomie2, can stimulate other emotions such as intense anger, feelings of rejection (seeing oneself as an object of disgust in the eyes of others), as well as sadness; this can lead to the possibility of spontaneous, violent behavior (Lansky 1991), even against the self. Abrutyn and Mueller (2014c:346) have associated “repressed or bypassed shame + anger” to anomic suicide, and the present theoretical model suggests that, while shame and anger (alone, or embedded in contempt and/or pride) belong to different kinds of anomie, these emotions may be linked in either interpersonal


Emotions basic to alienation

or intrapersonal dynamics. This raises the speculative possibility that aggressive, ruthless, anomie1-type behavior can contribute to anomie2 in affected others, with possible self-destructive consequences. It is also plausible that anomie2 could lead to the development of anomie1 in the same individual, perhaps enhancing the possibility of simultaneously engaging in violence that is both internally focused (suicidal) and externally focused (murderous). Abrutyn and Mueller (2014c) associate shame with a sudden loss of status and the regulative consequences for self-respect reflected in the disapproving eyes of others (Mokros 1995; Lester 1997). The loss of community, job, close others, or, more generally, one’s place in the social world all can contribute to shame and have been linked to anomie (Poblete and Odea 1960). One problem with the linkage of shame to anomie has been the vagueness of the varied meanings attributed to the concept, anomie. Shame, defined as a secondary emotional mixture of fear and sadness, can be pathologically absent in anomie1, where individuals pursue their desires and wishes to attain positions of social dominance without regard for others, acting in a shamelessly non-normative, even immoral, manner. It is rather the passive, discouraged, fearful, saddened individual who experiences shame as interior to the experienced sense of anomie. The individual experiencing anomie1 feels not shame but pride, yet the etiology of anomie1 could indeed involve deep experiences of shame. While Durkheim excluded mental illness from his analysis of anomic (and other forms of) suicide, a fuller understanding and exploration of anomie1will have to consider both narcissism and sociopathy. Pride and shame can be seen as opposites: if fear and anger are opposites, and sadness and joy–happiness are opposites (see Plutchik 1962), then the angry joy of pride is the opposite of the fearful sadness of shame. This distinction is important for theory and research linking anomie to violence as extreme as homicide and suicide; while the pride associated with anomie1 might contribute to (especially premeditated) homicide while offering protection against suicide, the shame associated with anomie2 might contribute to the outward projection of violence, while increasing the propensity toward self-directed violence, at the limit, to suicidality. The relationship between the two levels of anomie thus importantly hinges on the dynamic relationship between pride and shame. In the most pathological cases, there is an essential “pride system” (Ruotolo 1975). If this system is initially weak and becomes destabilized, the pride system can collapse, potentially resulting in a paroxysm of violent behavior. Underlying such compromised pride is a sense of shame, which can be accompanied by feelings of self-contempt and a fear of ridicule or derision. A neurotic “pride system,” threatened with an overpowering feeling of shame, can connect the two levels of anomie. A doubly anomic individual who lives in fear of being treated with contempt or derision (attributes of an individual high on anomie1) and, filled with a sense of inferiority and grandiose fantasies about attaining impossible goals, will cling to an unstable “pride system” (Ruotolo 1975). This dynamic of pride and unacknowledged shame can form a potentially explosive mixture. Indeed, many individuals who commit homicide are themselves subject to suicidal ideation and behavior (Klinger 2001; J. Murray 2015). Durkheim’s concept of anomie thus recommends study not just of shame

Normlessness, anomie, and the emotions


and suicide, but of the dynamics of pride and shame, and of suicide and homicide. In discussing suicide, Durkheim ([1897] 1960:61; see Ruotolo 1975 for examples) made brief mention of a pathological form of pride in which the patient believes himself called upon to reform not only religion but also to reform society, and might imagine a lofty destiny reserved for himself. Preoccupied with religious ideas, this individual will believe himself lost, destined to perish. Durkheim associated this “secondary” variety of the affective aspect of anomic suicide not only with suicide but also with homicide, to “homicide–suicide.” Durkheim ([1897] 1960:341) was well aware of the close relationship between the violent acts of homicide and suicide; he saw suicide as “a transformed and attenuated homicide” and claimed a “psychological unity of the two phenomena.” The key emotional ingredients of anomie1 and anomie2 appear to be the opposite secondary emotions, pride and shame, respectively. Durkheim described the nature of human passions and their unlimited contribution to social striving for resources, success, and status. While this claim must be qualified, it is clear that, in contemporary ethological terminology, that Durkheim was describing socialdominance motivation. It is now well-established that dominance motivation in animals underlies the emotions of pride and shame in humans (Weisfeld 2002; Cheng, Tracy and Henrich 2010; J. Clark 2013). Durkheim was correct in linking dominance motivation to norms and values, to what Weisfeld (2002:201) calls “the urge and ability to protect, communicate, and advance one’s standing by the multiplicity of values that guide human behavior.” Dominance–subdominance behaviors in primates bear strong parallels to the human competitive expressions of pride and shame. Pride, the core emotion of dominance motivation, requires an intact limbic orbitofrontal cortex. Bilateral damage to this brain region results in unconcern with reputation and status and a decrease in feelings and emotions. Following such damage, the experience of pride is disorganized; these patients (i) neglect their occupations and other paths to social standing; (ii) manifest factiousness and social insensitivity (reduced capacity for shame) (H. Levin, Eisenberger and Benton 1991); and (iii) engage in behavior that is boorish, impolite, and unrestrained, which includes neglect of appearance together with lying, cheating, and boasting. This suggests the existence of a pride–shame system that can be damaged due to brain trauma, to psychopathologies such as narcissism and sociopathy, or to situations in which the normative order can be intentionally or inadvertently violated. The result of such breakdown of this pride–shame system can lead to severe and intractable behavioral disorders which, at the extreme, can involve internalized or externalized violence. In modeling the affective basis of our hypothesized two kinds of normlessness– anomie, we have defined six secondary emotions. In the process, we have seen the necessity of modifying Plutchik’s (1962) provisional classification of the secondary emotions (shown in Table 5.1). Plutchik’s definitions of contempt (anger & disgust) and pride (anger & joy–happiness) is used just as he proposed. Two of his definitions are reduced: we set aside awe in defining anxiety (as surprise & fear, and exclude embarrassment from the definition of disappointment (as surprise & sadness). We reject two of Plutchik’s definitions and instead provide original


Emotions basic to alienation

definitions of derisiveness (joy–happiness & disgust) and shame (fear & sadness). Of course, it is possible that other primary (and secondary) emotions could be involved in either level of anomie. Durkheim must be credited with contributing to “morphological” classification, which involved both anomie and the emotions. Yet, Durkheim and Mauss ([1903] 1963:86–7), just six years after Suicide, had reached the remarkable conclusion that all social classifications are ultimately based on sentiments. They asserted that the “emotional value of notions . . . is the dominant characteristic in classification.” At the same time, they lamented, “States of an emotional nature . . . mingle their properties in such a way that they cannot be rigorously categorized.” It is ironic that Durkheim made such a felicitous beginning to his classificatory effort, only to later decide that emotions are simply too complex and interrelated to be classified. Just as Marx, after his Paris Manuscripts, had abruptly abandoned the concept of alienation, so also Durkheim abandoned the microsociological concept of anomie, which after brief mention at the beginning of his 1900 Professional Ethics dropped out of his work entirely (see Marks 1974:333). Indeed, Durkheim shifted from a concern with individuals’ socioaffective experiences to a macrosociology of the overall normative and moral order of society; he endeavored to engineer the macroproblem of anomie out of existence, primarily through education. Durkheim’s focus turned to the opposite of anomie, “the spirit of discipline,” or nomos, which he approached from a macrosociological perspective (Durkheim 1925).


Self-estrangement and despair

Any substantively interesting notion of self-alienation . . . is conceptually bound up with some idea of self-realization supposed to be worth achieving – and so of some sort of self taken to be worth having, and of some sort of life . . . worth living. – Richard Schacht (1994:145)

Introduction Alienation implies the experience of separation, from a person, object, or social situation. Perhaps the most profound level of alienation is estrangement from one’s self. The modern individual’s experience of ‘self’ can range from a sound sense of clear personal identity, meaningful purpose, and committed involvement in work and social life to the loss of self and state of inauthenticity, futility, discontent, depersonalization, or dissociation. In his seminal work on alienation, Seeman (1959:789–90) calls this negative condition “self-estrangement,” and includes it as one of his original five varieties of alienation. Seeman (1972:473) notes the difficulty of defining self-estrangement, and suggests a three-part definition: (i) “the failure to satisfy postulated human needs”; (ii) “to be engaged in activities that are not rewarding in themselves”; and (iii) “the individual’s sense of a discrepancy between his ideal self and his actual self-image.” We expand Seeman’s foundational tripartite definition of self-estrangement to include (iv) losing touch with one’s authentic self or feeling that one is inhabiting a false self; no longer knowing what constitutes one’s genuine self; (v) losing access to memories of affect-laden biographical episodes, and more generally, to the events, experiences, and processes that the self has lived and aspires to sustain into the future; and (vi) sensing a need to conform to sociostructural, sociorelational, or role requirements that cause or motivate the self to suppress or abandon the goals, agendas, and desires that give purpose and meaning to life. We propose that, at the extreme, (i) self-estrangement can potentially result in a state of existential despair. (ii) Despair, as a painful and distressing affective state of mind, has as its basic emotional components sadness, disgust, and surprise. (iii) These three emotions can combine in pairs to form the secondary emotions disappointment, loneliness, and shock. (iv) The primary–secondary emotional combinations (disgust–disappointment, surprise–loneliness, sadness–shock) form pathways to despair.


Emotions basic to alienation

Self-estrangement and the primary emotions of sadness, disgust, and surprise Self-estrangement is not an emotion, yet it appears to involve the primary emotions of sadness, surprise, and disgust. We first consider sadness. All six defining criteria of self-estrangement (three from Seeman, three added here) involve loss; sadness is the prototypical affective reaction to loss of, or failure to possess, what is valued or desired (Plutchik 1983). The self-estranged individual experiences sadness upon perceiving (i) a failure to satisfy fundamental human needs; (ii) an inability to engage in activities that are intrinsically rewarding; (iii) a sense that the actual self is not the ideal or moral self to which they aspired; (iv) a loss of a true, or authentic, self, or the sense that one possesses a false self; loss of knowledge of what one’s true self might be; (v) a loss of memories of biographical episodes that have been significant to one’s life and formation of one’s present self; and (vi) a loss of a feeling of self-efficacy; a concomitant need to adhere to social constraints and social demands (Kavanagh and Bower 1985) and to suppress or abandon meaningful future goals and desires. Extremely sad individuals can experience diminished self-esteem, self-criticism, or negative self-evaluation (A. Beck 1976), and/or they can engage in self-blame over failure to accomplish goals (Ickes and Layden 1978). A self-estranged person experiencing sadness can be described as feeling miserable, melancholic, despondent, and gloomy and can suffer unendurable pain. In extreme cases, this intense sadness and sensation of loss can be relieved only by abandonment of the self. The second emotion involved with self-estrangement is hypothesized to be disgust, an emotion of withdrawal, disaffiliation, or recoil from some object, condition, or situation perceived to be unpleasant or toxic. In self-estrangement, the estranged self is seen as repugnant and undesirable. Here we consider disgust not as an elementary, visceral reaction to repulsive or contaminated material, but rather as a sociomoral emotion triggered by a person, behavior, or condition seen as aversive, degraded, or polluted. The self-estranged individual experiences disgust and a feeling of disaffiliation upon perceiving that (i) one’s actual self is significantly inferior to the self that one has aspired to become and/or has been profaned by putative failure to adhere to societal standards; and (ii) one is inhabiting a false, inauthentic self, seen as unpleasant or distasteful both by oneself and/or by others. The disgust component of self-estrangement can be internalized to engender self-loathing. If disgust is accompanied by a perception that one is unpleasant and unattractive to others, social identity can erode. The individual who experiences self-estrangement can also externalize their disgust and see the human world as immoral and unlivable; social encounters can represent a source of contamination or be perceived as corrupted, boring, and morally disgusting. The third emotion involved with self-estrangement, we propose, is surprise. Plutchik (1983) identifies territoriality as one of four existential problems. Surprise is the adaptive emotional response to violations of territorial boundaries conceptualized generally. Boundary defense sustains one’s fundamental resources, including one’s social identity. Surprise is thus a defensive reaction to

Self-estrangement and despair 93 the realization that one is dissociated from one’s self, or that one does not possess an authentic self; surprise is a reaction to a perceived or implicit assault on one’s authentic self (Goodenough 1997). If one’s self is degraded, thwarted, or becomes inauthentic, the self experiences deterioration or self-estrangement. Loss of the self’s place in the world involves two of Seeman’s criteria of self-estrangement: (i) Given that self-integrity is a basic human need, self-estrangement implies a “failure to satisfy . . . [a] postulated human need,” and (ii) the occurrence of surprise, the resource-defending emotion, is a condition that is the opposite of “engaged in activities . . . that are rewarding.” The territory of the ‘self’ includes not only one’s socially constructed social identity but also one’s body. If one’s sense of identity becomes disorganized, fragmented, or estranged from itself, a dissociation of body representation can occur. In the extreme cases of the self-estranged, despairing, even suicidal individual, the body can be experienced as a “prison house” to which one is “confined”; it can be experienced as “a crowded tenement where others press in,” or even “an alien chamber into which evil spirits or monsters penetrate and crowd out the self” Maltsberger (1993:149). From this perspective, the despairing individual, bent on self-harm or even suicide, can vengefully attack the body that is experienced as an enemy or as a “disposable self-part” (Maltsberger 1993:149).

Despair: its depth and episodic nature An individual who has experienced self-estrangement, and whose social identity has been deeply degraded, can have an emotional experience that is highly negative, painful, and refractory to cognitive-level management or control. This pathological experience of self can transform into a state of despair. Despair is a deep emotion, where depth means “proximity to the self” and “being experienced by the whole of our being” (Cataldi 1993:173). In an analysis of political alienation, Citrin et al. (1975:4) observe that, in comparison to mere dissatisfaction, alienation “runs deep” and indicates “a state of mind sufficiently disturbed to predispose one to deviance, suicide, protest, revolutionary activity and so forth.” Given that self-estrangement is the variety of alienation that arguably runs deepest, it is unsurprising that its affective basis, despair, also runs deep. Despair is experienced not as a background sentiment, mood, or feeling, but rather as an acute emotion, whose intensity can peak when one’s situation appears hopeless and there is overwhelming experience of negative emotionality. Because despair is such deep and intensely felt emotion, we refer to the ‘depths’ of despair. Max Scheler’s (1913–16) “depth stratification” included despair, together with bliss, as the deepest emotions. Despair and bliss addressed “the core of the person.” Scheler ([1913–16] 1973:343–4) explained that We can only ‘be’ blissful or in despair. We cannot in the strict sense of the word, ‘feel’ bliss or despair . . . nor can we even feel ‘ourselves’ to be blissful or in despair. . . . [T]hese feelings are not expressed at all, or they take possession of the whole of ourselves.


Emotions basic to alienation

Long the subject of poetry, theology, existentialism, phenomenology, and ontology, despair has become topical in contemporary scientific fields including psychiatry, psychology, emotions research, affective and cognitive neuroscience, and the behavioral and social sciences (Pannese 2011). Yet, the meaning of despair remains vague and is generally assumed. Brittney Beck et al. (1974) have developed a scale to measure despair that distinguishes suicidally depressed individuals from the non-suicidal; however, they conceptualize despair broadly, as synonymous with pessimism and hopelessness. Maltsberger (1986) sees the subjective experience of despair as having two parts: (i) the individual is episodically flooded with painful, even intolerable or unendurable emotions; and (ii) the individual, recognizing his or her condition, gives up. Our next task is to develop a hierarchical model of despair as a specific emotion.

Despair as a tertiary emotion We have seen that self-estrangement is linked to three negatively valenced primary emotions – sadness, disgust, and surprise, and we have linked extreme selfestrangement to despair, an affectively deep and distressing emotion. We define despair as a combination of three primary emotions. Formally, Despair1 = Sadness & Disgust & Surprise. Each of these three primary emotions can combine with a secondary emotion comprised of the other two primary emotions. We argue that the resulting primary– secondary mixtures form three different pathways to despair: (i) disgust can combine with the secondary emotion disappointment (formed from the mixture of surprise and sadness); (ii) surprise can combine with loneliness (the mixture of sadness and disgust); and (iii) sadness can combine with shock (the mixture of surprise and disgust). These three hypothesized primary–secondary emotional pathways to despair are consistent with literatures linking self-estrangement and despair. We begin by considering the first pathway to despair, the combination disgust–disappointment. The disappointment of experiencing rejection/disgust Given our initial definition of despair1 as a tertiary emotion, we expect that its primary component, disgust, can combine with the secondary emotion disappointment, formed from surprise and sadness. Disappointment is a subjective response following a surprising experience that occurs when something favorable that was anticipated, intended, planned, or hoped for does not materialize; this is experienced as a saddening loss, or a saddening failure to gain. We substitute the definition, disappointment = surprise & sadness, into the formula for despair1, to show that, Despair2 = Disgust & Disappointment.

Self-estrangement and despair 95 A large literature explores the relationship between disgust and despair. In his theory of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson ([1950] 1963:269) saw that despairing individuals, possessing only an insufficient sense of social belonging and lacking the time that would enable them to find life satisfaction, experience “a thousand little disgusts.” Drawing on Kristeva (1982), Adams (2011:333) links self-disgust to the “abject self,” which she describes as “self-states of relentless despair” in which individuals feel unlovable, unworthy, and utterly unbelieving that their situation can ever improve (Adams 2011:333). Despairing persons are depressed about disappointments, failures, and missed chances in life. In describing members of a despairing group, Hearn et al. (2012:2) observed a pattern of disappointment, resignation, and ineffectiveness. The individual in a state of despair rejects social involvement partly in order to avoid social life’s normal and inevitable disappointments. This recipe for despair is described by Craib (1994:168), who characterizes the “false self” of late modernity as a “disappointed self” insofar as efforts to establish a social identity on the basis of social roles and social categories is bound to be incomplete. Disappointment has been exacerbated by processes of modernization, with its future orientation, so that major disappointments, when combined with giving up or seeing no way forward, can lead to despair and the fragmentation of the self (Craib 1994:4–6, 75; see also Michaelis 1999). The selfestranged individual experiences disappointment with the self. The individual is disappointed at perceiving a false, not authentic, self and the self’s inability to attain desired goals, meet social obligations, and perform role requirements. In short, self-estrangement involves an extreme level of disappointment with the self. While despair can include disappointment, there is a difference between them. When one is disappointed, one’s anticipated, virtual world is seen as unattainable or unactualizable. One despairs in the face of an inexorable threat impeding an ongoing project, making it impossible to attain a desired future: “When disappointed one loses a virtual world; when in despair one believes that one’s ongoing world has been lost” (Goldsmith 1987). Disappointment is milder than despair, for in despair the world becomes menacing and unbearable, so that disappointment comes to be augmented by a rejection of and disgust with a world that has become unlivable. A collapse of territory: surprise and loneliness Our second pathway to despair is the combination of surprise and the secondary emotion loneliness, formed from the mixture of sadness and disgust. Loneliness is typically associated with an absence of attachment figures, a sense of not belonging, and a deficiency, disruption, or loss of close social relationships (Cacioppo and Patrick 2008). Here, for the self-estranged individual, loneliness attends the absence of the true self. Sadness is closely related to loneliness (Brage, Meredith and Woodward 1993). The self-estranged individual is sad over its lost self, its loss of contact with the self, and its inability to project the self into the future. Also associated with loneliness is a sense of being unattractive, which can mean social undesirability or even a feeling that one is an object of disgust (Borys and Perlman


Emotions basic to alienation

1985). Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) stated that “sorrow + disgust = misery, remorse, forlornness.” This definition is not incorrect, but loneliness is a broader concept, and includes feelings of misery, remorse, and an overall forlorn state of mind. Thus, a simpler formulation is offered: loneliness = sadness & disgust/rejection (TenHouten 2007:111). When a valued relationship is terminated at the initiative of a significant other, sadness will be felt at the loss together with a feeling of not being acceptable or attractive, or even of being rejected and adjudged unattractive, possibly feeling undesirable, and at the extreme, feeling that one is repellant or disgusting to another or others. By replacing ‘Sadness & Disgust’ with ‘Loneliness’ in Despair1, another pathway to despair can be inferred: Despair3 = Loneliness & Surprise. The despairing, lonely individual is apt to have lost the social support of close others, that is, experienced a contraction of social territory. The resultant intense mental pain can become intolerable and lead to suicide (Shneidman 1993:51–7). In their study of suicide-prone young adults, Everall, Bostik and Paulson (2006) found that a salient feature of every participant’s experiences was the theme of overwhelming despair; the suicidal state was described as one of misery, hopelessness, gloom, and emotional pain. Many study participants characterized their despair as a lack of social belongingness and described themselves as unimportant members of their families. Despair became the lens through which the world was interpreted. Loneliness has been widely seen as a contributing factor in adolescent suicidality (Stravynski and Boyer 2001). Crane and Ino (1987) linked despair to the illusory communications of lonely hearts columns, wherein individuals advertise themselves in objective terms, not unlike advertisements for used cars. The loneliness of social and physical isolation can create despair among prisoners in solitary confinement (Toch [1975] 1992:48–54, 118–30). Despair appears to be an intervening variable between social isolation and suicide; when one lacks satisfactory personal contact with others, one feels “the despair of being alone” (Hacker 1994:313) and is unable to regulate the negative affect associated with aloneness (Maltsberger 1986) and feeling separated from the social world (Yalom 1980). Unsuccessful interaction and attachment-disorganized relationships with others (see, e.g., Solomon and George 1999) can condense moments of yearning and feelings of acute vulnerability into complex enactments of abject suffering, a global state of despair. In despair, there is a place for surprise (the emotions of boundary defense) and loneliness. But how are these two emotions related in the experience of despair? Insight into this subtle relationship is provided by Farber, who saw that the despairing individual’s world has become filled with stale, tedious, lifeless routines from which he or she yearns to escape, a state of tedium vitae (W. Miller 1998:28–31), wherein the unexpected and the mysterious nature of coincidence have vanished from view, if not from experience. If a visit with friends is contemplated, it is no longer possible to imagine such an interaction offering even momentary relief (Farber 1999:197). Thus, no reason can be seen for even making such a visit,

Self-estrangement and despair 97 no reason for seeking conversation. If by chance an unexpected social interaction occurs, even with a stranger, and the despairing individual can somehow cut through his or her self-absorption, he or she will disown or conceal the moment rather than question his dismal certainty, cagily protecting this state of mind from life’s intervention. Even if the despairer finds moments of relief in exposure to the real world, there is a good chance that the certainty of his despairing logic and prescriptive maxims will soon reassert themselves, so that submission to despair is again activated, and the despairer seeks once again to sever remaining worldbinding relations (Farber 1999:198). There is thus a linkage between loneliness and boundary defense (a reluctance to being ‘open’ to interactions with another). Rather than relaxing one’s defenses and opening one’s heart through talking about despair, the despairer will rather defiantly maintain silence.1 This in itself adds depth to one’s despair, as there is an agonizing self-contradiction of being in the hopeless situation of needing the help of a confidant yet not being able to be with one (Gee, Loewenthal and Cayne 2011:323). The individual who is driven to construct barriers to exposure to real relationships with others succeeds only in insuring his or her own social isolation; this combination of surprise and loneliness almost guarantees the experience of despair. A shocking, saddening loss Our third primary–secondary emotional combination joins sadness/loss to the mixture of surprise and disgust; we define shock as an unexpected and revolting or degrading experience that we define as shock. We first consider sadness and loss. Plutchik (1983) identified ‘temporality’ as one of four existential problems, and hypothesized that joy–happiness and sadness–grief are positively and negatively valenced primary emotional reactions to gain and loss. Plutchik did not elaborate what he meant by ‘temporality’, but the existential problem of temporality can be sociologically generalized to include in its meaning the limitation of time. In the normal experience of time, an individual’s temporality is stretched into both the past and the future (Heidegger ([1927] 1996:423). If this range of temporal experience is degraded or lost, the result is a life encapsulated in a present so narrowed that it is nearly empty. As Steinbock (2007:449) puts it, for the despairer, “Through the experience of being abandoned to myself, I experience being abandoned to the present,” such that “[n]either the future nor the past offers anything to the present.” Consider the pathology of the past in despair. As the individual experiences loss of the self, it can be apprehended that life chances are slipping away, so that as memory begins to falter, time past isolates itself as an alien, often perverse, accomplice that refuses memory’s overtures, so that “what cannot be remembered robs us of goods that seem rightfully ours” (Farber 1999:193). The past we thought we owned when it was in the present, that we would continue to own in the future, now eludes us; this represents a loss of part of the self, a form of self-estrangement. Those who lose some of their memory might be gripped by a torrent of guilt and shame for past sins and misdeeds. This unhappy mixture of forgetting and


Emotions basic to alienation

remembering creates a rift between the despairing self and the self who had previously dwelt in the social world. The self-estranged, despairing individual, perhaps lacking the necessary resources for productivity and creativity, unable to seek goals or anticipate future potentialities (Erikson 1950), has also lost his or her future. Self-estrangement means living without authenticity, without what Winnicott (1965) calls a “true self.” The future is the nexus of authenticity, insofar as individuals project themselves into the future and strive to become what they might, which Shahar (2011) call “projectuality.” Without a future of meaningful possibilities into which to project oneself, the self-estranged individual risks sinking into a state of despair. It can be enlightening to have, through exertion, the past and the present “compressed” in a heightened experience of the present (TenHouten 2005b:70, 85–6, 116–17, 185). But if the past is being lost and the future is beyond one’s concern, then life in the present is experienced as a kind of ‘mindlessness’; little effort is made to notice or be involved in the world. This kind of detachment has been linked to accidents, poor job performance and burnout, interpersonal difficulties, health problems, and memory loss (Langer 1998). For the self to have a future means anticipation, even a yearning, for something good to come, that is, to have desire. The self-estranged individual will develop an inability to desire or to imagine anything good in the future (Hernández-Tubert 2011:28). Shock is an affective reaction to an incomprehensible, surprising event that is unacceptable, even disgusting, and which diminishes one’s personal and/or social identity. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) offered no definition of the mixture of disgust and surprise, but it has been proposed that “disgust & surprise = shock” (TenHouten 2007:88–90). Shock, in Webster’s New World Dictionary (1988), means “to disturb the mind or emotion; affect with great surprise, distress, disgust, etc.,” and “to be shocked, distressed, disgusted”; shocking includes in its meaning “extremely revolting” (Oxford), which clearly corresponds to the emotion of disgust. Despair can result from unfortunate, traumatic experiences which share “their suddenness and unexpectedness” (Koch 2000:301), that is, their surprisingness. Many traumatic events involving a sudden and unexpected loss induce shock in an individual, leading to a reaction of despair. Examples of saddening, shocking events include an accident resulting in a paralyzing spinal cord injury (Lohne 2009); the unexpected death of a spouse (Carr 2004); a traumatic late-term pregnancy loss (Cowchock et al. 2010); an emergency amputation of a cancerous leg (Judd 2001); the realization that an intimate other’s disgust-inducing betrayal has resulted in a traumatic disappointment (Tribiano 2002); and the loss of one’s hoped-for presidential candidate in a U.S. election (Classen and Dunn 2010). Shocking events can be both unexpected or misexpected and difficult to comprehend and accept; they are typically not only surprising but also inconsistent with one’s model of the world. In the case of the self-estranged individual, shock is experienced upon realizing the loss of the self, past, future, and social world. Using the definition, surprise & disgust = shock, it follows by substitution into our initial definition, despair1, that Despair4 = Sadness & Shock.

Self-estrangement and despair 99




Despair Surprise



Figure 7.1 Proposed primary and secondary emotional components of the tertiary emotion, despair

In despair, the self’s capability, or the self’s autonomy and control, is lost. The explosive activity of the despairing individual is apt to “persist until the despairer’s excesses become so outrageous . . . that a sudden and shocking perception of his own behavior plunges him to real self-loathing” (Farber 1999:204). Upon being shocked by one’s own self-destructive behavior, the self’s despair can no longer go unacknowledged. The possibility of personal renewal and self-illumination might arise; but if this possibility eludes the self-estranged individual, “he will now discover that this self-loathing has landed him in the bleakest, most naked realm of despair” (Farber 1999:204). We have now defined the three secondary emotions that can emerge from the mixtures of the three primary emotions and discussed the three primary–secondary pathways to despair. This definitional hierarchy is displayed in Figure 7.1.

Consequences of self-estrangement and despair Our models of self-estrangement and despair, and a review of the literature, suggest several pathological consequences of despair. In addition to suicidality, we also consider logicality, alexithymia, a feeling of emptiness, collapse of temporal experience, and hubristic pride. Excessive reliance on logic Farber (1999:200) argues that despair is apt to be repressed, encapsulated, or masked by logical-sounding generalizations about the human condition, the existence or non-existence of God, or the consequences of suicide. The despairer’s


Emotions basic to alienation

forced logic becomes hyperactive, as he or she desperately tries to keep fears and doubts from the conscious mind. The despairing mind invents its own creed and embraces its own willfulness; striving to answer existential, yet sometimes absurd, questions on the level of thought alone, it is prone to pursuing a tortured logic, in which, for example, the idea of being the author of one’s own death “exercises a demonic and seductive fascination” and promises “a secret and cherished solution to any difficulty life may throw across his path” (Farber 1976:66). The despairer’s reliance on logic has been linked to the division of labor between the human brain’s right and left cerebral hemispheres (RH, LH) (of the typical right-handed adult). Recent neuroscientific research supports an emotions–valence theory, according to which approach-oriented basic emotions (e.g., anticipation, happiness, anger) are left-lateralized; and negative, withdrawal-oriented emotions (e.g., sadness, disgust, surprise), right-lateralized (Davidson et al. 1990; G. Lee et al. 2004; Balconi and Mazza 2010). In the RH, the experiences of negatively valenced, primary emotions are polysemantic, multidimensional, and elusive. The RH tends to be more sorrowful than the LH, and prone to depression, in part because it is more in touch with the social world and feels more empathy, and sympathy, for others’ suffering and pain (Davidson 1994). Sadness enhances the experience of pain (Yoshino et al. 2012) and contributes to RH dysfunction (Liotti and Tucker 1992). We have argued that sadness is a reaction to a degraded experience of time and temporality, and it is well established that the appreciation of time as lived, with a past, present, and future, depends on the RH. Following RH damage, this depth, or stretching of time, and sense of duration is thus lost (McGilchrist 2010:76–7); the experience of time is limited to a before–now–after sequencing of static points, that is, to a linear time-consciousness that no longer captures the flow of motion through time as a phenomenological experience. Alexithymia The combinations of sadness, disgust, and surprise generate an anguished, painful state of mind. These emotions of despair, together with difficulties in affect regulation, can contribute to a self-destructive process which decreases the RH’s ability to function and, in extreme cases, can lead to what Weinberg (2000a) calls a “collapse” of RH functioning. Without a functioning RH, the individual has impaired ability to engage in the complex social functioning necessary for a socially constructed self. While ‘collapse’ might be too strong a term, the hypothesized emotions of despair are at least encapsulated insofar as they do not find representation in the LH, which is not well informed about the RH’s experience of distressing emotions. According to interhemispheric transfer deficit theory, the individual becomes alexithymic (lacking feelings for words), as verbal processes become flat, uninvolved, concrete, and deficient in symbolism and creative expression2 (Kaplan and Wogan 1976–7; Hoppe and Bogen 1977; TenHouten et al. 1985a, 1985b, 1986; Hoppe 1989; Parker et al. 1999; TenHouten 2006; Romei et al. 2008). Interhemispheric transfer deficit theory might better have been named ‘interhemispheric transfer inhibition theory’, because the corpus callosum

Self-estrangement and despair 101 (which can transfer information from RH to LH) contains a significant proportion of neurons playing an inhibitory role, including inhibition of strong, negative emotions’ interference with LH functioning.3 This was shown in corpus callosotomy (‘split-brain’) patients (whose cerebral commissures had been surgically severed as a treatment of last resort for drug-refractory epileptic seizures). These patients’ LH-dependent word production, lacking input from the RH, experienced less than a normal range of negative affect (TenHouten et al. 1985a, 1985b), a limitation of expressiveness that involves both primary emotions such as sadness and disgust, and more complex emotions such as hatred, shame, and jealousy. One patient, for example, described spousal infidelity in a flat, descriptive manner, showing no hint of jealousy (Hoppe and Bogen 1977). The encapsulation of the RH’s affect leads to a LH-dominant mode of cognition that is in itself self-referential, as the LH primarily deals with the world it has made for itself (McGilchrist 2010:42). When the RH deteriorates, experiences dysfunction, or suffers damage, there is a loss of ability to ‘capture’ connections between what is ambiguous and polysemantic; this prevents a holistic and mosaic representation of reality. Because the RH is open to the interconnectedness of things, it enables identification with others; with RH dysfunction, the lack of a holistic grasp degrades empathic understanding of and sympathetic concern for others’ welfare (Decety and Chaminade 2003:591) and representations of one’s self and body image (Joseph 1996). The RH is the seat of self-representation, as it enables a multiplicity of interconnections among various self-representations articulated with emotion-laden personal experiences. A dominant, even overarching, function of the RH is to generate a sense of an emotional and physical self, including an awareness of one’s corporeal being and its relations to the environment and others’ affective states (Devinsky 2000; for a review, see Keenan et al. 2000).4 Evidence shows that during suicidal states of mind, individuals demonstrate a LH-oriented approach to reality, determined mainly by monosemantic, logical operations that do not allow ambiguity and contradiction, and search for clear-cut solutions to logical problems. Emptiness To feel abjection is to plunge into a black hole of meaninglessness and nonexistence; this is not only a feeling of emptiness but an “implosive, centripetal pull into the void” in which one despairs of being helped or soothed; in despair “the experience of abandonment is ultimate and decisive” (Grotstein 1990:257). As an affective element of self-estrangement, despair involves a loss of territory insofar as it is an emptying out of the self, a theme elaborated in phenomenology and psychiatry. Contemporary researchers have linked intense despair, as a feeling of emptiness and lack of a meaningful future, to boredom. Blauner (1964:26) observes that when work does not express workers’ abilities, personalities, and potentialities, but is rather self-estranging, “boredom and monotony” can result. The despairing individual who is bored with life can, in turn, bore his or her psychiatrist (Bergstein 2009). Boredom is a reaction to a hidden, encapsulated part of the psyche, in which mental activity has been suspended and experience


Emotions basic to alienation

has become meaningless. This is a ‘place’ in the mind where unexplained, unconscious emotions are contained, impeded from being cognized or finding expression. The self-estranged individual experiences a psychic emptiness, and “cannot live in a condition of emptiness for very long; if he is not growing toward something, he does not merely stagnate; the pent-up potentialities turn into morbidity and despair” (May 1953:24). Even in survey research, despair is measured in terms of emptiness. Carr (2004:601), for example, measured despair by three items: (i) “life seemed empty,” (ii) “I felt empty inside,” and (iii) “I felt life had lost its meaning.” In despair, one’s self experiences the loss of its very being and is engulfed by a sense of non-being. It is well documented that despairing, suicidal individuals are not cognitively or behaviorally open to unusual, multi-dimensional, challenging, and personally meaningful new experiences. Losing concern with the world, the despairing, self-estranged individuals lose spontaneity and become “dead to the world”; the “primal springs of vitality have dried up, as if he were empty or hollow at the very core of his being” (Hendin 1975). Rather than actively engaging the world, the despairing individual becomes closed-minded and detached from social life. Hubristic pride The despairing, self-estranged individual is one whose self is estranged from itself, who cannot establish and maintain a stable identity; significant affects are encapsulated in the psyche (and the RH). The self-estranged despairer’s social world becomes constricted to the point of social isolation or social alienation such that the level of estrangement from family, peers, community, or society is so great that a search for meaning becomes impossible. Wherever a deeply self-estranged individual goes, he or she cannot shed despair, and participates in social situations only in a stilted and artificial way; the despairing individual avoids meaningful interactions with others, and in some cases claims a disability or disorder that justifies self-absorption. Filled with a false pride that blocks true humility, those in despair can turn to the logic of their now-isolated will and become concerned with certainties; even the certainty of hopelessness may paradoxically appear as a form of hope, promising to make reasonable what is unreasonable, namely, hopelessness itself. The despairing individual clings to thoughts of suicide as a potential act that expresses power and claims a clear vision that condemns the world. But these thoughts, while logical on the surface, cover over an absurd repression of the harsh truth about his or her life. An overweening sense of pride is thus apt to be a “natural and powerful partner” to despair (Farber 1976:69). While the despairing individual is preoccupied with thoughts of suicide and feels miserable and humbled, “it is not humility but pride that rules his imagination in this enterprise” (Farber 1976:68). The individual is prone to developing grand fantasies about migrating, perhaps to a Tibetan monastery, a cabin in the woods, or a desert island. Far from being an authentic pride, this is a hubristic pride (Tracy et al. 2009).

Self-estrangement and despair 103

Discussion Beginning with a six-part definition of self-estrangement, we have developed a model of despair as its key tertiary emotion as involving three primary–secondary ‘pathways to despair. This summary model is shown as Figure 7.2. Despair is a powerful, negative, anguishing, overwhelmingly painful emotion, but it is also a pathology of cognition; consequently, despair is more fully characterized as an affective-cognitive sentiment than simply a complex emotion. The individual in despair who is also suicidal can utilize every new event, encounter, or experience to confirm and expand the suicidal state of mind (Alverez 1972). The world of the despairing, suicidal individual is ever constricting; the individual loses cognitive flexibility, the capability of regulating affects, and a cohesive self-representation (Weinberg 2000a:808). We proposed that the emotions sadness, surprise, and disgust, which comprise the affective basis of self-estrangement, can combine to form pathways to despair. To develop and maintain a viable self and to confront loss of a true self, one must interrogate one’s own emotions, including negative ones. When the self experiences intensely negative emotional states, it can experience a threefold collapse: of one’s temporal experience and community involvement (the source of sadness), of self-representation or self-image (the source of disgust), and of resources and territory (the source of surprise). The self-estranged individual has developed a non-cohesive self-representation and undergoes self-disintegration. Several psychopathologies are associated with catastrophic disintegration of the self, including narcissistic vulnerability (Apter et al. 1993), the development of a fantasy double or companion (K. Seeman, Widrow and Yesavage 1984), distorted body representation (Joseph 1996), schizophrenia (Toch [1975] 1992:122), multiplepersonality disorder (Putnam et al. 1986), borderline personality disorder (Gardner and Cowdry 1985), and a generally alienated and negative attitude toward the self and the world (Weinberg 2000a:804). When self-estrangement leads to

Disgust and disappointment

Surprise and loneliness

Sadness and shock

Unsatisfied human needs Logicality Unrewarding activities Alexithymia Ideal-real self discrepancy; a disrupted moral faculty Experience of a false self Biographical memory loss Over-conformity, loss of meaningful goals



Feeling of emptiness Collapsed temporality Hubristic pride Self-harm, suicidality

Figure 7.2 A conceptual model: causes of self-estrangement, primary–secondary pathways to despair, and selected consequences of despair


Emotions basic to alienation

a despairing disintegration of the self, it can result in suicide. The possible role of despair as an intervening variable between self-estrangement or non-cohesive self-representation and these pathologies is a topic for future research and theory.

Notes 1 This silence can also be imposed by others, as in the case of prisoners in solitary confinement, which many regard as a “nether-world of despair” (Abu-Jamal 1995:12). 2 One aspect of the commissurotomy syndrome is a lack of creativity, as creativity requires an integrated effort involving the resources and contributions of both sides of the brain (Bogen and Bogen 1969). Bogen (1969) found, in addition to dyscopia (inability to copy a figure) in their right hands (and LHs) of commissurotomy patients, a dysgraphia (inability to copy words) in the left hands (and right hemisphere). TenHouten (2011) found that while these patients could write with their right hands (and LHs), the handwriting they produced lacked creative aspiration and creative organization, which was interpreted as an ‘expression dysgraphia’ of the right hand. 3 While the majority of cells projecting to the corpus callosum are excitatory (using the facilitating neurotransmitter glutamate), there are significant populations of inhibitory nerve cells (using the neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid, or GABA); even the excitatory fibers are apt to terminate on intermediary neurons (‘interneurons’) whose function is inhibitory (Conti and Manzoni 1994). 4 There is clearly a right-hemisphere preference for self-recognition. Recognition of one’s own face requires the work of the right prefrontal cortex (the right inferior frontal gyrus) (Keenan et al. 2000). The right inferior parietal lobe, together with frontopolar and somatosensory regions, are critical for distinguishing self from other (Ruby and Decety 2004). A number of deficits in self-awareness, including delusional misidentifications, have been linked to right-hemisphere disorders of self-awareness (see Feinberg and Keenan 2005). Included in the many pathologies of mind following right hemisphere damage and dysfunction are a “reality monitoring defect” (Johnson 1991) and a “belief evaluation system defect” (Coltheart, Langdon and McKay 2011).


Meaninglessness, ressentiment, and resentment

Introduction: meaningfulness and meaninglessness This chapter investigates meaninglessness, one of Seeman’s (1959, 1972) five varieties of alienation. We link it to the closely related concepts of ressentiment and resentment. These two affective phenomena represent adaptive reactions to perceived unjustified suffering, the experience of losing power and position, and feelings of relative deprivation. Meaningfulness connotes making sense, coherence, and order out of some event, phenomenon, the social world, or the totality of one’s life. Interpreting one’s existence as meaningful signifies being able to comprehend how and why events occur, achieving a sense of purpose, having goals toward which one can strive (Reker, Peacock and Wong 1987), noting and understanding one’s accomplishments, and sensing that these have importance beyond oneself. Seeman (1959:786) provides a succinct definition of meaningfulness (and, conversely, therefore, of meaninglessness) as “the individual’s [lack of a] sense of understanding [of] the events in which he is engaged.” Seeman further characterizes meaninglessness as “a low expectancy that satisfactory predictions about future outcomes of behavior can be made.” Meaninglessness therefore connotes senselessness, or the perception that events in the social world occur in seemingly mysterious or incomprehensible ways that defy causal analysis or even mundane understanding. In everyday speech, meaninglessness means “without importance or purpose” or “without value” (Erwin 1970:3). Purpose means that one’s current activities will have an effect on future outcomes, while value means that one’s actions are assessed as morally good and correct. Baumeister (1991) suggests that, besides purpose and value, a feeling of efficacy or a sense of having the ability to mobilize resources in order to control important life outcomes, or make changes in an individual’s or group’s situation, is essential to prevent meaninglessness (H. Smith and Kessler 2004:301). A “will to meaning” is an innate human necessity. Frustration of this “will to meaning” can engender a deep rage, self-hatred, and a “bitter resentment toward life” (Diamond 1996:29). Several areas of social life can cause an erosion of one’s meaning and value systems. Chief among these has been the industrial workplace, where employees might not comprehend how their activities are integrated with the overall work process (Marx 1932; Blauner 1964:22–4; Bacharach and Aiken 1979:855).


Emotions basic to alienation

Meaninglessness is particularly prominent where workers produce only a narrow fragment of the final product, and it can be expressed through absenteeism and worker turnover. Participation in or engagement with corporate, governmental, and bureaucratic organizations can also produce feelings of meaninglessness. Individual employees or office holders can inhabit roles that do not integrate or seem essential to the organization’s overall functions. Some technical processes might appear opaque to employees whose highly specialized positions prevent understanding the organization’s overall mission or objective. Even managers can be burdened by ‘red tape’ and bureaucratic procedures, and consequently experience this form of meaninglessness (DeHart-Davis and Pandey 2005). Beyond the workplace, individuals can experience meaninglessness within their community, larger society, or culture, if they are unable to comprehend or participate in significant events or if they sense that they are unable to anticipate, predict, or influence future outcomes.

Meaninglessness, suffering, ressentiment, and resentment The English word ‘resentment’ derives from the Old French recentement (1300) and the Middle French ressentiment (1613), meaning a true recollection or recall of an earlier-experienced feeling or sentiment of any kind, including affective states such as joy, sorrow, and grateful appreciation (Oxford: meaning 2a). These earlier meanings are obsolete, for resentment no longer refers to reexperienced sentiments in general, but only to negative sentiments relating to grievances, injuries, patterns of unfair treatment, unfulfilled or frustrated desires, and, most generally, unjustified suffering at the hands of another or others. The affective states associated with resentment include ill will, bitterness, and anger (Oxford: meanings 1a–c). Eighteenth-century sentimentalists and moral philosophers came to distinguish ‘gratitude’ and ‘resentment’, seeing resentment as a noxious emotion and an “unsocial passion” (Adam Smith [1759] 2000:44–51). Smith linked resentment to hatred, indignation, and vengefulness directed to insolent or empowered persons who have wrongly inflicted injury upon the self or others with whom one sympathizes or identifies. Smith ([1759] 2000:49) noted that resentment is a disagreeable and undesirable passion that poisons one’s happiness. Yet, Smith also conceptualized resentment as a moral sentiment capable of motivating a forceful behavioral response to wrongdoing, provided it is moderated by a sense of mercy, and excludes savage revenge. If its consequences are what an impartial spectator would consider fair, it can be considered a guardian of justice and a component of self-defense against possible violence to the self by others in one’s society. Hume (1748) analyzed resentment using concepts of scarcity and selfishness as conditions of justice. He considered social equality and inequality, and the sentiments such social conditions engender. He argued that social inequality becomes a felt source of injustice only for societal members who are roughly equal. When treated unequally, these individuals feel resentment and possibly contemplate revenge against the perpetrators of their suffering. When individuals are powerless, and their resentment is sublimated and kept from consciousness, it will fail

Meaninglessness, ressentiment, resentment


to lead to action and instead generates a helpless feeling. Only if resentment is forceful, and the resentful have sufficient power and willfulness, can they successfully voice and act upon their interests and grievances (see Baier 1980:136). Hume ([1748] 1986:180) argued that the helpless and forceful forms of resentment are distinguished by societal members’ ability to make the powerful feel the effects of their resentment; moreover, “[a] sense of injustice is a sense, not of hopeless resentment, but of forceful resentment.” It is the negative meaning of resentment that has prevailed; the distinction between its helpless and forceful manifestations remains topical in sociomoral philosophy and social theory. Resentment today is typically defined as a reactive feeling of bitterness, indignation, displeasure, or ill will toward some condition, behavior, individual, group, or other agent. It is seen as an affective reaction to an another’s freely willed action that is wrong, insulting, offending, injurious, or unjustified (Strawson [1974] 2008:6–11; B. Turner 2011; Oxford: meaning 1a). We first consider the helpless kind of resentment, which is linked to both meaninglessness and powerlessness and is a reaction to unjustified suffering. We then consider forceful resentment, wherein the resentful individual endeavors to seek an end to suffering and punishment for the agent held responsible for one’s suffering. Lévinas (1998; see also Minkkinen 2007) argued that there can be no rational meaning in extreme suffering, and to hold that useless suffering can serve a higher good is morally repugnant. In his later phenomenology of suffering, Lévinas refuted its rationality by describing it as evil, passive, and meaningless. Moral philosophers have argued that, in light of the Holocaust and countless other atrocities, any theodicy, whether providing a natural or supernatural justification for extreme suffering, is, in itself, evil. Any justification of one’s neighbor’s pain is a source of immorality. As Lévinas argued, it is meaningless to be subjected to extreme suffering without resentment. The only meaningful suffering, Lévinas (1998:91–101) argued, is the pain associated with the recognition of ethical responsibilities toward others (for Lévinas, the supreme ethical principle), a burdensome responsibility that can potentially undermine compassion. Meaningless suffering can produce resentment in both directions; those who are exposed to the experience of extreme suffering will resent those who make them suffer, and those who witness such suffering can resent their ethical obligation to feel compassion and pity and even to intervene (White 2012:119). Nietzsche ([1887] 1956:170–3, 185–6, 205–8, 262–5) noted the absurdity of suffering, and denounced the sentimentality of Christian ethics (and utilitarian morality), which attribute meaning to suffering. Nietzsche ([1887] 1956:200) exclaimed: “What makes people rebel against suffering is not really suffering itself but the senselessness of suffering.” Nietzsche (1887), in On the Genealogy of Morals, linked both meaninglessness and powerlessness to resentment, using the French term ressentiment (perhaps to demonstrate his European social identity in contrast to Hegel’s nationalism, or out of the Enlightenment vogue for all that is French). Ressentiment, for Nietzsche, involved the repeated experience and reliving of a negative emotional state felt by some individual, group, or category of persons seen as having inflicted an injury, or otherwise made one suffer, together with hostility, frustration, and a thirst for


Emotions basic to alienation

revenge which cannot be directly expressed. For Nietzsche, the attainment of efficacy and power engenders meaning; the lack or loss of power, a collapse of meaning: The suffering of defeat or loss of status generates an explosive, dangerous affect, which deadens the tormenting, secret pain. Nietzsche ([1887] 1956:iii.15) called this state of mind ressentiment. Ressentiment is a deep and long-lasing sentiment. As used by Nietzsche, it suggests a sense of weakness or inferiority, together with feelings of hostility and malice directed at whomever or whatever is seen, accurately or not, as causing suffering and associated frustration. Ressentiment can become a savage affect resulting in involvement in extremist ideologies, belief systems, and social movements, including fascism (Adorno 1950), proto-fascism (Berlet 2006), McCarthyism (Trow 1958), racism (Lowenthal and Guterman 1949), apocalyptic prophesies (Berlet 2011), conspiracy theories (Katyal 2003), and right-wing populist antielitism (Berlet 2011). Ressentiment can simultaneously act to satisfy the craving for a narcotic that can mask the pain of having one’s system of meaning imposed upon or appear to have suddenly vanished. Essentially, Nietzsche saw ressentiment as an adaptive reaction motivated by “a desire to stun pain” (Morgan [1941] 1965:150). Ressentiment is a potential source of energy, but this raw energy is typically not directed at the real source of one’s incapacity; it rather finds expression on other levels, including changes of ideas and values, a “transvaluation of all values” (Umwertung aller Werte) (Nietzsche 1895), and by choosing targets for ridicule, spite, malice, condemnation, or scapegoating, thereby coming to experience overcoming and meeting a desperate need for a sense of efficacy. Nietzsche’s analysis of ressentiment began with a distinction between the nobility and the common people. The hereditary nobility (the ‘masters’) was divided between those who fought (the ‘knights’) and those who prayed (the ‘priests’), with the common people being those who worked (the ‘slaves’ or the ‘herd’). Nietzsche’s ([1887] 1956:i.5) concepts of ‘nobility’ – along with ‘knight’, ‘priest’, and ‘slave’, were historically situated, both in the ancient world and in medieval times, but his ‘genealogy of morals’ was far from a rigorous historical account;1 these concepts can more accurately be seen as a social-psychological diagnosis of character types. All three of these ideal-typical actors are subject to a variety of alienation. The highly competitive individual, the ‘knight’, is subject to violating whatever norms of behavior exist that might constrain his behavior, and acting normlessly, is prone to a kind of anomie accompanied by a ruthless grasp for power (Durkheim [1897] 1960:257).2 The subordinate, the ‘slave’, has no values of his own, but rather internalizes those of his master; he or she is subject to a variety of alienation which Schutte (1983) calls “heteronomic conscience” and links to envy. Heteronomy, the rule of another, or the state of being ruled or dominated by another, is the antithesis of ‘autonomy’, which Kant ([1781b] 1997:30, 33, 36–7, [1785] 1964:37–40, 108–13), drawing on Rousseau (1762b), defined as the true self, an autonomous moral will determining itself by its own moral laws. It is the ‘priest’ that Nietzsche (1887, 1895) linked to ressentiment. Nietzsche essentially carried out a social psychology of priests, described as “weak” and “unhealthy,”

Meaninglessness, ressentiment, resentment


and who had been defeated by the “physicality” and “overflowing health” of the knights, and consequently developed a perverse sense of “impotence” (Nietzsche [1887] 1956:i.6–7). The priest desires to lead a kind of life he believes is valuable, which includes political supremacy, but cannot fulfill this aspiration of a “lust to rule” or “will to power.” The result is a “man of ressentiment,” who must adapt to the tensions between his aspirations, to which he feels entitled, and his inability to attain these.3 He can resign himself to impotence, renounce the kind of life he values most, and accept global failure. Opting for resignation to one’s lot in life, however, requires a stable scale of values, but in a modern society oriented to the ideal of progress, all scales of value become transitory, so that resignation becomes difficult. Or, he can seek revenge as a means of restoring his lost superiority, but in ressentiment this urge to vengefulness comes to be ‘repressed’, ‘submerged’, or ‘sublimated’. Any theology or philosophy that springs from weakness, Nietzsche maintained, is sure to be decadent, lacking in vitality, and expressing disgust with life in this world. The priest’s desire for superiority itself becomes repressed. The result can be a ‘revaluation of values’ that goes unrecognized, being masked by a self-deceptive imagining that ‘real’ power lies not in political superiority but in spiritual achievement; the value of political supremacy comes to be replaced with the values of pity, forgiveness, gratitude, love, and equality (Reginster 1997:291–2). Thus, the individual in an inferior position and experiencing ressentiment comes to see himself as superior “by virtue of the very properties that formerly constituted his inferiority” (Elster 1999:175). The display of emotions such as forgiveness and love, Nietzsche contended, masks a nearly opposite and often unacknowledged sentiment of ressentiment, which is saturated with contempt, outrage, malevolence, and hatred for those who have compromised one’s dignity and challenged one’s self-respect, so that these inflicted wounds will be neither forgotten nor forgiven. This devaluation of power and self-efficacy, however, continues to be motivated by a repressed desire to generate power. If power cannot be generated in one way, other ways will be tried in an effort to avoid the collapse of meaning (Nietzsche [1887] 1956:iii). For Nietzsche, “loss of meaning is precisely the situation where life is unable to engender power” (Bowles 2003:13). For the priest who has been overcome, who has lost his high position, and is fueled by ressentiment, power can find manifestation in two ways: (i) by enjoying the bit of power than comes from doing good deeds; and (ii) in order to deaden the pain, by brutalizing, torturing, and killing those they can control, justified by accusations of evil thoughts or deeds: The Catholic Inquisition, from the mid-12th to early 19th centuries, stands out as one historical example (Bethencourt 2009); witchcraft persecutions, from the mid-15th to late 17th centuries (J. Demos 2008), is another. Those who suffer a loss of power can find a narcotic in inflicting suffering on others.4 Max Scheler ([1912] 1961:46–7) saw the concept of ressentiment as encompassing several affective states, including hostility, aggressive impulses, indignation or anger, rancor, envy, malice, and a desire for revenge. While Scheler emphasized the emergence of ressentiment among those holding lowly positions in status hierarchies, this affect-laden phenomenon extends to those who have been subjected to


Emotions basic to alienation

suffering and brutalization, such as victims of political crimes. Auschwitz survivor Jean Améry ([1966] 1980:77) held that, while ressentiment is a negative state of mind, the victim can use it as a sociomoral justification for remaining alive, “in order that the crime become a moral reality for the criminal, in order that he be swept into the truth of his atrocity.” Améry offered this view as a counterweight to contemporary advocacy of reconciliation, pardon, and forgiveness following mass atrocities. Some societies that have experienced atrocities against subdominant groups make efforts to ensure that history does not repeat itself, but they can also be prone to seek obliteration of the past. Fassin (2013:253) recalls an inscription tagged on a wall in Johannesburg, South Africa: “As if nothing ever happened.” It is only ressentiment, Améry contended, that stands in the way of forgiving and forgetting the past. Whereas Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu were men of reconciliation, South African politician Thabo Mbeki is a man of ressentiment, for whom the history of apartheid and the suffering it wrought should never be forgiven or forgotten. Forgiveness, if it comes, would not be unilateral, and criminals would exhibit signs of repentance. A white South African might feel anger and resentment toward the criminals who exploited apartheid to torture, rape, and kill black South Africans. But he or she could not feel ressentiment, for this requires having been subjected to inferiorization, stigmatization, or violence. Thus, “Ressentiment is more than an affect: it is an anthropological condition related to a historical situation of victim – a description that does not suit the ordinary experience of resentment” (Fassin 2013:256). Ressentiment is based on a feeling that one is undeservingly losing or has lost the superior or even equal social position to which one is entitled, and where (i) an aspiration which is repressed has been denied; (ii) an inability to acquire these desires is not accepted; and (iii) one becomes vulnerable to mistreatment. As ressentiment, this involves not only resentment but also envy, vengefulness, shame, and self-contempt (Reginster 1997:296). As Nietzsche’s ([1883–91] 1978:ii.7) Zarathustra exclaimed: You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamors thus out of you for quality: your most secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shrouds themselves in words of virtue. Aggrieved conceit, repressed envy . . . erupts from you . . . as the frenzy of revenge. Resentful individuals who profess acting according to altruistic values are subconsciously motivated by wishes and desires that are incompatible with such values. Nietzsche ([1895] 2005:5, 12, 36, 40, 58, 61) expanded the meaning of ressentiment by applying it to the entire Judeo-Christian tradition. He saw in this theology a rejection of the acceptance of life, of temporality, and of well-being, beauty, power, enjoyment, passion, and self-approval. The strong individual, Nietzsche argued, does not seek meaning in changelessness, certainty, and uniformity, but rather finds value in change, uncertainty, variety, and the experience of power and efficacy. Nietzsche came to see ressentiment as a psychological condition of self-poisoning, triggered by discontent with society’s stratificational hierarchy; it

Meaninglessness, ressentiment, resentment


especially afflicts those who consider their situations oppressive, and their prospects, worsening. Ressentiment can take the form of an interiorized hatred that finds no expressive outlet. It can be blocked or repressed, and projected backward onto oppressed individuals’ worldviews. But resentment, as emphasized by Adam Smith and Hume, can also exist as a moral emotion and be associated with forceful behavior.

Forceful and helpless resentment Resentment has been topical in contemporary social psychology and sociology. Research on social inequality has shown that cognitive apprehension of relative deprivation, an unfair discrepancy between one’s own situation and those of more privileged others (Corning 2000), is apt to result in discontent and resentment (Folger 1987; H. Smith and Kessler 2004). In sociology, Bryan Turner (2011) views the high level of visibility between social groups in modern societies, especially within mega-cities, as a source of resentment. Compared to traditional societies, modern societies are open, fluid, and contiguous. Wealth and celebrity are often on full display, with the homes, lifestyles, and social behavior of the rich and famous displayed (primarily via mass media) to the underprivileged and disprivileged in large doses. This reinforces the perception of the vast social distance between the common people and the inaccessible wealthy elite. This exposure to inequality in the crowded social spaces of modernity can breed resentment. Rousseau (1762a) argued that modern individuals are rendered inauthentic by the need to assume a social mask, and that they display a false, amoral self. Because status and prestige are considered scarce, and their attainment often appears random and arbitrary, the resulting sense of frustration and disappointment of those who fail to attain high status or prestige creates the conditions for “an inflationary growth of resentment,” in the form of “an individualized emotion or disposition” (B. Turner 2011:88, 90). The basis of modern resentment, Turner concludes, is the development of a disjunction between material or status success and personal worth. Traditional virtues such as loyalty, saving, and asceticism have lost their place, and character has been devalued and corroded (Sennett 1998). Success appears, to many who have not attained it, to be either random or manipulated in favor of those with social advantages. This makes a mockery of the idea of equality of opportunity and generates an “exquisite resentment” (B. Turner 2011:90). A few researchers have examined the relationship between resentment and macrosociological processes of social class competition. Marshall ([1938] 1973:167–9) recognized that class antagonisms have an affective source in “resentment against inequality.” Such resentment, he argued, derives from three sources: (i) invidious comparison of one’s own class with higher classes; (ii) frustration at other classes’ privileges, which create inequality of opportunity, and which imputes to the higher classes “responsibility for the injustice under which the inferior suffers”; and (iii) oppression, where class conflict is expressed in unequal cooperation, in which one’s group is relatively powerless and subjected to exploitation. Marshall’s model


Emotions basic to alienation

of the three sources of resentment corresponds closely to the three-step process of developing and acting upon a state of relative deprivation. First, a comparison must be made by the individual of his personal situation or that of a group to which he belongs. Second, there must be a cognitive appraisal that an individual, or his group, is at a comparative disadvantage; this can induce frustration, but Marshall used the concept of “frustration” in a way that departed from earlier frustrationaggression theory, which was not a comparative model (N. Miller 1941). And third, this perceived disadvantage is not only frustrating, but is seen as unfair, exploitative, and oppressive, such that “the perceiver or his/her in-group deserves better, and this results in angry resentment” (H. Smith et al. 2012:204). While a relative-deprivation model can apply to individuals or to any social group, Marshall’s focus was on social classes, and particularly on the resentment of inferior classes. Barbalet (1992:155) points out that resentment can also be experienced by members of superordinate classes insofar as their actions result in losses of resources and opportunities. Class resentment, Barbalet (1992) shows, is also sensitive to changes in fortune based on the business cycle and other disruptions and discontinuities, with ascending classes not experiencing resentment but rather a future-oriented optimism and an aggressive self-assurance, and descending classes experiencing a past orientation, status defensiveness, and the potential for “resenting and rejecting the total framework of society” (Bensman and Vidich 1962:40). If not brought to consciousness, the resulting sublimated resentment can lead to enhanced religiosity; a fascination with crime, cruelty, and perverse sexuality; and venom directed not against the class forces responsible for downward socioeconomic mobility, but rather “against those who are perceived as gaining rewards without having made sacrifices, such as welfare recipients and those who disdain economic opportunities, such as liberal and radical students (Sennett and Cobb [1972] 1983:137–9). In such cases, resentment can fuel social and political movements that cast blame for a group’s or class’s deteriorating quality of life on foreigners, immigrants, welfare recipients, ethnic and racial minorities, and those who are receiving undeserved rewards and attention. The Marxian theory of class consciousness was never fully developed, and Marx’s life ended amidst his effort to define the concept of social classes (Marx [1894] 1971:886). While Marx ([1847] 1935:40) can be credited with an intuitive understanding of relative deprivation, he did not infer the emotions that invidious social comparisons of subordinate social classes would trigger. Efforts to describe class consciousness in cognitive terms have foundered on the fact that members of social classes frequently do not act in their objective interests, due in part to the free-rider problem (Elster 1985). Those who have focused on the affective aspect of class consciousness have identified resentment as a key emotion, but resentment itself has not been explicitly defined. To this end, it is helpful to sketch the arguments for proletarian revolutionary action adumbrated in Marxism and identify the functions of the components of this conceptualization. On the level of emotion, and especially longer-lasting sentiment, oppositional consciousness requires resentment, which can be broken down into primary emotional components (subjective-states/functions) of disgust/rejection, anger/destruction, and

Meaninglessness, ressentiment, resentment


surprise/orientation-and-boundary-defense.5 Thus, the oppressed must recognize what they wish to reject, what they wish to destroy, and what they wish to resist by orienting themselves to economic exploitation (the negative experience of economic interactions (Plutchik’s ‘territoriality’). According to Marx, and Marxists who advocate a revolutionary class consciousness, the proletariat and associated groups and classes reject their subdominant position and the associated conditions of their exploitation. They wish to destroy the capitalist mode of economic production, private property, and the class structure of society. They wish to gain control of the territorial or socioeconomic resources of the capitalist classes, their ill-gotten gains and private property that have been acquired by extracting surplus value from the laboring classes: To this end, they must orient themselves to resisting, and overcoming, economic exploitation and degrading conditions of labor. Because the functions of rejection, destruction, and orientation belong to the primary emotions disgust, anger, and surprise, respectively, there is at least a rough correspondence between Marshall’s (i) comparison, (ii) frustration, and (iii) oppression, and the present model of resentment, which identifies (i) a perception of inequality and therefore disgust, (ii) an effort to express unfair treatment, through expressions of anger,6 and (iii) the negative experience of economic or territorial relations, and therefore surprise. Because the helpless form of resentment often is sublimated or repressed, and fails to reach consciousness, it does not lend itself to analysis. Forceful resentment, in contrast, can be seen as an affective basis of an oppositional class consciousness, which has enabled resentment to be understood as possibly based on less complex, or basic, emotions. We first elaborate the meanings of these three emotions and then examine their secondary emotional combinations. Resentment can derive from individuals’ invidious comparison of themselves with other in-group individuals, or with out-group individuals, in comparing one’s in-group with an out-group, or the in-group at present to its past or future condition (W. Runciman 1966). All of these comparisons, according to relative-deprivation theory, can result in feelings of unfairness that stimulate an “angry resentment” (H. Smith et al. 2012:205; see also Folger 1987). This generalization, however, must be qualified by adding that some individuals will recognize, and then accept, their position of relative deprivation (Jost, Kay and Thorisdottir 2009) and not experience anger or resentment.

Resentment as a tertiary emotion While emotions are experienced as a complex state of the organism in which there is perturbation, excitement, expressed physiological change, and impulses toward adaptive behaviors, sentiments include (i) thoughts, views, opinions, or attitudes, and (ii) the expression or “personal experience,” of “one’s own feelings” (Oxford: meaning 1). Thus, a sentiment is a thought, view, attitude, or orientation to the world, especially one based mainly on emotion instead of reason. Sentiments are experienced as deep and persisting affective orientations to the world. The term ‘resentment’ is similar to ‘sentiment’, and ‘resentment’ once meant “a feeling or


Emotions basic to alienation

sentiment held in respect of another” (Oxford: meaning 2b). This definition of resentment, however, is obsolete. Further analysis of resentment requires that it be defined as a complex emotion. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) defined “anger + surprise = outrage, resentment, hate.” Anger, together with surprise, can be interpreted as outrage, but hatred does not appear to be interior to resentment, but is a possible consequence of resentment. Hatred has been defined differently elsewhere, as a combination of anger, disgust, and fear (TenHouten 2007:234–40). Plutchik ([1962] 1991:156, emphasis added) indirectly suggested that resentment might possess tertiary complexity, noting that “feelings of resentment are composed of (at least) disgust and anger.” Plutchik offered two different definitions of resentment – anger and surprise, and anger and disgust. Between these two definitions, we have three emotions that can define resentment as a tertiary emotion. Thus, for Plutchik, two wrongs have made a right. Resentment can be defined as follows: Resentment1 = Anger & Disgust & Surprise. We next explore the place of these three primary emotions in resentment. Anger Anger is widely considered a negative emotion because it can be unpleasant for all concerned. However, while trait anger can indeed be pathological (DiGiuseppe and Tafrate 2007), normal anger is an approach-oriented, goal-directed emotion that prioritizes the attainment of favorable outcomes (Tomarken and Zald 2009). Anger of mild intensity can enhance analytic processing (Moons and Mackie 2007), and its approach-motivated features are visible even in infancy (He et al. 2010). Plutchik was not in error when he defined anger as a positively valenced primary emotion. Anger becomes positive through a ‘dialectical’ process, a ‘negation of the negation’ that makes normal anger a positive: One is insulted, a negative experience; one then endeavors to negate this negative experience by a derisive rejoinder, a counter-insult, or an expression of displeasure. Through insult, the other has asserted their status in a hierarchy by lowering one’s own status or standing; a display of anger is an adaptive response. Anger is effort to restore one’s status, either by defending one’s status or by endeavoring to reduce the status of one’s opponent. Anger is a re-assertive response to goal blockage or denigration (Carver and Harmon-Jones 2009). If, in comparison to other people, groups, or even to themselves at different points in time, individuals who believe they do not have what they or their group deserves, and feel at least relatively deprived, will feel anger and resentment. There is thus a close relationship between anger and resentment, and it can be said that anger is resentment’s central ingredient. In their meta-analytic review of relative deprivation theory, Smith et al. (2012:217–218) repeatedly referred to “angry resentment”; at the same time, they pointed out the difference between the two emotions. Resentment is a less ephemeral and more clearly moral emotion (that is, a sentiment) than is simple anger (Grant 2008).

Meaninglessness, ressentiment, resentment


The resentful person will feel anger at having been violated, mistreated, or brutalized by others. The anger within resentment “strives to get even, inflicts one hurt for another, . . . [and] asserts one’s personal power over anything that challenges it” (Diamond 1996:271). Such anger will take the form of a desire for the misery of the violator, together with an aversion to his happiness (Hume [1739] 1978:382). Hume saw anger as a response to suffering, pain, frustration, injury, and wrong inflicted by others which instills a desire to act in the moral role of punisher. Resentment, Hume ([1748] 1986:218–27) argued, strives to make itself known and is desired not for any hedonic pleasure but for itself. As summarized by Baier (1980:138), Hume argued that “Resentment is not simply anger, it is the form anger takes when it is provoked by what is seen as a wrong, and when the striking back which is desired is seen as punishment.” Anger is interior to the very definition of resentment, which is “a feeling of . . . ill will, bitterness, or anger against a person or thing” (Oxford: meaning 1a). Anger is a crucial component of resentment (Spielberger 1988).7 The perception that one has received undeserved harmful treatment by others, and deserves better, can be a source of a deep and persisting anger. Those who experience childhood abuse are apt to develop a bitter resentment about having been mistreated and unloved, which creates a thirst for retribution. Pincus (2002) sees an anger-infused, even seething, intense, and enduring resentment, fueled by a sense of worthlessness, as increasing individuals’ propensity for murder and rape, which become – although often misdirected and precipitated by a mild slight – crimes of retribution. Such deep resentment, Pincus argues, leads to (i) seeing the slightest indifference as a global disrespect, (ii) reduces capacity for self-control, and (iii) leads to misinterpretation or distortion of social signals as shameful rejection. Disgust When the angering behavior of predatory others is seen as unjust and is rejected on moral grounds, the victim’s sociomoral response includes disgust. It is meaningless, or useless, suffering that is the source of resentment. Lévinas (1998:91–5) argues that the resentful person engages in a “refusal of meaning” for any claimed justification of his suffering. The alternative to such rejection, or revulsion, is a passive submission, a reduction of the self to a mere thing whose humanity has been overwhelmed by the evil that rends suffering. Resentment at being subjected to useless, even absurd, pain is an emotion, and thus is also an adaptive reaction that, if forceful, can command the ethical duties of others to help relieve one’s helplessness, abandonment, and solitude. It is rejection, the function of disgust, that can elevate an interiorized form of “pure pain” that is “intrinsically senseless” and characterized by a “gratuitous meaninglessness” to a forceful resentment. This forceful resentment, however confused and misdirected, comprises a demand for ethical treatment and palliative intervention. This is the price that civilization must pay to lighten the pain of those who suffer – and especially if the source of suffering is diabolical and malignant, and even if this effort itself causes suffering. Bearing this burden, Lévinas 1998:93–5) argued, is the supreme ethical principle,


Emotions basic to alienation

for meeting this obligation to the other who suffers is the only kind of suffering that is meaningful. Resentment is indeed a sociomoral emotion; it can be ignored, but only at the cost of rejecting what is morally incumbent, thereby becoming a party to a meaningless evil. From Hume’s analysis, we might expect that the primary emotion disgust is also interior to resentment. For Hume ([1739] 1978:581), moral qualities are “certainly . . . not deriv’d from reason . . . but proceed entirely from a moral taste and from certain sentiments of pleasure or disgust.” Hume ([1748] 1986:213) observed that “those who produce utility earn praise, while those who produce disutility and moral evil instill in those they injure “the strongest sentiment of disgust.” Those who are tyrannical, barbarous, or insolent trigger disgust in those they dominate and abuse. The outward expression of disgust can itself be punitive toward an oppressive other. No experience of sociality “can be agreeable, or even tolerable, where a man feels his presence unwelcome, and discovers all around him symptoms of disgust and aversion” (Hume [1748] 1986:273, 280–1). In considering Marshall, a linkage between his “comparison” and disgust was drawn, which requires elaboration. Disgust is the prototypical adaptive reaction to what Plutchik calls “identity,” Fiske calls “equality matching,” and de Waal (2009:187) calls “fairness.” Sensitivity to a partner, another individual, or a collectivity getting a comparatively larger share or reward is disturbing and agitating to capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees (de Waal 2009:187, 190–1). Human individuals typically resent unequal treatment, which in economics has led to the development of “inequality aversion theory” (Chambers 2012). While the inequality-aversion literature does not mention disgust, it does focus on the basic function of disgust, rejection, especially in studies of bargaining games, where unfairly unequal offers tend to be rejected; rational self-interest is outweighed by the force of resentment. Concern that what others get might be better than what we get might seem petty and irrational, and often is; it nonetheless serves the adaptive function of resistance to being taken advantage of, discourages exploitation, and contributes to control of the free-rider problem. In evolutionary terms, de Waal (2006) argues, it was the anticipation of the others’ resentment, motivated by conflict avoidance, that led to the emergence of a norm of fairness, first in primates and then in humans. As de Waal (2006:220) explains, “From humble beginnings noble principles arise. It starts with resentment if you get less, then moves to concern about how others will react if you get more, and ends with declaring [unfairness a] . . . bad thing in general.” The consequences of perceived unfairness extend far beyond a twinge of resentment if a sibling gets a bigger slice of pizza; this was recognized by Marshall, and is reiterated by de Waal (2009:190), who observes, “Human history is filled with ‘let them eat cake’ moments that create resentment, sometimes boiling over into bloody revolt.” Surprise Behavior that stimulates resentment effectively penetrates one’s boundaries, possibly involves abuse of body and property, and therefore contains an element of surprise (the prototypical adaptive reaction to breaches of one’s territory or resources).8

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Violations of manners, norms of interpersonal behavior, and respect for what is valued, believed in, and held to be proper and moral can be seen as breaches of interpersonal or moral territory. Individuals who perceive they are undeservedly disadvantaged will experience a number of emotions; in addition to anger and resentment, these include surprise, disappointment, outrage, and envy (Corning 2000). Feather, McKee and Bekker (2011) found that both anger and surprise clustered with resentment as undeserved negative emotions.9 We have seen that resentment arises when one is placed in an inferior position, and where harmful treatment is undeserved, unfair, insulting, or injurious (B. Turner 2011). Adam Smith ([1759] 2000:44) has been cited as asserting that resentment arises when an empowered other wrongly inflicts injury. The most direct kind of injurious territorial violation is injury to one’s ultimate territory, the body.

Primary–secondary emotional pathways to resentment To further interpret resentment, it is helpful to reformulate this proposed tertiary emotion as a combination of one primary emotion and the secondary emotion formed from the other two primaries. A contemptible breach of normative boundaries We have defined contempt as a mixture of anger and disgust. In contempt, these two emotions are typically present at high intensity levels. Given that anger and disgust can be externally focused moral emotions, the same can be said of contempt. Contempt is apt to be particularly strong if it is directed to an individual or group believed to be inferior who nonetheless holds a position of power or advantage; this is the case in contempt for a tyrant, or for a political party propelled to power but regarded as inferior by members of a traditional elite (Elster 1999:74, 2010). Yet, in resentment, contempt can also be self-focused, for the first reaction of the man of ressentiment to his defeat is not resentment or indignation, but shame and self-contempt (Reginster 1997:296). The object of contempt is (i) one who is perceived as failing to uphold interpersonal or sociomoral standards, and whose behavior violates others’ values, norms, mores, or bodies. For Nietzsche, ressentiment (or helpless resentment) involves a covert endorsement of the values of the agent inflicting injury. Given our definition, contempt = anger & disgust, it follows by substitution into the formula for resentment1 that Resentment2 = Contempt & Surprise. The emotion, surprise, motivates us to resolve representational discrepancies. “Surprise,” Izard (1980:209) observes, “resets consciousness, and the resulting affect gives direction to subsequent perceptual activity.” Surprise, as boundary defense, can involve a degradation of one’s meaning system, combined with contempt for the putative causes of this sociocultural deterioration and shrinking opportunities to maintain a valued way of life and associated systems of belief. This


Emotions basic to alienation

form of resentment, resentment2, is consistent with Hume’s ([1739] 1978:389–93) position that contempt involves invidiously comparing oneself, regarded positively, with another perceived as undeserving of sympathy. When experienced by members of dominant and oppressive groups, contempt is associated with short-term derogation, long-term social exclusion, lack of group reconciliation, and an absence of relational improvement (A. Fischer and Roseman 2007). Nicole Tausch et al. (2011) report that, while anger by itself does not contribute to such intergroup difficulties, contempt (which includes anger) does contribute to non-normative action, such as lynching in the United States during the reconstruction period following the Civil War (and beyond) and systematic rape in South Africa, rampant during the apartheid era. The holding of a subordinate group in contempt has historically played a key role in humiliation, dehumanization, and brutalization. Resentment directed downward is manifested in the contemptuous treatment of the property, rights, bodies, and dignity of the oppressed on the part of their oppressors, and in some instances by derisive characterization of the working classes and the underclass by members of dominant classes, who do not hesitate to describe their social inferiors as lazy freeloaders sponging off a putatively bloated social safety net. An angering culture shock From our definition shock = surprise & disgust,10 it follows that Resentment3 = Anger & Shock. Resentment of those conducting what is regarded as morally unacceptable or sociomorally shocking behavior can trigger angry indignation, that is, an annoyance provoked by whatever is perceived as unworthy, mean, or cruel. Resentment can thus result from perceived shockingly wrong, angering predatory behavior of another person, group, or category of persons. Resentment occurs through protracted, intractable intergroup conflicts, and anger is surely an important aspect of resentful feelings (Bar-Tal 2004). Because anger is a sociomoral emotion, it is more likely experienced, or experienced with greater intensity, by those who are offended than by those who are offending. Anger, whether embedded in resentment, or not, and whether joined with a shocking realization, or not, can enhance self-esteem and play a role in redressing putatively wrong and unfair situations. A disgusting outrage Meaninglessness also finds an affective basis in the mixture of disgust and the secondary emotions resulting from the combination of anger and surprise. This is hypothesized to form outrage. One syllable of the word ‘outrage’ is rage, and ‘outrage’ clearly has an anger component, as it means an “extremely vicious or violent act, . . . a deep insult or offense” (offense meaning moving toward, the behavior of anger) and especially, “great anger, indignation, etc.” Surprise is more indirectly included, but is nonetheless present, as outrage also means “exceeding

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all bounds of decency or reasonableness” (Webster’s New World Dictionary 1988). Thus, outrage includes a penetration of a normative social boundary. Moral outrage is a response to the behavior of others, not to the self (Goodenough 1997). Given that outrage = anger & surprise, it follows that Resentment4 = Disgust & Outrage. Resentment4 results from the behavior of those others adjudged to have committed disgusting and outrageous violations of social norms. It is in a world in which meaning seems to be slipping away, and individuals lose the sense of understanding the events in which they are engaged, that resentment finds its fullest expression. Insofar as the “threat of meaninglessness . . . haunts contemporary man and is rooted partly in a quicksand of shifting or competing values, partly in a morass of human evil that the easiest conscience can scarcely ignore” (Penick 1955:124), individuals will experience meaninglessness and will be subject to the experience of resentment. One feature of the modern world is the endlessness of possibilities that the individual can experiment with, in a process of self-creation and openness to all kinds of experiences and beliefs. This, for some, will mean that life need not be taken seriously, as if it means something, as if it were morally constrained only by outmoded views of the sacred. If no important distinction can be made between true meaning and false meaning, then all meaning becomes false, an illusion, and a deception. But to accept that there is no truth means there is no such thing as a lie, and it is at this point that meaninglessness can become monstrous and unleash the demons of resentment upon those who are held up as scapegoats and subjected to abuse and even brutalization. It is when meaning becomes entirely relative that resentments are set free, so that meaninglessness can become “a cause of corruption and decay in society” (Casey 2004:74). A definitional summary of the tertiary emotion, resentment, is shown in Figure 8.1.


Surprise Anger

Resentment Disgust



Figure 8.1 Hypothesized primary and secondary emotional components of the tertiary emotion resentment


Emotions basic to alienation

Discussion The concepts ressentiment and resentment have a colorful history. ‘Ressentiment’ came to be elaborated by Smith, Nietzsche, and Scheler to describe the affective reaction to downward social mobility or unjustified suffering and oppression. The phenomena that ressentiment refers to are real and are of sociological and sociohistorical importance. Both resentment and ressentiment have taken on a negative meaning. Even negative emotions can be adaptive, however, and Lévinas recognized this in insightfully observing that it is meaningless to suffer without resentment. Hume provided further insight in noting that resentment is meaningless if it does not make itself known and taken into account by those it accurately targets. Resentment has the potential to be not only adaptive but also forcefully so. There is a continuity between emotions, which are acute and intense short term, and sentiments, which are less activating and become longer-term dispositions of attitude, personality, and character. One might feel the emotion of resentment at not being invited to a social event, but develop a global sentiment of resentfulness if one is systematically excluded from the life of one’s community. In terms of theory construction, it is useful to focus on emotions, proceeding under the likelihood that the most complex sentiments develop out of the most complex emotions. Resentment, consistent with its first meaning, re-sentiment, means it is not just an emotion but is a sentiment, meaning it has substantial cognitive content. Resentiment is also past-oriented, as it is a reaction to an insult or injustice that has been suffered, and involves recall, recollection, reconsideration, and rumination. This temporal emphasis was evident in 1632: “An elephant, in whom . . . is . . . a wonderfull memorie and a recenting of things past.” And in 1716, “Despair . . . supposes . . . the resenting past, and the date of grace spent” (Oxford).

Notes 1 Nietzsche’s three classes – those who fought, those who prayed, and those who worked – was a vast oversimplification of the complex class structure of medieval times, and in no way can be seen as a historical study. Alexander Murray (1978) describes the complexity and development of medieval class structure and the gradual breakdown, in the 12th century, of the tripartite structure of those who fought, prayed, and worked. 2 Power, for Nietzsche, can also be expressed in calm restraint, tolerance, and reposed confidence. 3 The claim that it is the priest, not the slave, who is the ‘man of ressentiment’ is controversial, because many readers of Nietzsche have associated ressentiment revaluation with the ‘slave revolt’. However, in Nietzsche’s (1886) Beyond Good and Evil, the moralities of the master and slave are described without reference to ressentiment; the notions of the priest and ressentiment are introduced together in the Genealogy of Morals (Nietzsche 1887). Ressentiment revaluation is a “slave revolt” not because it is instigated by the slave, but because it negates “noble values” (Reginster 1997:289). 4 Nietzsche ([1895] 2005:55, 745) was no admirer of the ‘priest’, whom he described as “the most dangerous form of parasite, as the venomous spider of creation,” which filled him with “disgust,” such that the very sight of him “excites loathing.” He points out the historical truth that Christian priests, while professing pity and love of others, found a way to exert power over others. Nietzsche’s ([1883–91] 1978:83–5) Zarathustra likened

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7 8

9 10


resentment to the tarantula, a solitary, defensive creature, terrifying and disgusting in appearance. It is poisonous, and can launch a surprise attack, but hides in its hole and walks backward. Nietzsche’s tarantula is filled with rage and seeks revenge, willing equality as a response to all who have power. Some emotion researchers (e.g., H. Smith and Kessler 2004:293) see what are here considered complex secondary or tertiary emotions not as containing primary components, but rather representing “different natural word clusters within the basic emotion of anger [and other emotions].” According to this view, as examples, resentment and frustration represent anger, and disappointment and hopelessness represent sadness. Frustration is a common affective reaction to opposition and blockage of goal attainment. This lack of control can induce either rational problem-solving methods and/or anger. The relationship between frustration and anger is so close that they are apt to form a common factor in measurement models (e.g., Deater-Deckard, Petrill and Thompson 2006). Frustration contributes to aggressiveness (N. Miller 1941), and aggressiveness can be defined as a mixture of anger and anticipation (TenHouten 2013b:73–90, 86–90, 138–9,144–6). Spielberger (1988) rather sees resentment as an aspect of anger-in; but if, as claimed here, resentment is a complex emotion and anger is a primary emotion, then anger-in (and anger-out) is rather a component of resentment. Surprise is a reaction to the misexpected or to the unexpected. A misexpected event causes an individual’s “coherence representation,” or model of the world, to break down and initiates an urgent “representational adaptive process” (Maguire, Maguire and Keane 2011:177). Maguire and colleagues’ “integration hypothesis” (in opposition to Teigen and Keren’s (2003) “contrast hypothesis”) holds that events difficult to integrate into one’s coherence representation are most apt to be surprising. If individuals were able to understand the precise causes behind events, then low-probability outcomes would in all cases be more difficult to integrate than higher probability events. However, given limits on knowledge and mental resources available in the everyday world, individuals tend to depend not on causal models but on generalized, often simple, heuristics (Gigerenzer et al. 1999). Accordingly, rare events, potential deadly to beneficial, such as severe weather and lottery winning, are seen as improbable but are generalized in terms of frequencies in ways that do not require representation updating. In this study, disgust was not considered, but being treated as an object of disgust would appear to qualify as an undeserved negative emotion. Goddard (2014:74–5) defines disgust as (i) “extremely unpleasant” and “unacceptable and shocking.” According to the present emotions classification, however, shock is rather a secondary emotion combining disgust and surprise.


Cultural estrangement and the emotions

Introduction Seeman (1972:473) defines cultural or value estrangement, one of his five varieties of alienation, as “an individual’s [i] rejection of or [ii] sense of removal from dominant social values.” Gone unnoticed is that this definition delineates two very different experiences of cultural estrangement. In the first kind (CE1), individuals willfully separate from and largely reject the dominant, or core, values of their own culture or society. They can do so with an air of superiority if, for example, they feel and show disdain, or even contempt, for materialistic, consumerist society (Stauth and Turner 1988). In the second case (CE2), individuals accept the core beliefs and values of the dominant cultural worldview, but opine that their views, performance, and/or behavior do not align with, or ‘measure up to’, the culture’s value expectations; they can consequently experience lowered self-esteem, anxiety, or existential dread or terror. We define these two kinds of cultural estrangement as varieties of alienation that can be understood on the level of sentiments or emotions, and we identify the specific emotions that accompany the process of rejecting, or accepting, the dominant norms and values of one’s culture. To date, no systematic effort has been made to identify these emotions, either theoretically or empirically. To this end, we identify and interpret emotions specific to CE1 and CE2 and examine their potential behavioral consequences. In order to model their emotional bases, we link three primary emotions to each (with one primary emotion, anticipation, shared by both). We then infer the existence of three secondary emotions and one tertiary emotion for each kind of cultural estrangement. We begin with CE1.

Cultural estrangement1 as rejection of, and disdain for, societal values and meanings In his initial model of varieties of alienation, Seeman (1959:789; citing Nettler 1957:672) focuses on the kind of cultural estrangement (CE1) in which the individual rejects “commonly held values in the society,” or assigns “low reward value to goals or behaviors that are highly valued in the given society.” CE1 typically involves a psychological detachment, or distancing, from the general content of

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 123 societal-level trends, including features of “mass society” (Seeman 1959, 1967),1 “mass culture” (Stauth and Turner 1988), “materialistic and individualistic values” (Carlisle, Henderson and Hanlon 2009), or “consumerist culture” (Gilbert 2008). Seeman (1959:788) initially referred to this variety of alienation as “isolation.” By this he does not mean lack of social adjustment or lack of “warmth, security, or intensity of individuals’ social contacts.” Isolation rather means cultural or value estrangement; for Seeman, this principally characterizes the intellectual or artist “who rejects current standards of success or attractiveness” (Seeman 1972:473), prefers an alternative value set to that endorsed by popular culture, disdains the world of the shallow ‘herd’, or seeks to challenge mass cultural forms through alternative literary, artistic, or philosophical works. Besides intellectuals and members of dissident subcultures, all sorts of critical social theorists, social philosophers, artists, literary figures, members of academic communities, avant-garde artists, political radicals, nonconformists who claim membership in countercultural or fringe groups (Schwendinger and Schwendinger 1985), and opponents of consumerism (Sandlin and Callahan 2009) provide countless celebrations and demonstrations of the putative conditions of sociocultural adversity. Many influential writers, for example, pursue a strategy of alienation. This kind of cultural alienation conveys a cynical disdain, even contempt, for the dominant culture; it sees the here-and-now as not good enough, and expresses a desire to be elsewhere. Writing of cultural estrangement, Monroe avers: Within theory and criticism, countless books and articles celebrate alienation. . . . We might even speculate that the most influential writers . . . implicitly cast themselves as alienated, isolated, perhaps even endangered resisters of hegemonic forces. Their strategy . . . is an attempt to partake of the incorrigible newness, the inexhaustible freshness, of alienation. (1998:61) Such an orientation can be rewarding. One can take pride in refusing to identify with mainstream values (Schacht 1970:185), experience a feeling of uniqueness or superiority, or see one’s oppositional beliefs and values as positively self-defining (Snyder and Fromkin 1980). Indeed, many culturally estranged individuals demean, deride, disparage, and disdain popular culture, which they view with aversiveness (Nettler 1957:672–4). Cultural estrangement is typically not experienced as negative or pathological but rather as a positive kind of “cultural emancipation” (Bernard, Gebauer and Maio 2006). Such culturally estranged individuals typically feel superior to those who passively accept the dominant culture’s beliefs, core values, and meaning systems; they experience a self-conscious superiority to their enculturated self. Novelists pursuing an alienist strategy can present an unreliable, unpredictable text which prevents the reader from identifying the work “as an instance of this or that convention, genre, or theme” (Monroe 1998:184). A postmodernist technique called “short-circuiting” seeks to discourage the readers’ discovery of patterns and an organic experience, by offering a series of disjunctive


Emotions basic to alienation

experiences, juxtaposing reason and absurdity, sincerity and fantasy, creating anxiety and uncertainty, all intended to disequilibrate, even administer a shock, to the reader (Lodge 1977). Many postmodernist scholars also contend that the symbols and signs of contemporary culture provide only imitations of community life, such that meaningful social realities are replaced with unfaithful copies (Baudrillard 1981; Oropesa 1995). Consumer society remains a prominent target of cultural criticism; citizens are portrayed as inhabiting a world of superficial brands, images, and gimmicks and immersing themselves in spectacles, simulations, and carnivals (Braun and Langman 2012). This kind of cultural estrangement can involve a wide variety of affective experiences. Disdain is perhaps the most general affective term for CE1. Neal (2007:160, emphasis added) observes that “cultural estrangement refers to a sense of disdain or rejection of the prevailing lifestyles in one’s society,” and assigns “low reward value to activities such as mass entertainment, competitive sports, [and] vacation travel.” We endorse Neal’s identification of disdain (and rejection) as central to CE1 (but not CE2). We next define disdain, model it as a complex emotion, and specify its primary and secondary emotional building blocks. The word ‘disdain’ derives from Middle English terms such as dedeyn and desdeyn and the Old French desdeign. It signifies “the feeling entertained towards that which one considers unworthy of notice or beneath one’s dignity; scorn, contempt” (Oxford). The disdainful individual possesses an aloof, superior attitude that one’s social world is not good enough, is beneath one’s dignity. The culturally estranged artist or intellectual disdainfully portrays society’s way of life in a biting, sarcastic manner, exercising a subtle kind of aggression, or a “power to hurt” (Monroe 1998). Some intellectuals disdain their own culture, society, or civilization as a whole; but such a macrolevel focus of disdain is the exception rather than the rule. Creative individuals tend to develop disdainful feelings and attitudes toward constituencies in their own organizational or professional environments (Faÿ 2008) that they perceive to inhibit and obstruct their novel productions, writings, or ideas. Disdainful reactions can be reinforced by the belief that constituencies, gate-keepers, and managerial decision-makers lack insight into the value of one’s productions and instead favor those of less creative individuals whose lack of novelty presents fewer risks (Ganti 2012).

The primary and secondary emotional components of disdain We begin our theory-building effort by hypothesizing that disdain is a tertiary emotion, defined as a combination of three simpler, basic, or primary emotions, as follows: Disdain1 = Disgust & Anticipation & Anger We first link these three primary emotions to disdain, and then examine the three primary–secondary emotional combinations that follow from this definition.

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 125 Sociomoral disgust and its function of rejection The term ‘disdain’ includes in its meaning, “loathing, aversion, dislike” and “the quality which excites aversion” (Oxford: meaning 3). Seeman (1972:473, emphasis added) defines value isolation (CE1) as “the individual’s rejection of commonly held values in the society.” Rejection is the function of the primary emotion disgust (Plutchik 1983). Disgust is a strong term, but, like other emotions, its meaning includes milder forms, such as distaste, disapproval, and dislike. On a visceral level, disgust is a psychophysiological avoidance reaction to a noxious stimulus and is arguably therefore not an emotion (Panksepp 2007). On the sociological level, however, disgust is a socially constructed, sociomoral emotion (Haidt 2003) and can be regarded as irreducibly primary (Plutchik 1962; Ekman 1992; JohnsonLaird and Oatley 1992). Disgust can be directed toward the political system, corporate greed, and exploitation of the poor by the rich or to mainstream ideologies, belief systems, and metanarratives (Gottschalk 1993). Anticipation Plutchik regarded both anticipation and surprise as primary emotions; in particular, they are adaptive reactions to the positive and negative experiences of territoriality. Surprise also possesses a pan-culturally observable facial expression and recognition (Ekman, Sorenson and Friesen 1969); this is a sufficient, but not necessary, condition for considering an emotion primary. Impressive evidence suggests that anticipation has the crucial adaptive function of exploring the environment, endowing it with value, and seeing it as replete with resources. While anticipation is not reducible to any other emotions, it can combine with other emotions to form higher-order emotions (e.g., with disgust, to form cynicism; with anger, to form aggressiveness; with joy, to form optimism) (TenHouten 2013b:18–19). For high-CE1 individuals, disdain, and its potential mocking and insulting behavioral concomitants, can involve an expectation of the worst from others, whom they are quick to disparage. Anger One meaning of disdain is “indignation; anger or vexation arising from offended dignity” (Oxford: meaning 2a). Such angry behavior can be verbal, taking the form of insults, sarcastic remarks, vilification, and other expressions of contempt, including nonverbal communications, gestures, and expressions. CE1 is not apt to involve a belligerent, inarticulate anger, but rather a subtle and indirect anger, the kind one finds in crafted literary performances, as in the case of poetry that subversively calls attention to dissatisfaction and discontent and contributes to a desire to be elsewhere or to transcend one’s enculturated self. Anger is widely considered a negative emotion because it is apt to be an unpleasant experience for all involved. Plutchik, however, was justified in regarding it as a positively valenced emotion, with the function of destruction. Anger is an


Emotions basic to alienation

approach-motivated emotion intended to attain favorable outcomes, reverse unfavorable circumstances (Tomarken and Zald 2009:209), or undo goal blockages by reasserting goal-attainment intentions (Carver and Harmon-Jones 2009). Panksepp (1998:189) correctly contends that the aim of anger is to increase the probability of success in pursuit of one’s ongoing desires and competition for resources. State anger and cynicism: an explosive combination In this section, following Plutchik, we interpret the mixture of anticipation and disgust as cynicism. While cynicism can be described as a cognitive orientation to the social world, it also possesses emotional content. There is value, the cynic knows, in engaging with ideas on an emotional level. Cutler (2005:147; see also Sloterdijk 1987) observes that the cynic is able to “touch the reader’s emotions and imagination in some way to produce a reaction (anger, surprise, laughter, outrage, etc.), and second . . . produce some critical thinking.” The cynic’s critical speech is apt to be polemical and not based on logical argumentation; it is rather emotion-laden, sarcastic, mocking, possibly a tirade against a lie which popular culture has sanctioned; it can send a shudder of horror and outrage through those who conscientiously send their donations to good causes (Cutler 2005:150–1). The modern cynic is typically, though not necessarily, disengaged from the world, nihilistic, and disillusioned, seeking solitude and interiority, and refusing to engage in a politics seen as inauthentic. Personality cynics tend to have low ego strength and suffer from insecurity; they project their own moral inadequacies onto others, become vigilant about rule infractions, and become hypercritical (Abraham 2000:275). At the extreme, the cynic embodies the postmodern character structure at its worst, as it describes truth as relative, political philosophies as lacking credibility, language as an inept tool, and involvement in culture and politics risky and uncertain; a cynical worldview is embraced as a way to fill the empty space of cultural malaise (Sloterdijk 1987). Contemporary cynics, Bewes (1997:4) asserts, are “radically alienated both from . . . [their] own linguistic products and from the possibility of ideologically centered political activity.” They accept their own estrangement and are likely to reject involvements with societal institutions. For example, cynical high school students are prone to protest being presented with and held responsible for new ideas, and they generate negative perceptions regarding all aspects of the formal educational system. They engage in problematic classroom behavior, are unwilling to improve their interpersonal relations, reject parental and school counseling, distrust others’ intentions, and do not believe in the value of learning and education (Frymier 1997). Cynical, culturally alienated, anti-intellectual students disrespect and even abuse their teachers, place no value on education, defy their parents and caregivers, and engage in cheeky, destructive, aggressive behavior. This aggressiveness expresses rejection of, even disgust for, others and their beliefs and commitments. Key events in the development of cynicism among undergraduate students include rejection of honesty, rejection of the belief that people are moral, and the belief that people are vicious and untrustworthy (Hunter, Gerbing and Boster 1982).

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 127 In organizational contexts, culturally estranged individuals tend to be pessimistic about the honesty and motivations of change agents, and look with skepticism on organizational initiatives to involve them in decision-making. A gap between what subordinates expect and what they receive contributes to situational cynicism concerning organization change, as expectations of significant changes for the better become mythical in the face of the reality of no changes at all (J. Dean, Brandes and Dharwadkar 1998; Abraham 2000:274–5; Faÿ 2008). Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) defines “disgust + expectancy = cynicism,” and this definition of cynicism, on its affective level, is accepted here, except that we prefer ‘anticipation’ over ‘expectancy’. Thus, Cynicism = Anticipation & Disgust The individual who has become a cynic might not know what another will say or do next, but anticipates that he or she is not going to like it, and is apt to scornfully reject any new ideas or organizational plans or initiatives out of hand and with antipathy. Given this definition of cynicism, by replacing ‘anticipation & disgust’ with ‘cynicism’ in the formula for disdain1, it follows that Disdain2 = Cynicism & Anger The goal orientation of the cynic can involve the behavior of anger, that is, a moving toward the object of anger. On the behavioral level, angry cynics are apt to lash out with disdainful comments, disrespectful gestures, or scoff at, mock, and ridicule others’ beliefs, lifestyles, and commitments. Intellectual cynics typically perceive and disdainfully describe members of the ‘herd’ as shallow, consumeroriented, superstition-infused, unenlightened, uncritical, uninformed, and easily hornswoggled. Aggressiveness expressing disgust Disdain can be understood as a mixture of verbal aggressiveness and other-directed disgust. Not all aggressiveness is malicious or malevolent, for forceful, attacking behavior can be constructive, self-asserting, and prideful. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118, 146–9) problematically posited that “expectancy + anger = aggression, revenge, stubbornness.” Aggressiveness is preferably defined in terms of anticipation, not of ‘expectancy’, which has a slightly different meaning. ‘Revenge’ describes a behavior rather than an emotion; its corresponding emotion is more accurately termed ‘vengefulness’. To be aggressive differs from exhibiting ‘stubbornness’, a character trait that in the extreme refers to a quality or state of inflexibility, grimness, implacability, and an irrational unwillingness to back down even in the face of overwhelming odds. With these modifications of Plutchik’s definition, Aggressiveness = Anger & Anticipation


Emotions basic to alienation

The emotion, ‘aggressiveness’, whose outward expression constitutes the behavior of aggression, consists of anger that can range in intensity from mild irritation to a furious rage, together with an anticipatory incentive–motivation to show hostility toward the targeted object, victim, group, culture, or system of values. As a component of aggressiveness, anger can be expressed in a myriad of controlled, subtle, or contained ways, including stares, acts, or verbal utterances intended to unsettle or hurt the recipient but which exhibit no obvious outward emotionality. In C1, anger is embedded in the higher, instrumental and proactive (as opposed to spontaneous and reactive) type of aggressiveness (Hubbard et al. 2010), and typically exists at a moderate level of intensity. Proactive aggression in CE1 involves critical description on the level of cultural performance. Such criticism is displayed, for example, in literary performances designed to invoke emotional distress and intended to be offensive (Monroe 1998:203). Thus, a third variant of disdain follows from the definition of aggressiveness as a combination of anticipation and anger: Disdain3 = Aggressiveness & Disgust Rejection of the dominant culture invokes the emotion of disgust and the associated behaviors of deriding, mocking, insulting, laughing at, and denigrating, offered as critical resistance to being contaminated by the sanguine advances of one’s culture and civilization. For intellectuals, this can take the form of literary performances of alienation; they exercise their subtle power to hurt not through crude violence, but rather through poetry and fiction, through avant-garde high art and countercultural pop art, through postmodern social theory with its oppositional and subversive agendas, through a jabbing of the “sore spot” of society and culture (Monroe 1998:4). From romanticism to modernism to postmodernism, cultural practices have emerged which stand in opposition to, and as renunciation of, a morality that seems “counterfeit” and “a wearisome fetter” (Howe 1967:14). Writers such as Wolfe, Joyce, and other giants of modernism expressed “a hatred of culture and civilization” together with “a radical and fanatical urge to destroy” (Aeurbach [1946] 2013:551). Postmodernists have extended this opposition to contemporary culture; they see the costs of any position, even the modernist strategy of attacking “the certainties and institutions of modernity,” as “avoiding preference or evaluation as such” (Monroe 1998:65). Many culturally estranged individuals cynically expect only the worst from others, hold their society’s way of life in contempt, and verbally and symbolically, and often in a highly indirect manner, attack their culture and its value system. Disdainful cultural criticism can make fun of, lampoon, look down on, deflate, mock, satirize, burlesque, rag, roast, and razz. Such aggressiveness typically assumes a subtle form of literary, artistic, and sociophilosophical criticism that can range from mild and subtle (e.g., the ‘aggressive oppositional strategy’ of modern art (Barrett 1958:45)), to an extreme wherein a way of life is characterized as abhorrent, loathsome, detestable, asinine, foul, lamentable, intolerable, and oppressive.

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 129 An anticipation of contempt Disdain, as a noun, is defined as the feeling directed towards that which one thinks “unworthy of notice or beneath one’s dignity; scorn, contempt,” and also “holding or treating [another] as vile and worthless; as a verb, to regard or treat with contempt” (Oxford). A feeling of contempt is thus interior to the more general feeling state, disdain. Contempt, as we saw in Chapters 6 and 8, includes in its meaning a feeling of disgust for that which is vile or worthy only of scorn. Anger, also interior to contempt, is a mental attitude or feeling and/or action of indignation, in the present case, directed at some aspect of culture or at social trends or developments. Such actions directed toward what is despised and disdained imply anger and its associated behavior of moving toward, while the objects are rejected and avoided. Given that contempt = anger & disgust, it follows by substituting this definition into disdain1, that Disdain4 = Anticipation & Contempt Treating aspects of culture, or bearers of culture, with contempt has been shown to have an anticipatory nature, as the production of cultural criticism involves strategies of alienation, and the addition of anticipation distinguishes anger from aggressiveness. Monroe (1998:5) explains that, for the culturally alienated, the here-and-now is not good enough, and a strategy of alienation heeds a call from some transcendental source of creativity in which doubt and discomfort about the way things are lead to a manifestation of alienation that can defamiliarize language, disrupt affiliations, and scandalize through unmasking the smug vanity and complacency existing in a world of exploitation, pain, suffering, and cruelty. Such artistic, literary, and theoretical productions praise disconnection, detachment, demythologizing, and alienation. These performances of alienation can be corrosive, destructive, and vicious, or they can possess the virtue of contributing functional responses to dysfunctional cultural situations and meaning systems. This level of contempt is informed by Douglas’s (2002) distinction between purity and danger. To show contempt for one’s culture is a pollution-rejecting strategy protective of one’s purity and superiority. Using the extreme example of cult members, Elshtain (1997:23; cited in Monroe 1998:207) describes “a pattern of insulation, isolation, paranoia, and utter contempt for those outside,” thereby manifesting contra mundum, an opposition to the anticipated dangers of being contaminated by exposure to the disgustingly polluted sociocultural world.

Cultural estrangement2 as failure to ‘live up to’ cultural values Having explicated the meaning of CE1 and modeled its affective basis, we next conduct a parallel analysis of CE2. There are rewards and protections afforded by the endorsement of, and living in accordance with, the dominant values and beliefs of one’s culture and society. Conforming individuals can feel secure in realizing an


Emotions basic to alienation

intrinsic human need for a sense of belongingness (Baumeister and Leary 1995), develop an adequate level of self-esteem (Cozzarelli and Karafa 1998:255), and be buffered, to some extent, from feelings of existential dread and related anxieties pertaining to human finitude. Maintaining such a buffer, terror-management theorists (TMT) (Greenberg, Pyszczynski and Solomon 1986; Jonas and Fischer 2006) have argued, is of great importance, such that people will expend considerable effort defending or protecting both their valued cultural beliefs and their self-esteem. But why is such buffering and striving even necessary? The work of Ernest Becker (1962, 1973), and more indirectly existentialism and TMT, have shown that the human capability for reasoning can lead individuals to the realization of a harsh truth, that the world is an unpredictable and disorderly place, wherein their own eventual death is the only certainty. TMT regards culture as a tool for coping with existential concerns (Kashima 2010). The experience of existential anxiety is universal to humans, who are aware of and apt to fear their own mortality. Contemplating death can be a frightening experience, and culture can buffer mortalityrelated anxieties by providing individuals with plausible explanations of reality that imbue the world with meaning (Cozzarelli and Karafa 1998:254). TMT shows that anxiety–self-esteem buffers can be effective only insofar as (i) there is a firm belief in the validity of the dominant cultural worldview and associated standards and values, and (ii) there is a belief that one is meeting, or ‘measuring up to’, those standards and values. Thus, while all humans experience existential anxiety, without the buffering provided by a meaningful experience of living up to value expectations, the experience of existential anxiety can be exacerbated. The fully enculturated individual might strive to eclipse the reality of the gap between his or her real self and its sometimes errant behaviors, and the ideal self that never lies, cheats, steals, gives in to temptations of the flesh, or otherwise ‘sins’. Another domain of self-doubt, and a feeling of personal failure, can be found in socioeconomic underperformance. For example, an individual who is unskilled, unemployed, or under-employed and unable to support his or her family is apt to lack self-esteem and self-respect. When one loses confidence in a meaning system, or recognizes one’s shortcomings, one is no longer protected or buffered and can experience a painful, anxiety-provoking emotional state, sinking into an alienated state of CE2. This is characterized by a terrifying loss of buffering of existential anxiety and a lowered level of self-esteem.

Existential dread as a tertiary emotion Dread can be conceptualized as a complex emotion, and is hypothesized to be the affective basis of CE2. The affective aspect of this kind of estrangement from value systems is included in the broader concept of existential angst. The meaning of angst (from the Danish angst and the German Angst) spans anxiety, apprehensiveness, inner turmoil, anguish, fear, and dread. Dread, a narrower term than angst, is an intense, aberrant emotion that has long been topical in existential philosophy, psychiatry, and education, and more recently has been considered in behavioral economics and affective neuroscience. Kierkegaard (1844), in The Concept of

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 131 Dread, and other existentialists emphasized the importance of critical moments of life when basic truths about human existence shock us into awareness of finitude and of the consequences of our beliefs and decisions. While fear is expressed through a recoiling before a specific danger (including some genuine psychic factor active within the mind (Grimsley 1956:246)), dread is an emotion that need not have an object, or can have experiences of nothingness as its object. Kierkegaard’s (1844) existentialism focused on the uncertainty and ambiguity of human destiny, and explained how the human condition creates a sense of dread. Existential dread has been seen as a threat to high school and college students’ productivity, self-esteem, and propensity for suicide (Ellsworth 1999). Inhibition of or distraction from the dread-inducing ramifications evoked by suicidal intentions increases the chances of suicidal action (Spiegel and Neuringer 1963). Dread has been linked to fearful paranoia in schizophrenics and to anxiety disorders (Howes and Kapur 2009). Dread has recently become topical in the neurosciences, where it has been found that both appetitive and fearful motivations involve interactions between dopamine and glutamate in overlapping mesocortical circuits that converge on the nucleus accumbens, the pleasure center in mammalian, and therefore human, brains (Berridge and Kringelbach 2013). Given the importance of dread, it is surprising that its meaning is typically either glossed over or carelessly used as synonymous with threat-processing emotions such as fear, terror, anxiety, alarm, awe, and angst. Dreaded states of the self can include traumatic events such as object loss, e.g., the death of a sibling; parental divorce; family moves with the resultant loss of peers and relatives; assaultive experiences such as rape and incest; the experience of warfare; the dread of the epileptic experiencing a pre-seizure ‘aura’; the helpless feeling of the onset of uncontrollable temper tantrums; the anticipation of the recurrence of a systemic illness; the delirium tremors of the alcoholic; and the anticipation of the elderly of becoming helpless, dependent, and being moved into an assisted-living facility (Koch 2000:301, 303–4). Most contemporary researchers who study dread concede that it is a complex emotion. If so, it should be possible to find its primary components. Dread does not appear among the primary or secondary emotions (TenHouten 2013b:16–18), so if it is indeed an emotion, it must be a tertiary-level emotion. According to Oxford, dread, from the Early Middle English dreden, means extreme fear, apprehension or anxiety as to future events, and deep awe or reverence. Dread is synonymous with ‘alarm’, and dreadful means ‘awe-inspiring’, ‘awful’, ‘terrible’, and ‘terrifying’. Thus, while fear is interior to dread, the addition of ‘awe’, which is defined in terms of ‘anxiety’, ‘terror’, and ‘horror’, suggests that the concept of dread bears a greater intensity and a stronger unconscious underpinning than fear (Koch 2000:291). Koch adds that dread can be further understood as a supercharged, overwhelming, horrendous, affective experience, which serves a signal function, one that alerts one to potential recurrence of some fearsome reality. The inclusion of ‘alert’ – which is strongly synonymous with the more general term, ‘alarm’, rounds out the definition of dread in terms of less complex emotions. With this extended definition, we now explore the component primary (and secondary) emotions that might belong to dread.


Emotions basic to alienation

Phenomenologically, anxiety is a psycho-physiological feeling associated with fear of the occurrence of an event. While Freud (1936) saw anxiety not as futureoriented but rather as a consequence of the individual’s developmental history, personality theorists (Allport 1955; Kelly 1963) and reinforcement sensitivity theorists (Gray and McNaughton 2000) have appreciated the anticipatory nature of anxiety as a signal of impending threat requiring a self-protection response. Krauss (1967) clearly defines anxiety as fear or dread of a future event. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) also suggested that “fear + expectancy = anxiety . . .” (but then, unfortunately, added “+ caution, dread, cowardliness, distrust” to his definition). Given these definitional efforts, anxiety can be defined as a secondary emotion, so that, Anxiety = Anticipation & Fear Anxiety Buffer Disruption Theory (Pyszczynski and Kesebir 2011) is an application of TMT, which proposed that debilitating anxiety triggered by danger, trauma, and dread of mortality can be ‘buffered’ by clinging to one’s cultural worldview; together with cultural norms and moral values, this infuses life with meaning, confers self-esteem, and provides a sense of control. It is when the assumptions underlying such fragile cultural constructs weaken worldviews, that symptoms of trauma, even post-traumatic stress disorder, signal that anxiety buffers have been disrupted (Edmondson et al. 2011). Awe and alarm can be considered together. While Plutchik’s efforts to define anxiety and dread were not effective, his definition, “surprise + fear = alarm, awe,” is defensible (Plutchik [1962] 1991:118). Awe of the putatively supernatural realms, the habitat of gods and souls, is clearly implicated in religious dread. According to Oxford, awe derives from words in Old English and Old Norse used to express fear and dread, particularly toward a divine being. English usage of this term gradually began to connote dread mingled with veneration, reverential or respectful fear, the attitude of a mind subdued to profound reverence in the presence of supreme authority, moral greatness, sublimity, or mystical sordidness. According to Keltner and Haidt (2003), perceived vastness, together with an inability to assimilate the experience into one’s current mental structure or coherence representation, can result in a surprising apprehension of the unfathomable at the boundaries of fear; in turn, this can profoundly alter the course of a life. The astonishing, the awe-inspiring, much concerns territorial boundaries. Anticipating Plutchik by two centuries, Edmund Burke (2008) in 1757 linked awe, by which he meant experience of the sublime, to both surprise and fear. He argued that sublime experience results from obscurity, so that while objects that are anticipated do not produce this experience, objects that the mind can grasp only with great difficulty do. For example, Burke refers to the despotic leader who remains hidden to the public to enhance his power, and to features of artistic production that communicate vastness, magnificence, infinity, together with certain properties of color and light that both suggest and obscure power. Thus, awe contains elements of both surprise and fear and can be defined, together with alarm, as a secondary emotion: Alarm, Awe = Surprise & Fear

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 133 Alarm is an adaptive reaction to danger, pain, and the prospect of social estrangement. More generally, it is an affective signal of response to aggression or other potential dangers. It is an orienting response to violation of and threats to one’s selfhood, reputation, and territory. Such an orienting response defines surprise; the individual’s self-protective reaction to the impending threat or challenge is definitive of fear. Alarm is stimulated by the joint negative experiences of territoriality (the source of surprise) and hierarchy (the source of fear). Plutchik sees the combination of surprise and fear as the primary emotional components of alarm. We have defined aggression as a combination of anticipation and anger (e.g., a planned attack); given that the opposite of anticipation is surprise and the opposite of anger is fear, it follows that alarm is the opposite of and a reaction to a threatening situation. Alarm, according to its French derivation all’arme, means ‘to arms’, as it is an arousing to meet, and hopefully repel, an attack. There is obviously an element of fear in being the object of a surprise attack by a foe or enemy. To this point, it has been argued that anxiety, awe, and alarm are definitively descriptive of dread. All three of these emotions can be seen as complex, secondary emotions. Anxiety is comprised of anticipation and fear, while both awe and alarm are comprised of surprise and fear. Thus, these three secondary emotions share three primary emotions – fear, anticipation, and surprise, suggesting that dread can be conceptualized as a tertiary emotion: Dread1 = Anticipation & Fear & Surprise We have now identified the primary emotions associated with disdain and dread, the hypothesized bases of CE1 and CE2, as shown in Figure 9.1.







CE1 ! Hierarchy



CE2 Territoriality

CE1 Anticipation


CE2 CE1 Disgust

Figure 9.1 Plutchik’s 1962 circumplex or ‘wheel’ of the eight primary emotions, with tags on the emotions of cultural estangement1 (CE1) and cultural estrangement2 (CE2)


Emotions basic to alienation

Given this first definition of dread, it now becomes possible to further conceptualize dread as a combination of each one of the above primary emotions mixed with the secondary emotion comprised of the other two primaries. Note that we have not yet defined the combination of anticipation and surprise, but this can easily be done. Anticipation of alarm–awe Given that fear & surprise = alarm–awe, it follows that Dread2 = Anticipation & Alarm–Awe Here, anticipation serves as a signal function of dread, that is, the anticipation of recurrence of the dreaded experience lest it overwhelm one anew (Koch 2000:299). The contemporary psychoanalytic literature on attachment (Bowlby 1969) and trauma (Herman 1992) contains searching accounts of the horror and terror experienced by children who have been physically and/or sexually abused, resulting in a dissociated state of mind, or a splitting, a fragmenting, of the ego. These violated individuals live with a consuming wariness of the terror being revived again, which Koch (2000:300) calls a reminder of the anticipatory function of dread. When traumatic events occur in the life of an individual, they tend to be sudden, unexpected, and surprising. These events are the stuff of nightmares, and remembering them can place one in danger of reexperiencing what was traumatic. On this, Koch (2000:301) observes that such a danger becomes defensively anticipated, i.e., dreaded, lest one is again overwhelmed by the unmanageable. In this statement, Koch links the complex emotion of dread to the primary emotion anticipation, and he sees anticipatory dread as an adaptive process. We have argued that the emotional bases of the several varieties of alienation, including existential angst, are indeed manifestations of efforts to adapt to unpleasant situations. A looming crisis that induces a sense of dread can, as Koch (2000:301–2) notes, mobilize creative solutions, [which] reminds us of the mysteriousness of the adaptive process. Koch (2000:301) adds that the sense of dread, the anticipation of involuntarily reexperiencing old dangers, hated images, and traumatic events, becomes particularly salient at time of life-cycle transition, when one is about to embark on a new phase of life – from going off to college, choosing a career, or ending a relationship, to coming to know the infirmities of old age. In the present classification, the primary emotion, anticipation, by itself is positively valenced, and indeed in dread there is an aspect of anticipation that can be rewarding. Alarm is a response to aggression, so that dread can take the form of anticipation that one must mobilize a defense in the face of a possible attack. Dread can also be seen as an anticipation of awe, as in the case of a dying person dreading the prospect of ‘meeting his maker’. Koch (2000:313) correctly asserts, “The sense of dread seems especially linked to aggression, external and internal,” and explains that the violent aggressiveness of the overwhelming experiences is apt to be central to the trauma itself.

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 135 Surprise and anxiety Surprise, as we have seen, is the emotional reaction to the negative experience of territoriality. In the case of dread, the territory of the self is at issue, for dread can be manifested in either the dreaded self or the dreaded state of the self (Koch 2000). The dreaded self arises in dark moments when a thought, feeling, or action discloses a hated, frightening, often disowned aspect of one’s self. This self-representation is apt to be dimly realized, even shadowy yet awesome and uncanny, causing a shudder as it reveals to the self what it is, at least in part, or could become. This experience can lead to a protective response, a defensive effort to rid oneself of such images and their affective associations (Koch 2000:290). There is a real danger that this negative self-concept cannot be challenged and the self becomes desolate as it is surrounded and then acquiesces to invasion by its darker, dreaded aspect. One such manifestation is a dread of one’s own potentially uncontrollable impulses, including a fear of being invaded or possessed by some devil or demon. In Erikson’s (1968) conceptualization of personal identity, such an invasion of unconscious desires led to the incorporation of “evil identity fragments.” In reality, these desires are already part of the self; while repressed and disowned, they are capable of escape to the conscious mind, where they can propel the self to develop character that threatens its very existence. Facing the self’s disintegration or dissociation can evoke the uncanny emotions of dread, awe, loathing, and horror, for “anxiety is not [a] strong enough word here” (Winnicott 1974:104). The dreaded self is subject to more than anxiety, as it can be violated, even subsumed, by its disowned aspects. This prospect fills one with what Bion (1967:116) called a “nameless dread.” Insofar as anticipation & fear = anxiety, dread can also be seen as Dread3 = Surprise & Anxiety The person in a state of dread thus experiences a fearful anticipation, that is, an anxiety, that his or her boundaries, surroundings, or territory might be violated and thereby suffer harm. Thus, sex workers might dread the HIV virus invading their bodies, coal miners might fear a cave-in, and the inhabitants of a fortified village might fear an invading army breaching their walls to rape, mutilate, torture, or kill them. Michael Burke et al. (2011) review studies of dread in terms of risks associated with different types of hazardous events involving physical boundaries in work sites (e.g., cave-ins and explosions that could injure or kill coal miners) and exposures (e.g., of workers to toxic chemicals, radiation, hazardous events) that can be of an ominous nature. Burke et al. (2011) report that, when workers live in intense dreadful apprehension of such injury/illness vulnerability, their affects and cognitions can motivate highly engaged learning of safety-related behavior; this can reduce their level of dread and avoid the potential negative consequences associated with inaction. A fearful confusion A secondary emotion can be formed from the remaining pair of primary emotions belonging to dread, anticipation and surprise. Plutchik ignored the combination


Emotions basic to alienation

anticipation–surprise (and the other three ‘antithetical dyads’, or pairs of opposite primary emotions). Yet, these four combinations of opposite primaries can be given substantively meaningful definitions (TenHouten 2007:102–12). When one anticipates one outcome, then is surprised that another occurs instead, one is thrown into a momentary state of confusion or discombobulation. The confused person is one whose model of the world has just failed. Even the most rational individual can expect to experience moments of confusion as they contemplate complexities, and, especially, that which cannot be fathomed. The following definition can be proposed: Confusion = Anticipation & Surprise This definition (TenHouten 2007:107–10) of confusion is the sixth and final secondary emotion interpreted as a component of a kind of cultural estrangement. A summary of these definitions is presented in Figure 9.2. Given this definition of confusion, a fourth variant of dread can be defined: Dread4 = Fear & Confusion Confusion can occur when one experiences the terror of apprehending one’s “dreaded self-representation” (Koch 2000:292n1). Koch uses the literary example of Ivan Karamazov in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. A ‘rational man’, Karamazov finds himself acting in atypical, dystonic ways, as he catches frightening glimpses of himself as a ‘scoundrel’, an image similar to that of his debauched, despised father. Soon, he has regressed into a state of confusion and torment about the nature of his self, eventually sinking into madness. This form of dread – a fearful confusion – is most apt to occur when the nature of a perceived threat is not well understood, as medieval villagers lived in dread of shadowy entities such

A. Primary and secondary emotions of disdain



B. Primary and secondary emotions of dread




Disdainfulness Anger




Dread Fear



Figure 9.2 Emotional components of disdainfulness and dread; affective bases of cultural estrangement1 and cultural estrangement2

Cultural estrangement and the emotions 137 as werewolves, witches, vampires, and especially the Devil, an awesome figure who inspired a religious awe, but whose existence in an individual’s mind could be understood as a projected personification of one’s own agency (Bakan 1966). In his analysis of subjective dread, Kierkegaard ([1844] 1957:54–72) likened dread to dizziness, as felt by someone standing on the edge of an abyss. The experienced dizziness results from the freedom of gazing down upon all possibilities, including an act that would insure one’s finitude. At this point, one’s freedom shrinks to nothingness, the no thing, the object of dread. The moment of dread is egoistic as one considers the possibility of all outcomes and courses of action; this throws one into confusion and ambiguity. Kierkegaard’s discussion of subjective dread, in fact, makes numerous references to a state of confusion; it is a state of mind where one is confused about the nothingness one fears, an uncertainty about a deep fear that is an emotion with no object.

Discussion CE1 and CE2 are very different orientations to one’s culture. Yet this distinction is not proposed as a classification of individual persons. The same individual can feel critical of and superior to certain aspects of his or her culture (such as consumerism), yet also feel he or she has not ‘lived up to’ norms of individual responsibility and accomplishment that are endorsed or even admired. Figure 9.3 displays two A. A model of ‘superiority’ cultural estrangement1, disdain and its constituent primary and secondary emotions, and selected consequences High Self-Esteem Anti-Consumerism Anger & Cynicism

‘Superiority’ Cultural Estrangement1

Anticipation & Contempt


Disgust & Aggressiveness


Artistic, Literary, and Scientific Creativity Concern for Nature and the Environment Alloplastic Nonconformity ! Experience of Personal Uniqueness

B. A model of ‘inferiority’ or ‘insecurity’ cultural estrangement2, dread and its constituent primary and secondary emotions, and selected possible consequences

Low Self-Esteem Morbidity, Mortality, Suicidality

Surprise & Anxiety

Anticipation & Alarm/Awe

Fear–Terror & Confusion !

Low Sense of Belongingness Low Life-Satisfaction

‘Inferiority’ Cultural Estrangement2



Egoistic Expression of Freedom, Possibilities Worldview Insecurity

Figure 9.3 Causal models for two kinds of cultural estrangement


Emotions basic to alienation

causal models linking CE1 and CE2, via their hypothesized emotional bases, to their likely consequences. Individuals who experience erosion of the buffering functions of meaning systems, and who feel that their socioeconomic performance has not met expectations, can be exposed to terrifying thoughts of death and retribution for their sins, misdeeds, or shortcomings. As modeled here, ‘terror’ has a far narrower meaning than the interpretation it enjoys in TMT; TMT makes a conceptual contribution to our analysis of cultural estrangement, but we intend this analysis as contributing not to TMT, but to alienation theory. By ‘terror’, we refer to an intense experience of a single primary emotion, fear, seen as a component of a tertiary emotion, dread. Dread, as modeled here, includes not only fear but also anticipation and surprise. The resulting secondary emotions, anxiety, alarm–awe, and confusion, can each combine with a primary emotion, or with each other, to form pathways to dread. Dread has many unfortunate consequences, but also provides a necessary human experience of awe at the grandeur of nature, the reality of human life, and the hard fact of death and the end of existence. While Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118–19) endeavored to classify the secondary emotions, as we have seen throughout this book, his effort was not entirely successful. In the analysis of cultural estrangement, we have been able to use just two of his definitions of secondary emotions, cynicism and alarm–awe. We have proposed original definitions of four other secondary emotions – aggressiveness, contempt, anxiety, and confusion. Plutchik defined no tertiary emotions, and the four definitions of disdain and dread proposed here are also original. With this definitional scheme, we have attempted to establish a theoretical formulation of the affective bases of cultural estrangement.

Note 1 Seeman (1959) defines “mass society” as comprised of five structural or objective social elements: (i) large-scale bureaucratic organizations; (ii) task and occupational specialization; (iii) high social mobility; (iv) impersonality of social relationships; and (v) an overall increase in scale, or bigness, of society. These conditions of mass society and culture lead individuals to have little control in the work process, a lack of integration with complex organizations, and low access to reward values.

10 The emotions of powerlessness

Introduction Social power is arguably the central concept of the social sciences (Haugaard and Clegg 2013). Wielded by nation-states, complex organizations, and individuals, power denotes social actors’ ability to influence or control events and outcomes, and to act in their own interests despite resistance from others (Weber [1921] 1978:53). While there has been much emphasis on power (Lukes 1974; Foucault 1975; Gaventa 1982), and the closely related topics of authority (Sennett 1980) and domination (Gramsci 1971; Scott 1990; Bourdieu 1998; Sidanius and Pratto 1999), powerlessness has received far less attention. Powerlessness means being subjected to domination by others and unable to live according to the dictates of one’s judgment and nature. Lukes ([1974] 2005) identifies three levels of powerlessness: (i) powerlessness in a context of decision-making; (ii) a lack of control over an agenda, or lacking the power to decide what is to be decided, so that grievances are not expressed; and (iii) a level of being dominated that goes beyond Weber’s successful imposition of legitimate orders, to mean “subjection-inducing acquiescence, where power is an imposition or constraint, working against the interest of those subject to it” (Lukes [1974] 2005:12). This chapter aims to (i) clarify the distinction between objective and subjective levels of powerlessness and (ii) analyze subjective ‘feelings’ or ‘sentiments’ of powerlessness in terms of specific emotions.

Objective and subjective powerlessness in alienation theory We will briefly comment on the cognitive aspects of subjective powerlessness, and then turn to our main theoretical intention, the identification and description of the affective concomitants of powerlessness. The cognitive concomitants of social powerlessness are well documented. These include a general sense of uncertainty together with a limited reliance on thought processes (Briñol et al. 2007), a diminished capability for abstract thought (H. Smith and Trope 2006), and a reduced ability to accurately estimate others’ interests (Keltner and Robinson 1997). Individuals high on powerlessness typically do not seek to acquire potentially useful


Emotions basic to alienation

information, in part because they believe they cannot productively use such information (e.g., Seeman and Evans 1962). Experimental studies indicate that individuals subjectively experiencing powerlessness lack both interest in international affairs (Seeman 1966) and political knowledge (e.g., Seeman 1971). Members of powerless groups typically lack the language and analytic skills necessary for grasping their own interests, and can consequently be rendered unable to mobilize the grassroots structures that would enable access to political competition (Lukes 1974; Gaventa 1982). Powerlessness can generate maladaptive cognitive orientations, including low self-esteem, low success expectations, and weak motivation for self-advancement (Obligacion 1996). It can contribute to a sense of distrust and the amplification of perceived threat (Ross, Mirowsky and Pribesh 2001), promote conspiracy theories (Crocker et al. 1999), and increase attention to peripheral information, inducing distractibility and reducing attentional flexibility (Guinote 2007). Comparatively less social-scientific analysis addresses the feelings, sentiments, and emotions basic to the personal experience of powerlessness.

The emotional basis of subjective powerlessness Seeman (1972:503, 511) suggests that powerlessness involves fatalism, pessimism, and anxiety. Using this as a beginning point, we develop a model of these and three other emotions hypothesized to be the affective basis of powerlessness. Drawing on emotions theory, we hypothesize that the specific emotions that comprise the affective level of subjective powerlessness are (i) basic or primary, and (ii) secondorder pairings of these primary emotions. We postulate that four primary emotions are interior to powerlessness, namely sadness, fear, acceptance–acquiescence, and anticipation–expectation. The rationale for inclusion of these emotions will be presented, and we then further propose that the six secondary emotions defined as the pairings of these primary emotions form the affective basis of subjective powerlessness.

The four primary emotions of powerlessness Sadness Sadness has been linked to a deficiency in personal control over one’s environment (H. Smith and Elsworth 1985). Individuals experiencing sadness are likely to view outcomes as governed by situational forces and chance, rather than a result of their own actions. Research has shown that efforts to establish a modicum of personal control can reduce the experience of sadness; for example, even the bit of control over one’s environment provided by shopping decisions can reduce sadness levels, a phenomenon called “retail therapy” (Rick, Pereira and Burson 2014). Belief in an external locus of control, an aspect of powerlessness, is an important factor in the development of clinical-level sadness, that is, of depression (which is associated with a phenomenological flattening of object-perception and self-perception) (Kunzendorf et al. 2010). The perception of being subjected to

The emotions of powerlessness


an external locus of control has been found to increase sadness and clinical-level depression (P. Gilbert 1992). Fear Fear is the adaptive reaction to the negative experience of social hierarchy (Plutchik 1962); it is a reaction to the exercise of power which is seen as damaging the welfare and interests of the powerless. Powerlessness can induce dysfunctional habits, low expectations, and fears that deform individuals’ choices and even wishes for their own lives (Nussbaum 2000:114). Out of prudence, fear, and the desire to curry favor, public performances of the powerless are often shaped to appeal to the expectations of the powerful (Lukes [1974] 2005:126), while accepting the social order’s status quo as natural and inevitable (Scott 1990:72). Fear is an adaptive reaction, and continuing defeats of the powerless lead to a lack of challenge and to a pattern of withdrawal from competition either on economic or ideological grounds, in part as an effort to escape the unpleasant subjective sense of powerlessness (Freire 1970). The prospect of challenging a dominant elite can result in fear of defeat and subsequent reprisal. Gaventa (1982) illustrates the role of fear in powerless Appalachian coal miners, for example, were hesitant to complain about their working conditions or the condition of the environment, or to organize unions, out of fear for their lives, homes, and jobs; the consequences of resistance could be a loss of food stamps, loss or credit at the company store, or being beaten (Heavener 1978; Gurr 1979). Gaventa (1982:206) quotes a local postmistress, referring to the industrial capitalists who control their lives, who said, Everybody’s afraid of them . . . and nobody would dare say anything to them because if they did they would be reprimanded, they’d have to move out of their home, or they’d lose their job or they’d be persecuted in some form. Acceptance–acquiescence Acceptance, by itself, is considered a positive emotion associated with the incorporation of resources or social involvements with other persons or groups. Acceptance of social powerlessness has received considerable attention in ethology but not in the sociology of emotions. Animal researchers have found that losers in skirmishes with conspecifics (usually taking place at territorial boundaries) who are able to escape their situations experience minimal consequences. But if there is no escape, losers become depressed, droopy, even paralyzed, and are apt to experience a ‘coming to grief’ as a result of having their rank in a status hierarchy, or ‘pecking order’, reduced (Schjelderup-Ebbe 1935). A state of defeat triggers a “yielding subroutine of ritualistic agonistic behaviour” (Price and Sloman 1987). MacLean (1985) noted that reptiles who lose rank then lose their bright coloring and die shortly thereafter. In human society, individuals can find themselves enslaved, incarcerated, trapped in poverty, excluded from full participation in society, or experience an eroded value system. All of these situations involve


Emotions basic to alienation

powerlessness together with the inability to escape, which compels acceptance of situations in which opportunity for resource competition is lacking; the result can be dysphoria, deterioration of mental and physical health, mortality and morbidity, and inability to acquire resources and opportunities (Wilkinson and Pickett 2009). In dogs and humans, uncontrollable, inescapable trauma leads to a pathological state of “learned helplessness” (Seligman 1975; Gilbert 1992:174–80). For humans, acceptance, or acquiescence, can come about as a result of the most blatant forms of exploitation, which can make allies out of the exploited, so that, “Discontent is replaced by acceptance, hopeless rebellion by conformist quiet, and suffering . . . by cheerful endurance” (Sen 1984:309). Acquiescence to domination has been described as a necessity for the effective exercise of political power (Santayana 1951:415–21). For those subject to inescapable power or domination, acquiescence is an aspect of adapting to rank-degrading or exploitative situations. Referring to members of coal-mining communities in an Appalachian valley, Gaventa (1982:93) argued that their “enforced quiescence over a period of time tended to develop internalized acceptance of the appropriate relationship of the led to the leaders.” And Gaventa (1982:94) adds, “Where leadership was not to be questioned and exit was not a choice, then loyalty was the only response possible.” These descriptions of the acceptance of domination by the powerless were articulated in Hegel’s master–slave dialectic, wherein the initial stage of the slave’s status as a slave “is the result of his contingently having come to accept the subjective point of view of the master as normative for his own point of view”; this being-for-another is motivated by “the fear and anxiety he felt for his life in the initial struggle for recognition.” The circumstances of the slave are but contingent circumstances that the slave has internalized as authoritatively “governing the social acceptance of certain standards of warranted beliefs” (Pinkard 1996:63, emphasis added). Anticipation–expectation Anticipation, by itself, is a positive emotional state (Panksepp 1998). But in the case of social powerlessness, it can involve an invalidation of positive expectations about goal attainment, so that expectations become negative psychological experiences, as they are joined to other affective states. Having experienced difficulties in meeting goals and feeling discouraged about competitive endeavors, the powerless individual internalizes the feeling that “he or she lacks the power (means, skills, resources, enabling conditions) to realize” goals and “manage situations” (Miceli and Castelfranchi 2015:77–8). Apprehending that any “positive expectations relative to intentions which one feels he or she lacks the power to realize” will create a discouraging situation, in which the individual seeing successful goal seeking as unattainable will disengage from the pursuit of competition for goals and resources. This general idea has been developed by Carver and Scheier’s (1982) control theory, which links powerlessness to disengagement from pursuing intentions as a means of reducing awareness of discrepancy between the intended and the present state, where insurmountable obstacles and interruptions degrade

The emotions of powerlessness


outcome expectancies and thereby inducing discouragement and disengagement from attempts to attain goals. Of course, even these most disadvantaged and powerless must participate in institutional settings where progress is both expected and evaluated, as in educational settings. For those whose rate of progress is slow, and slower than expected by those who evaluate, feelings of discouragement and disengagement will be experienced during the processes of learning, writing essays, and taking tests.

The six secondary emotions of subjective powerlessness We proposed that the six secondary-level emotions of powerlessness are fatalism, pessimism, resignation, anxiety, submissiveness, and shame. We begin with the one positively valenced emotional component of the sentiment of subjective powerlessness which pairs the two positively valenced primary emotions (acceptance– acquiescence and anticipation–expectation), which, on its affective level, will be interpreted as fatalism, or a sense of destiny. Fatalism The feeling of powerlessness is characterized by a low expectancy that one can control the attainment of personal and social rewards, together with the perception that control is rather “vested in external forces, powerful others, luck, or fate” (Seeman 1972:472). Fatalism is not ordinarily regarded as an emotion but clearly possesses affective content; it can indeed be seen as a secondary emotion. Fatalism can be conceptualized as a special case of resourcefulness, which has been modeled (TenHouten 2007:85–8) as a mixture of anticipation and acceptance, and their associated functions of exploration and incorporation, respectively. On the functional level, resourceful individuals are able to go into and explore their environments, locate resources, and then incorporate these resources. Fatalism, we propose, is a special case of resourcefulness, wherein resources are hoped to be gained not by one’s own effort, but by some ineffable external agent. Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) was not mistaken when he proposed that “expectancy + acceptance = fatalism.” For present purposes, we propose that expectancy & acquiescence = fatalism. This essentially means that an individual will expect having no choice but acquiesce to whatever might happen, whether fortunate or unfortunate, because important life outcomes are seen as either predetermined or controlled by the will of unseen, powerful entities or forces, or by fully visible, powerful others. A sense of powerlessness, Gaventa (1982:17) observes, “may manifest itself as an extensive fatalism, self-deprecation, or undue apathy.” Fatalism and the closely related term ‘destiny’ refer to a belief in the nearly inevitable succession of events whose outcome can be favorable or unfavorable. Gramsci (1971) saw subordination as entailing a relation of domination, such that those subjected to hegemonic forces are deprived of their self-reliance, which he described both as an objective condition of powerlessness and as a view of oneself as hostage to an ineffable destiny.


Emotions basic to alienation

The fatalist believes that a person’s future, be it ‘lucky’ or not, is brought about not by the person’s efforts, knowledge, talents, and capabilities, but through some subtle external agency. The fatalist, invoking the lazy-reasoning principle of ignava ratio, might say, “If God wants me to win the lottery, I will win the lottery.” While the long odds of winning a lottery, as calculated by probability theory, renders investment irrational, the person who sees a possible win as an act of God or Fate sees the odds as much better, because as ethnographic research has shown, almost all people feel they are trying to do what is right or good, see themselves as making an effort to be morally deserving, and believe that God rewards moral behavior (Lambek 2010:1). The lottery, the fatalist believes, is predetermined, or predestined, by an agency beyond human control, which in addition to God might be called Lady Luck, the Wheel of Fortune, astrological alignment, lucky or unlucky numbers, or predestination (see Weber [1904–5] 2002:82, 198n46, 202n76). It is no accident that the most economically disadvantaged and powerless individuals are prone to investing their scarce resources in lotteries, gambling, and games of chance (Blalock, Just and Simon 2007). In its simplest form, Veblen ([1899] 1931:280) explained, belief in luck “is this instinctive sense of an inscrutable teleological propensity in objects or situations.” Veblen defined this as a simple animism, which shades by gradation into a second, derivative, “more or less articulated belief in an inscrutable [spiritual or] preternatural agency, . . . which partakes of the attributes of personality to the extent of somewhat arbitrarily influencing the outcome of any enterprise, and especially of any contest” (Veblen [1899] 1931:280). There is a moral dimension to this belief, as the subtle agent who wields an unseen hand is often believed to be concerned with the equity or legality of the contestants’ claims. This is articulated in the maxim, “Thrice he is armed who knows his quarrel just.” Veblen added that the worker subject to the lowest level of such animistic thinking is not apt to engage in effective causal thinking, which reduces performance at work and engagement in critical analysis of his objective economic situation, and “will therefore palpably affect his thinking at every turn of . . . life,” which provides the perplexed individual “a refuge,” “a fund of comfort,” and “a means of escape from the difficulty of accounting for phenomena in terms of causal sequence” (Veblen [1899] 1931:286–7). Pessimism Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) proposed that, “sorrow + expectancy = pessimism.” This formula can be restated slightly, as pessimism = expectation & sadness. This simply means that powerless individuals have accepted a pessimistic view of their futures and expect that things are not going to turn out well. Pessimists see the future as out of their control, so that whatever happens must be passively accepted, with one’s future apt to be seen as bleak and saddening. Individuals with a pessimistic explanatory style systematically make negative attributions for undesirable events by seeing such events as personal and internal (“It’s my fault.”), stable or permanent (“It will never change.”), and global or pervasive (“I can’t do anything

The emotions of powerlessness


right.”) (Abramson, Metalsky and Alloy 1989). The pessimistic explanatory style has been linked to negative affectivity, and aversive emotional states are known to be predictive of poor psychological adjustment (Luten, Ralph and Mineka 1997). Inducing feelings of being powerful as opposed to powerless tends to foster optimism and action (Anderson and Galinsky 2006). Optimism and pessimism are prospective emotions that are half opposites (as optimism = anticipation & joy–happiness), which show two opposite expectations of the quality of one’s future, as there can be an expectation either that good things are going to happen (bonum futurum) or that bad things will occur (malum futurum) (Carver and Scheier 2001). The pessimist believes that “If something can go wrong for me, it will.” Optimism and pessimism are thus global orientations to the future, both for oneself and for close others. These orientations are largely a matter of life quality, which includes factors such as good social networks, realistic expectations and aspirations, and satisfaction with experiences of work, leisure, family, and community (Headey and Wearing 1992). Dissatisfaction in any sphere of these and related life-domains can be a cause of pessimism; pessimist is a saddening state of being in which circumstances in general mean things are seen as not working out, or not being good even they do. Resignation Powerful individuals, including those in executive positions, develop the ability to envision desired future states of affairs and persist in carrying out plans for attaining these anticipated goals, thereby turning their intentions into realities (Goldberg 2001). Powerless individuals, in contrast, are apt to anticipate only that outcomes are beyond their control and react to goal blockage with a sense of frustration, acquiescence, and resignation, as opposed to renewed goal-seeking behavior (see, e.g., Van Steenburg, Spears and Fabrize 2013). In their study of miners of ‘Coal Town’, Lantz and McCrary (1958; see also Alix and Lantz 1973) found a predominant “resignation,” rendering these miners unable to mobilize in their economic self-interest; they did not conform to the view of the “economic rational, self-seeking man.” Lantz and McCrary assume the existence of an open political system in which these workers could participate. This unrealistic assumption places responsibility for quiescent, apathetic resignation on the miners themselves, a failure of effort by the powerless to display persistence and persuasion and to thereby attain “successful adaptation,” which would transcend their being “a serious economic burden for the country” (Plunkett and Bowman 1973). Anticipating that efforts for a better future will lead only to failure and disappointment, the resigned individual shrinks from goal attainment, develops resistance to change, and accepts the status quo, even if the present situation is one of poverty and deprivation; such a situation is often adapted to by limiting one’s needs, becoming adverse to goal-oriented activities, and not making plans for the future (O. Lewis 1966). In normal life, individuals engage in search activities, displaying a broad and holistic approach to behavior, adapting as best they can to their social environments. However, if search activity cannot be linked to an ability to predict the


Emotions basic to alienation

outcomes of such activity, either changing a problematic situation or adjusting to it, search activity can be renounced, leading to deficits in problem-solving, inadequate coping, and a drop in the activity of monoamines, all of which can predispose an individual to what Weinberg (2000b) calls “the ultimate resignation,” suicidal thoughts and feelings, possibly suicide. Feelings of powerlessness, then, are apt to include a profound sense of resignation and are a common sign of suicide (Beck et al. 2005). Resignation comes about when an individual is faced with unsolvable situations, where one’s reaction is giving up, surrender, fixation upon obstacles, and feelings of hopelessness, together with renunciation of search activities, which comprises a resignation reaction. In persistently distressing situations, an individual can lead to “a profound resignation to destiny because of an awareness that when one needs help most, one’s cry for help will not be heard, or if heard, will make no difference” (Tomkins 1963:99). While resignation has cognitive content, it can also be seen as having an emotional aspect. Focusing on the affective aspect of resignation, Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118) proposed a useful but problematic definition: “acceptance + sorrow = resignation, sentimentality.” Sentimentality means to be moved easily by sentiments in a general way, and can be excluded from this formulation. Resignation includes in its definition “passive acceptance” (Oxford). Ortony, Clore and Collins (1988:131–2) link resignation to acceptance, as they assert: “the focus of resignation is not on the [undesirable] event in question . . . but on beliefs about likelihood and on a corresponding reluctant acceptance of the event’s inevitability.” When a person is resigned to a powerless situation or to the loss of a social position, there is withdrawal from a social field and consequent feeling of loss. Moreover, “[i]n light of the profound negative evaluation of our situation it contains, sadness is typically not associated with putting up resistance but with passivity and resignation in the face of everyday affairs” (Ben-Ze’ev 2000:466). Lazarus (1991), in his model of socioenvironmental appraisal, identified a set of emotions dealing with loss or the threat of loss. If there is active coping to avoid loss, to restore what has been lost, or to manage the distress of loss, then “emotions of adaptational struggle” come into play. But when such efforts fail, there will be a process of grieving, of intense sadness. On this, Lazarus wrote: Sadness belongs at the low end of the dimension of engagement and involves resignation rather than struggle, at which time the person has been moving toward acceptance of and disengagement from the lost commitment. . . . Therefore, sadness is a step toward resignation, which emerges from a difficult coping struggle in which the emotional outlook is often contradictory, fragile, and changing. (1991:247, emphasis in original expanded) Thus, resignation would appear to incorporate both acquiescence and sadness, so that it can be defined, on its affective level, as a secondary emotion: resignation = acquiescence & sadness.

The emotions of powerlessness


Anxiety Anxiety can be facilitative and motivate individuals to meet challenges, or debilitating, resulting in a fearful shrinking away from encounters or challenges. For individuals who perceive themselves as powerless in their situation, anxiety is apt to be debilitating (Lefcourt 1976:86–90). While anxiety can be elicited by internal threats such as inappropriate impulses, it can become a defensive mechanism responsive to external threats. Anxiety, especially of the debilitating kind, involves fear as a response to a threat in the external environment or a fear-provoking social situation, thereby evoking a ‘flight’ response. While basic fear is largely concentrated in the present, we have seen that anxiety adds an anticipatory emphasis to fear. Anxiety can either be focused on an objective situation or activity which is avoided (phobia) or be unfocused and free-floating. When social structures of power threaten the ability to meet basic human needs for competence, self-esteem, and a benevolent world, the resulting trait-anxiety can lead to various social-cognitive and impression-formation strategies in an effort to cope with powerlessness or to establish a modicum of control (S. Fiske, Morling and Stevens 1996). Mirowsky and Ross (1983; see also Geis and Ross 1998; Ross and Mirowsky 2009), in their study of life in threatening, noxious, dangerous, and normatively disorderly neighborhoods, found a pervasive sentiment of powerlessness which was associated with high levels of mistrust, anxiety, depression, and anger. Similarly, South Africans who endured violence during the apartheid era (e.g., being attacked, having one’s house burned down) experienced feelings of powerlessness, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem (Hirschowitz and Orkin 1997). Recent studies indicate that low social status, which carries the message of social inferiority and powerlessness, heightens people’s social evaluation anxieties, a process which has intensified as status and wealth differences have increased; indeed, greater inequality has been accompanied by increased status competition and increased status anxiety among those with low status and power (Wilkinson and Pickett 2009:43–4). Submissiveness Subjective powerlessness is a submission, or subjugation, whether voluntary or coerced, such that one cannot resist the dominator’s monopoly of power. When faced with an irreducible discrepancy of social power, powerless individuals will feel compelled to submit to a paternalistic reality, to assume a social identity in which they are less than adults. To submit to power is an expression of passivity and of acquiescence. Being subjected to power is not necessarily painful or abusive, but even if power is benevolent, resistance can bring about an angry reaction, punishment, and retribution. Thus, submission to power is motivated by both acquiescence and fear. Dominance and submission are not emotions but kinds of behavior. Nonetheless, they have affective content which can be specified. The affective component of dominance was defined by Plutchik ([1962] 1991:118), with unnecessary


Emotions basic to alienation

tentativeness, as “anger + acceptance = dominance (?).” As defined here, dominance = anger & acceptance. This means that the action of domination is moving forward to a goal with the acceptance, acquiescence, or submission of others. Plutchik also defines “acceptance + fear = submission, modesty.” Modesty, however, can be considered a behavioral manifestation of shame, and can therefore be excluded from the present definition. To accept the anger of another (functionally, their moving ahead toward their goals or objectives) is to defer, to step aside, to comply with, to submit quietly or to acquiesce, to fearfully retreat, rather than insist on one’s own goals and interests; it means to submit to the dominance of the other. To be dominated is to be subjected to discipline, to be rendered fearful and therefore docile, and to respond by turning one’s energies, capabilities, and aptitudes into the production of what is useful to those who dominate (Foucault [1975] 1995:138). The following can be defined: submissiveness = fear & acceptance–acquiescence. Anger and fear have been shown to be linked to dominance and submission by a set of complex neural mechanisms (involving plasma and cerebrospinal levels of certain peptide hormones) that maintain a state of anger or fear and consequent aggressive, power-motivated or vigilant, powerlessness-motivated behaviors, through neural entrainment, after the initial anger- or fear-inducing stimuli is no longer perceptible (Sewards and Sewards 2003). According to Plutchik, anger and fear are opposite emotions that result in opposite behavioral tendencies leading to forward-moving dominance and the reactive defensiveness of submission, respectively. This opposition can be seen, for example, in the aggressive, dominating behavior of psychopaths who have a dispositional fearlessness, resulting in “fearless domination” (Lòpez et al. 2013). While anger, at least as manifested in the behavior of advancing toward a goalstate, would appear to be interior to the affective level of dominance, it should be mentioned that individuals with lower social status have been reported to express more anger than those more dominant, and there appear to be significant cultural differences in the expression of anger in situations in which dominance–submission is at issue. In Western cultures, especially among Americans, those who are dominated are apt to express anger in order to vent their frustration at being dominated, experiencing adversity, or having their goals blocked (Berkowitz 1989). Japanese adults were more apt to use anger to display their authority (Park et al. 2013). In the former case, anger appears in the aftermath of, but is not interior to, the submissiveness itself; in the latter case, anger is interior to the affective expression of dominance. Shame The hypothesized primary components of shame, fear and sadness, were discussed in Chapter 6. Both of these primary emotions have been linked to powerlessness; they have been being described as expressions of “vulnerability, helplessness, and powerlessness” (A. Fischer 1993:312). The definition of shame proposed here suggests that shame is also an emotional aspect of powerlessness. This would appear to be

The emotions of powerlessness


consistent with sociological theorizing, according to which emotions are seen as resulting from dynamics of status and power in social interactions (Kemper 1978), and shame is seen as the key social emotion (Scheff 2000, 2003). Powerlessness is a sociorelational situation that can derive from conditions of life or from traumatic events that place one in a compromised, painful, or abusive situation. There is a vast literature linking shame to situations and conditions of powerlessness. Members of social groups and communities who have been subjected to undeserved and unjust treatment they are powerless to prevent experience intense shame, even humiliation (Leidner, Sheikh and Ginges 2012). Parents and their children who have been victimized by domestic violence find their shame (and guilt) a barrier to disclosure and the seeking of relief (Stanley, Miller and Foster 2012). In the experience of being traumatized by war and armed conflict, survivors are apt to experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), together with shame, and the associated reactions of avoidance (the behavioral concomitant of fear) and loss of self-integrity (sadness being the prototypical reaction to loss). Shame has been shown to be a nearly inevitable concomitant of PTSD (Andrew Stone 1992). Female soldiers subjected to sexual assault are apt to experience and internalize shame, self-blame, helplessness, hopelessness, and powerlessness (Weiland, Haley and Bounder 2011). Women who have been subjected to harmful and abusive treatment, and who have experienced being trapped, isolated, and powerless, have been helped with the resulting shame by means of shame-resilience theory, which is intended to increase awareness and understanding about shame (Hernandez and Mendoza 2011). Given that shame can be defined as a mixture of fear and sadness, the two negatively valenced primary emotions of powerlessness, there should be a conceptual relationship between shame and powerlessness. Shame is a painful emotion felt by individuals who see themselves, as represented by the disapproving eyes of others, as possibly in violation of the authority of social customs, codes of behavior, and norms. It is a sociomoral emotion serving as a mechanism of social control, for shame-avoidance in individuals comes about through socialization to and internalization of the normative order of one’s culture. The individual’s capacity for shame is an acknowledgement of the power of the normative order, and of one’s being powerless to challenge this order with impunity, as the suffering that shame causes is, in and of itself, a debt paid to one’s community. Shame is the affect which induces us to conform to the authority, the power, of one’s cultural environment (Heller 1985; Scheff 2000, 2003).

Objective powerlessness Distinctions between objective and subjective levels of powerlessness and other varieties of alienation and estrangement have long been at issue among alienation theorists. A complete description of objective powerlessness is far beyond the scope of this work. What can be accomplished is to briefly describe selected aspects of such powerlessness, and in the data analysis to follow use them as indicators. Here, just five sources of powerlessness will be considered, namely social inequality, social inferiority, social invisibility, economic distress, and an external locus of control.


Emotions basic to alienation

Social inequality In social relationships of an egalitarian nature, the participants typically share equally in risks and rewards. If social relations are not equal, then they are by definition hierarchical, which means those in lower positions are apt to have denigrated social identities and to be treated as less than equal, or as inferior. Hierarchy, the ‘vertical’ dimension of social life, involves power, domination, authority, leadership status, and prestige (Schwartz 1981). Those with social power gain first access to shelter, comfort, and the enjoyments of life. For an existing social hierarchy, there are two basic adaptive reactions, which are to strive for a high or dominant position or to submit to a lower status (Boehm 1999). Here we are focused not just on the perceptions of those treated unequally, but rather on the objective social situation in which members of groups – while seeing each other as equals within the group are, as a social fact, seen and treated as less than equal by others; this can result in discrimination, denigration, ridicule, abuse, and various kinds of exclusion from full participation in the life of a society and its dominant culture. Under these conditions, members of less-than-equal groups and categories are apt to be powerless to prevent unequal treatment. Members in such groups and categories will lack input into decision-making. They are apt to be invidiously stereotyped and treated as if their social identities are unacceptable, and their desires and ambitions are seen as unrealistic and therefore irrelevant. They are apt to receive treatment that is unfair, hostile, and aggressive. Social inferiority With the exception of some remaining hunting-and-gathering societies with a strong egalitarian orientation, most societies have a vertical taxonomy of power, or system of social stratification, according to which some are ‘above’, or have ‘high’ status, while others are ‘below’, having ‘low’ status. This reality has led to the retention of ancient dual-symbolic classification systems, according to which those who are above are superior and those who are below are inferior. This classification system is a structure, meaning it has multiple channels which convey much the same information. Accordingly, distinctions are made between above/ below, up/down, skilled/unskilled, strong/weak, leading/following, etc. These assembled verbal forms “constitute an intelligible universe of power” (Schwartz 1981:5), according to which superiority and inferiority symbolize social power. The redundancy of these polar opposites conveys the social importance of social hierarchy, which has deep evolutionary roots, being manifested in dominance and submission display by lizards, monkeys, and humans (MacLean 1990); hierarchy is a fundamental problem of life, widely distributed in the animal kingdom (Plutchik 1983), and social dominance/subdominance is central to human history and human social organization (Mason 1971; Boehm 1999; Sidanius and Pratto 1999). Thus, the verbal taxonomy of power reflects the objective realities of power and powerlessness and is the “controlling archetype” of power relationships in the social order (Schwartz 1981:81).

The emotions of powerlessness


Social invisibility Yi-Fu Tuan (1984:2) observes that for objects standing in the way of those who wield power, “the shakers and doers of the world, they are removed––unless they are perceived to have use and are so used.” To be ‘removed’ means to be put out of sight and mind, to be rendered marginal to one’s community. The powerless easily become victims, subjected to exploitation or cruelty. For the dominators, “the victim has little or no interest and is barely part of his visible landscape,” which is focused not on the suffering of the victim, but rather on “pleasure, adornment, and prestige.” Thus, for the powerful, those they dominate are nearly invisible. Far from sharing in the suffering of those they dominate, the exercise of power and exploitation can be a source of pleasure, which contributes to its pervasiveness. Bourdieu ([1998] 2001:1–2) describes a form of “symbolic violence,” a subtle form of domination that relies on bypassing the conscious will by setting up an embodied, insidious ‘habitus’, wherein dominance is developed as “a gentle violence, imperceptible and invisible even to its victims,” which by suggestive metaphors such as ‘alchemy’ and ‘magic’ somehow produces “a durable way of standing, speaking, walking, and thereby of feeling and thinking” (Bourdieu [1997] 2000:138). Lukes ([1974] 2005:141) notes the vagueness of this conceptualization, but agrees with Bourdieu that the effectiveness of power as domination is enhanced by being disguised or rendered invisible, as what is “conventional and position- or class-based appears to the actors as natural and objective,” and is imposed not consciously but rather as the “imposition of a scale of values.” For the powerless, invisibility can become an aspect of ‘quietude’, a passive condition of being subjected to “invisible power” that is internalized to result in a sense of powerlessness (Gaventa 1982), and a “culture of silence” (Freire 1970). The understanding that those with status and power do not wish to see or hear members of subordinate groups and classes stimulates adaptive responses in which, out for concern and even fear for their well-being, members of such groups strive be ‘invisible’, ‘hidden’, and ‘unobserved’. Members of low-status groups and categories are apt to be subjected to a pattern of microaggressive slights on the part of individuals with higher status, which on the surface seem trivial or banal, but which, if repeatedly experienced, can have a cumulative, highly deleterious effect, which can induce stress, anger, and feelings of invisibility and marginalization (Pierce 1988). Social invisibility is a perception of not being valued, noticed, or acknowledged, and that one’s talents, abilities, and personality are not recognized (Franklin 1999). Economic distress The negative experience of economic social relations means to be poor, to lack money and resources, and to lack opportunities. The most powerless individuals in a society will typically lack useful economic skills, training, and education, all of which places them at a disadvantage in competition for jobs and other opportunities of life. Even when work is obtained, it is insecurely held and can


Emotions basic to alienation

involve low-paying, demeaning, unhealthful labor. Those who live outside of or are marginal to the economy become dependent upon governmental and private aid, which together form a social safety net; individuals, families, and groups in such situations experience lack of access to organizational resources, such as health care, child care, job training and suitable employment, food insecurity, inadequate housing and potential homelessness, and risk of being victimized by crime (Eve and Eve 1984), and economic exploitation. External locus of control An external locus of control was originally conceptualized as the degree to which individuals believe that the significant events they experience occur independently of their actions (Rotter 1966). This concept includes being subjected to the authority of others, but this is not necessarily a negative experience, as we saw with the example of the individual who believes that the two external sources of control – powerful others and chance – can work together to control outcomes on his or her behalf. A subtle external force controlling one’s destiny, if malicious, can create a sense of despair; but if perceived of as benevolent, it can generate a blissful feeling of being protected and cared for by a guardian angel of some other spiritual being or force. Generally, control-orientation theorists see the social situation of providing a range of reinforcing alternatives available to the individual, with the individual typically choosing the alternative that has previously been rewarding. Thus, expectancies, perceived reinforcement value, and situational parameters interact to determine behavior. There is, in general, congruence between environments and individuals: (i) individuals who believe they can control their environments adapt best in environments that respond to their control efforts; (ii) individuals who believe they have little control over their situations adapt best to environments unresponsive to individual control attempts. Those who are objectively controlled by others are subject to abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as those powerless in their limited control efforts can provide services, money, and labor power, all of which can be both useful and profitable. Thus, the objective reality of external control is one aspect of structural powerlessness.

A content-analytic study of life-historical interviews with Australian Aborigines and Euro-Australians Now that we have established sociorelational aspects of sociorelational powerlessness and of the specific emotions comprising the subjective experience of powerlessness, these variables can be studied empirically. The above conceptual model requires extensive empirical evaluation. As a preliminary step, we present structural equations models of objective and subjective powerlessness (OP, SP) and their manifest indicators, using as a dataset a corpus of 732 life historical interviews obtained by the author over three years throughout Australia, in environments ranging from large urban areas to remote outback settings. After eliminating interviews of less than 2,000 words, 563 remained, consisting of 298 Australian Aborigines (46 percent female) and 265 Euro-Australians (45 percent female). The mean interview length was 10,534 words (standard deviation 11,659,

The emotions of powerlessness


maximum 100,663). The median age of the informants was 64, with the middle 99 percent ranging from 30 to 98. While Australia is a multicultural society, the nonAboriginal interviews were restricted to informants who trace their ancestry to the British Isles or Northern Europe. Wordlists were constructed using Roget’s folkconcepts, together with several other thesauruses and dictionaries. All grammatical variations of each root word were considered, but only those consistent with the concept in question were included. For each category, a summated rating of word use was measured by the number of times words in the concept wordlist were spoken, as a proportion of the total words in the transcript (weighted by 10,000). Wordlist indicators of objective and subjective powerlessness Wordlists were constructed to measure each of the five criteria described above. (i) Inequality was measured by words selected to express disgust and disapproval, including ‘degraded’, ‘despised’, ‘odious’, and ‘scruffy’, as shown in Table 10.1. (ii) Inferiority is closely related to a lack of socioeconomic status and Table 10.1 Word categories and partial wordlists for secondary emotions of powerlessness and for social and economic sources of objective powerlessness Word categories (Number of words)

Representative words

Social and economic sources of objective powerlessness Inequality (47) Inferiority (36) Invisibility (25) Economic Stress (96) External Control (44)

unequal begged degraded despised disgrace odious scruffy inferior unskillful ineffective lowly weak mediocre incompetent concealed disguise hidden invisible unseen unobserved costly expensive swindled demoted losses overpaid evicted comply conformed dutiful obey service oppressed enslaved

Secondary emotions of subjective powerlessness Fatalism (43) Pessimism (23) Resignation (22) Anxiety (58) Submissiveness (47) Shame (39)

fateful lucky doom omen wish destiny uncanny astrology hopeless undone gloom bleak pessimistic futile dismal accommodation resigned withdrew indifference detached worry disturbed nervous bothered anxious tense distressed slavishly deference kneeling pliable grovel kowtow submissive shamed ashamed shyly modest humbled comedown humiliating


Emotions basic to alienation

other resources, and is indicated by terms such as ‘inferior’, ‘unskillful’, ‘weak’, ‘mediocre’, and ‘incompetent’. (iii) Invisibility was measured by terms including ‘disguised’, ‘hidden’, and ‘concealed’. (iv) Economic Distress, or poverty, can be described by terms salient to those who lack money. Such individuals speak of commodities as ‘costly’ and ‘expensive’, and remark that they have ‘overpaid’ for services such as check cashing, are prone to being ‘swindled’, ‘demoted’, or facing ‘eviction’. (v) An External Locus of Control was measured by a wordlist that concerned not feelings and beliefs but rather expressions of real social circumstances. Words selected for this purpose include ‘comply’, ‘conformed’, ‘dutiful’, ‘obey’, ‘oppressed’, and ‘enslaved’. Subjective powerlessness was modeled as a quaternary sentiment, comprised of six secondary emotions combining the distinct pairs of formed primary emotions. Representative words used as indicators of the four primary and six secondary emotions are also presented in Table 10.1. Culture and sex differences For the five indicators of OP, there were no significant interactions between Culture and Sex, and no direct effect for Culture. Two Sex differences were found: Males, in both cultures, were significantly higher than females for Inferiority and Economic Distress. Prior to assessing OP and SP in measurement models, and showing their relationship through a causal model, we examined the effects of Culture (Aboriginal, Euro-Australian) and Sex on the four primary emotions of interest. The Aborigines were substantially lower on Acceptance–Acquiescence and Anticipation–Expectation, but significantly higher for Sadness and Fear. In both cultures, females were higher on Sadness than were males. For the other negatively valenced emotion, Fear, the Aborigines were again higher than the Euro-Australians, with females, in both cultures, higher than males. For the secondary emotions, there were no significant effects for Pessimism and Submissiveness. Aborigines, for both sexes, were significantly lower than EuroAustralians for Fatalism, Resignation, and Anxiety, but were significantly higher for Shame. There was just one significant Sex difference, as females were higher than males for Shame. Thus, among the six secondary emotions, it was only Shame that was significantly affected by both Culture and Sex. Two measurement models The next step in data analysis was to assess the dimensionality of the manifest indicators of OP and SP. Measurement models (using SAS Calis) were used to test the hypotheses that each set of indicators derives from a single underlying factor. The results of these analyses are presented in Figure 10.1. For the OP analysis, the program converged after eight iterations. All indicators, as expected, had positively valenced coefficients. The model fit the data, as the Root Mean Square Residual (RMR) was .033 and the Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI) was .978 (with

The emotions of powerlessness


Inferiority Invisibility









.61 .32 .34

Objective Powerlessness

.18 Economic Distress



Anxiety .21

.25 Submissiveness


External Control Shame

Figure 10.1 Measurement models for objective powerlessness and subjective powerlessness

RMR > .05 and AGFI < .95 indicating misfit). Thus, there is justification for considering OP a latent variable. A parallel analysis was carried out to assess the sentiment of SP, which is hypothesized to find expression in six secondary emotions. In this analysis, the six coefficients ranged from Anxiety .39, Fatalism .31, Resignation .30, Pessimism .28, Shame .27, to Submissiveness .21. The program converged after eight iterations. The data also fit this model, as the RMR was .030 and the AGFI was .984. A confirmatory causal model In assessing the dimensionality of the hypothesized latent variables OP and SP, reflective measurement models were used, with causal arrows directed from the latent variable to their manifest indicators. For a causal model, this is certainly appropriate for SP, because it is reasonable that a feeling, or sentiment, that one is in a powerless situation is apt to trigger feelings of fatalism, a pessimistic outlook on life, a sense of resignation, being gripped with a diffuse anxiety, feeling compelled to act and feel in a submissive way, and, perhaps unconsciously, feeling shame. But it makes more theoretical sense to see OP as an emergent, formative variable (see Edwards and Bagozzi 2000) that can come about through the deep and persisting experiences of being treated as less than equal, of being reminded of one’s inferiority, of being socially invisible to others, of living in poverty, or of being controlled by external forces, institutions, or others. Thus, the causal arrows will be reversed, so that the latent variable, OP, is seen as emerging through the experience of one or more of its sociorelational sources. As for the relationship between OP and SP, it would appear from macrosociological theories of power and powerlessness, and alienation theory as well, that OP has an effect on, or causes, SP. Separate analyses, by Culture and by Sex, produced very similar results, so only results for the entire corpus of interviews are presented. The effects of the errors in the six emotion terms and the two disturbances in the latent variables


Emotions basic to alienation




.28 .25

Invisibility .44 Economic Distress












Objective Powerlessness




.24 .32


External Control Shame

Figure 10.2 Causal model: subjective powerlessness as a function of objective powerlessness

were set at unity (with covariances not modeled). The results of this analysis are shown in Figure 10.2. As predicted, all five sources of OP had positive coefficients. The two latent variables were strongly related, with the path coefficient from OP to SP .73. The program converged after nine iterations. The model fit the data (RMR .035, AGFI .973). It can also be observed that the probability that all 12 path coefficients were, as predicted, positive, is 2–12 = .000244. The ‘significance’ of these results is based on the assumption that the life-historical interviews were randomly drawn from some population. While an effort was made to select representative interviews, random sampling was not used, so that the dataset is referred to as a ‘corpus’ rather than a sample. It is worth noting that for the two secondary emotions for which there is a significant Culture difference, there is a relationship between the primary emotions and the secondary emotions consistent with the definitions proposed above. Aborigines are significantly lower than Euro-Australians on Fatalism, and they are also significantly lower on the two primary emotions hypothesized to be components of fatalism, Acceptance–Acquiescence and Anticipation–Expectation. And Aborigines are significantly higher than Euro-Australians for Shame, and also higher for the two primary emotions hypothesized to be the primary components of shame, Sadness and Fear. Shame is arguably the emotion central to the subjective experience of powerlessness. In Figure 10.2 it is shown as impacted by four OP variables, all but Inferiority. The one insignificant result, on the surface, suggests that shame does not result from a sense of one’s own inferiority, but this conclusion would be inconsistent with the above interpretation of shame and with the shame literature. Individuals gripped by shame are prone to repress, hide, and deny this painful emotion, which includes not talking about shame. As one example, Wurmser (1981:22) describes an obsequious psychiatric patient who feared being exposed, laughed at, and being treated with contempt by others, and who was clearly ashamed of his passivity, weakness, and disturbing sexual fantasies. This patient manifested

The emotions of powerlessness


“shame resistance,” which “was expressed . . . in halting speech and frequent silences.”

Discussion The objective of this chapter has been to develop and test a theoretical model of one of Seeman’s original varieties of alienation, the sentiment of powerlessness. Seeman identified three emotions that are interior to the subjective experience of powerlessness, which are fatalism, pessimism, and (in passing) anxiety. All three of these affective states are defined as secondary emotions, which share the primary emotions acquiescence, expectation, sadness, and fear. Given that there are six ways to pair four objects, it follows that there must be three additional secondary emotions involved in powerlessness that Seeman did not identify, and indeed these pairs of primary emotions have been interpreted as three additional secondary emotions, resignation (acceptance-acquiescence & sadness), submissiveness (acquiescence & fear), and shame (fear & sadness). Powerlessness, as a variety of alienation, refers both to an objective sociorelational situation or condition and to the subjective experience of the individual. On the social-psychological level, powerlessness is a sentiment, that it, it has both cognitive and affective aspects. Seeman has emphasized that alienation should be studied not as a general concept but in its specific manifestations, as powerlessness, normlessness, meaninglessness, etc. Once this commitment is made, the general concepts of alienation (and estrangement) become somewhat supererogatory, as can be seen by the literature on powerlessness considered here, little of which is grounded in alienation theory. Alienation theorists have posed an important problem but have expended precious little energy addressing its solution, either theoretically or empirically. It is an open question as to whether the complex set of emotions at the basis of the sentiment of powerlessness can be intentionally induced, but they most certainly can be socially constructed through the socialization process and moral norms. Members of societal subpopulations who develop a collective apprehension that their way of life and level of social entitlements are threatened, are apt to fear that the sociopolitical advancement of previously marginalized groups and classes will undermine their power to defend their values and their social space. Gripped by this fear, these groups experience a sense of relative deprivation, and suffer insecurity as a result, are apt to experience strong feelings of resentment (Wettergren and Jansson 2013). This resentment makes their suffering meaningful, but this complex emotional state – that of resentment – is experienced as a concomitant of a loss of relative power, but this loss is not yet total, so that they need not anticipate having to acquiesce to their perceived worsening situation. What is experienced under such circumstances is not an abject powerlessness, but rather a perceived loss of power. Once this process begins, it can lead to a helpless form of resentment and a descent into true powerlessness, or to a forceful kind of resentment, where the loss of power is contested and rights to power reasserted. In the case of suffering a descent into powerlessness, into Lukes’s third level of powerlessness – that of


Emotions basic to alienation

‘subjection-inducing acquiescence’ – then the emotions described here will come to the fore. But in the case of forceful resentment, there will rather be a mobilization of personal and political power; the result can be an active contestation of a deteriorating situation and an effort to overcome a perceived decline of fortune. In this case, powerlessness comes to be experienced at the second and first stages, and the involved emotions, resentment, certainly anger, and so forth, become dominant as the affective level of an overall adaptive response.

11 A summing up, competing sociological models of alienation, and issues in alienation theory and research

Introduction The last five chapters have theorized the affective bases of Seeman’s (1959) proposed inventory of five varieties of alienation: normlessness, meaninglessness, self-estrangement, cultural estrangement, and powerlessness. Table 11.1 summarizes the results of this analysis. We discovered that normlessness, which Seeman and many others consider a single variety of alienation, comprises two distinct subtypes, each associated with very different emotions. Normlessness1 involves intentional norm violation and the emotion ruthlessness; it occurs even in stable societies in which the normative order is well understood. Normlessness2 involves unintentional norm violation and the emotion discouragement; it is most apt to occur when the normative order has become destabilized. Cultural estrangement is similarly of two kinds: first, a feeling of disdain toward aspects of one’s culture, and second, a sense of dread, dismay, or apprehension about not ‘living up to’ culturally dominant expectations governing accomplishment, performance, and behavior in the social world. We thus expanded Seeman’s initial inventory of five varieties of alienation to seven. These seven varieties of alienation are based on differing, though in some cases overlapping, primary emotions; all involve at least one of the negatively valenced primary emotions sadness, surprise, or disgust.1

Valence, focus, and clustering of the emotions of alienation We tentatively generalize that when positive and negative emotions combine, a negative affective state of mind and associated behavioral reactions can occur. Generally, an emotion will be experienced positively only if all of its components are positive. From a social-psychological viewpoint, positive valence (illustrated, for example, by anger and aggressiveness) does not mean that an emotion is pleasurable, but rather that it is instrumentally approach-oriented and goal seeking. The affective bases of three varieties of alienation – normlessness1, meaninglessness, and cultural estrangement1 – are similar, for they share two primary emotions, disgust and anger. Given that the mixture of disgust and anger yields contempt, these three varieties of alienation also share the secondary emotion,


Emotions basic to alienation

Table 11.1 Types and varieties of alienation and their bases of primary, secondary, and tertiary emotions Types and varieties of alienation Externally focused Normlessness1– anomie1 Meaninglessness

Cultural estrangement1

Primary emotions

Secondary emotions

joy–happiness anger disgust anger disgust surprise anger anticipation– expectation disgust

contempt derisiveness pride shock outrage contempt cynicism contempt

Internally or self-focused surprise Normlessness2– fear anomie2 sadness Self-estrangement disgust sadness surprise Cultural surprise anticipation– estrangement2 expectation fear Internally and externally focused Powerlessness acceptance– acquiescence anticipation– expectation fear sadness

Tertiary emotions



disdain aggressiveness shame disappointment alarm disappointment shock loneliness anxiety alarm confusion




fatalism resignation submissiveness pessimism anxiety shame

contempt. Figure 11.1A shows this overlapping of anger and disgust, shared by three varieties of alienation. The other four varieties of alienation – normlessness2, self-estrangement, cultural estrangement2, and powerlessness – also have similar affective bases. Their overlapping primary emotions are shown in Figure 11.1B. These four varieties of alienation also share secondary emotions: normlessness2 shares disappointment with self-estrangement, alarm with cultural estrangment2, and anxiety with powerlessness. Cultural estrangement2 shares alarm with powerlessness. These four varieties of alienation are thus based on similar primary and secondary emotions. Given this overlapping of primary and secondary emotions, it appears that the varieties of alienation might consist of two types. Specifically, normlessness1,

A summing up



normlessness1 joy–happiness



cultural estrangement1






fear surprise


cultural estrangement2

sadness disgust




Figure 11.1 Venn diagrams of the primary emotions associated with (A) predominantly externally focused and (B) predominantly internally or self-focused varieties of alienation (and powerlessness)

meaninglessness, and cultural estrangement1 form one group (based on the similarities among ruthlessness, resentment, and disdain), and normlessness2, selfestrangement, cultural estrangement2, and powerlessness, another (based on similarities among discouragement, despair, dread, and emotions of powerlessness). To examine the possible clustering (of the varieties of alienation), we return to Plutchik’s primary-emotions ‘wheel’, wherein the positively and negatively valenced emotions are grouped together, as shown in Figure 11.2. In Plutchik’s schemata of the primary emotions, distance between the discrete emotions indicates dissimilarity (see TenHouten 1995). The placement of the four positively valenced emotions on the left side, and the negatively valenced emotions to the right, shows that valence is an important criterion of similarity. Figure 11.2 shows that emotions basic to the seven varieties of alienation form two distinct clusters, one encircled in the positive space, and one in the negative. The total conceptual space is divided (by a dotted line) into two semi-circles, demarcating the four positively and the four negatively valenced primary emotions. The ‘positive space’ is to the left of this line; the ‘negative space’, to the right. This division


Emotions basic to alienation


10 + Joy




Positive Negative








R thl Ruthlessness

Discouragement e

Resentment Emotions of powerlessness Despair Disdain –


1.6 5



0 0






Figure 11.2 Plutchik’s 1962 circumplex or ‘wheel’ locating eight primary emotions in a two-dimensional space; the primary emotions of all seven varieties of alienation are plotted in the two-dimensional space and placed at their centroids

of ‘emotional space’, as we saw in Chapter 7, is consistent with neuroscientific evidence supporting an emotions–valence theory. This theory posits that positive (that is, approach-oriented) basic emotions (e.g., anticipation, happiness, anger) are lateralized to the left side of the brain; and negative, withdrawal-oriented emotions (e.g., sadness, disgust, surprise) are right-lateralized (Davidson et al.1990; G. Lee et al. 2004; Balconi and Mazza 2010). This is also consistent with Plutchik’s assignment of valences to the primary emotions, which are labeled ‘+’ or ‘−’ in Figure 11.2. To explore the possible clustering of the six tertiary emotions and the emotions of subjective powerlessness, we will position them in the conceptual space of Figure 11.2.We equidistantly space all eight primary emotions around the perimeter of the ‘wheel’, and impose a measurement grid (of two 10-point scales) over the circle. The six tertiary emotions (and the quaternary-level sentiment of powerlessness)

A summing up


are plotted at their centroids. For example, dread is comprised of anticipation (1.6, 1.6), fear (10, 5), and surprise (8.4, 8.4), so its centroid is at (6.7, 5). The results show two distinct clusters. What might contribute to this clustering? A leading candidate variable is external-internal focus: The two plotted clusters of complex emotions might differ in bring primarily focused externally (oriented to action in the social field) or internally (toward the self). The externally focused cluster of tertiary emotions The three positive-space, tertiary emotions – ruthlessness, resentment, and disdainfulness (which are the affective bases of normlessness1, meaninglessness, and cultural estrangment1), share the primary emotions disgust and anger, and thus by definition, the secondary emotion contempt. Contempt is usually directed outwardly,2 toward individuals who are despised or considered scorn-worthy. Ruthlessness, the affective basis of normlessness1, is a willingness to act in one’s raw self-interest without regard for others’ welfare or rights; it involves contempt; as we saw in Chapter 6; it also likely involves derisiveness and pride. Derisiveness is a propensity to mock, ridicule, or otherwise convey to targeted others their putative worthlessness. Pride, an angry joy, manifests in public displays intended to announce one’s status or accomplishments; it can also convey an outward expression of social dominance or superiority. The key tertiary emotion of meaninglessness, resentment, is an emotion of hostility; if forceful, it is typically directed outwardly toward those perceived to have unjustly caused suffering or loss. Resentment is directed toward those whose harming behavior is deemed morally unacceptable or potentially sociomorally shocking; it can trigger angry indignation, or outrage. The three secondary emotions of resentment – contempt, shock, and outrage, are thus all directed outwardly toward others.3 In cultural estrangement1, the individual regards significant features of mass or consumer society with feelings of disdainfulness. This involves the secondary emotion contempt, and can be further described as aggressiveness; it involves what Monroe (1998) calls a “power to hurt,” and can manifest as a cynical attitude toward the goals and values of one’s own society and culture. The internally focused cluster of tertiary emotions, together with the emotions of powerlessness The tertiary emotions discouragement, despair, and dread, which are clustered in Figure 11.2’s negative space, are internally focused. By internally focused, we mean that they can be seen as emotional reactions whose primary target is the disheartened, vulnerable, endangered, humiliated, or exploited self; these emotions can potentially function to denigrate, or even destroy, the self. The passive subtype of normlessness, normlessness2–anomie2, is hypothesized to be based on the tertiary emotion, discouragement. Discouragement


Emotions basic to alienation

is a cognitive–affective state wherein the individual perceives its agenda and goals to be thwarted, to fail, or to be incompatible with dominant normative standards in an unstable culture or an ambiguous cultural or subcultural situation. Discouragement can involve a sense of shame, or disapproval of oneself by self and/or others. Discouraged individuals can also feel disappointment over unmet expectations or unachievable goals. They can experience alarm over their apparently ineffective endeavors, or over their threatened place in community or society. Self-estrangement is, by definition, self-focused. At its extreme, it involves despair, a deeply painful, distressing state wherein the individual is profoundly disappointed about and estranged from aspects of the self; the despairing individual reaches the shocking conclusion that they have no place in the social world; this can lead to a deep sense of loneliness, and to a collapse of the self. In cultural estrangement2, individuals experience a sense of dread upon perceiving they are unable to meet expected levels of social performance. Dread can include existential anxiety and a sense of alarm, together with possible confusion concerning one’s social identity. The secondary and tertiary emotions of normlessness2, self-estrangement, and cultural estrangement2 thus apparently comprise a second, internally focused type of alienation. Powerlessness clusters with the three self-focused kinds of alienation, although it is not entirely focused on the self. Two of powerlessness’s secondary emotions, anxiety and shame, are self-focused emotions. Powerlessness’s other four secondary emotions (fatalism, resignation, submissiveness, and pessimism), however, have an outward focus. Fatalism is the belief that one’s welfare is determined by an external agency, meaning that one considers an external locus of power as determinative of one’s destiny. Resignation is reluctant acknowledgement that one’s goals and desires cannot be realized, or that one’s life circumstances cannot be altered. When one resigns oneself to a negative outcome, focus is on the other and on acquiescence to an unwanted, saddening situation. Submissiveness is acceptance of another agent’s greater power, wherein the individual defers to a superordinate individual. In Hegel’s analysis of the master and the bondsman, we found that, in the initial stage of maximum powerlessness, the bondsman’s very self is focused on the needs and desires of his lord; his very being is a being-for-another. Pessimism is a belief that future events will not benefit the self or cannot be positively altered or controlled. Insofar as powerlessness is a subjective, affect-laden state of mind, its hypothesized constituent secondary emotions are thus a hybrid of both selffocused and outwardly focused emotions. A cross-classification of secondary emotions on the external–internal focus, and negative-mixed-positive valence dimensions, is shown in Table 11.2. In this table, none of the negatively valenced, secondary emotions is externally focused, and none of the positively valenced secondary emotions is internally focused. There is thus a strong, positive relationship between the variables positivity of valence and externality of focus (Kendall’s τb = .78).4

A summing up


Table 11.2 Cross-classification of the secondary emotions occurring in one or more varieties of alienation: valence of primary emotional components by external (socialsituational) or internal (self) focus Valences of primary emotional components Focus

Both negative

External (social situation)

Internal (self)

loneliness shame alarm disappointment shock

Mixed valence

Both positive

contempt outrage derisiveness cynicism pessimism resignation submissiveness

pride aggressiveness fatalism

anxiety confusion

Kendall’s τb = .78

2 0 7 3 1 5 2 0 1 2 3

Alternative sociological models of alienation Sociologist Jonathan Turner (2007, 2010) has endeavored to link emotions to alienation by associating specific, putatively primary, emotions to a generalized form of alienation. In this account, Turner identifies alienation, shame, and guilt as three tertiary-level emotions. Further, each of these three tertiary emotions is a combination of the same three primary emotions, namely “disappointment– sadness,” “aversion–fear,” and “assertion–anger.” Turner proposes that these identical, putatively primary emotions’ differing (i) relative intensity levels and (ii) externality or internality of focus explain how they produce three different tertiary-level emotions. In Turner’s (2010:181) definitional scheme for the tertiary-level emotion guilt, disappointment–sadness is the dominant, that is, most intense, primary emotional component; aversion–fear occurs at a lower intensity level, and assertion–anger occurs at the lowest intensity level. Turner posits that two other tertiary emotions, shame and alienation, are also comprised of the same three primaries: disappointment–sadness, aversion–fear, and assertion–anger. For intensity, the ordering again posits disappointment–sadness as most intense in both shame and alienation: but for both shame and alienation, assertion–anger is now second in intensity, and aversion–fear is least intense. Turner thus defines two complex emotions (shame and alienation) as mixtures of the exact same three primary emotions, with identically ordered intensity levels (Turner 2010:181). Turner proposes that


Emotions basic to alienation

alienation and shame are nonetheless distinguishable, because, for alienation, “the anger component . . . is stronger and is focused on the situation more than on self” (Turner 2010:182, emphasis added). Thus, in Turner’s model, alienation and shame are comprised of the same three primary emotions, with identically ordered intensity levels, but nonetheless differing in two ways: (i) despite identical levels of intensity, the relative distance between disappointment–sadness and assertion– anger is lower for alienation than for shame; and (ii) in alienation, assertion–anger is relatively more externally focused than it is in shame. Turner (2007:517, emphasis added) further claims: “Since the same three negative emotions are involved in alienation, shame, and guilt, shame or guilt may transmute into alienation and manifest itself as role distance in encounters.” Such a transmutation, Turner argues, can result from a change in focus, where, for example, the primary emotions of guilt are directed toward the self, whereas in alienation the same emotions are externally focused, directed outward toward other individuals or situations. Numerous problems undermine this approach. First, this conceptualization fails the Citrin et al. (1975:4) requirement, because the “role distancing” that Turner claims as the manifestation of alienation (resulting from shame- or guilt-inducing social interactions) does not appear to “run deep” enough to qualify as alienation. Second, the claim that different complex emotions derive from different intensity levels of identical primary emotions, or from a shift of focus of these same primary emotions, lacks theoretical or empirical support. Third, we have hypothesized that the specific varieties of alienation have specific emotions as their affective bases; but no variety of alienation, or alienation in general, can, contrary to Turner’s claims, properly be defined as an emotion. For example, we hypothesize that self-estrangement has the tertiary emotion, despair, as its emotional basis; but self-estrangement cannot be reduced to, or equated with, despair. Fourth, while many researchers disagree with Plutchik’s claim that acceptance and anticipation–expectation are primary emotions, it is difficult to defend (much less ignore) a model of primary emotions that does not include disgust and surprise; these are two of Ekman’s ‘big six’ emotions, all of which are recognized cross-culturally on the level of facial expression. Finally, Silvan Tomkins (1963) was justified in calling “fear–terror,” “anger– rage,” and “surprise–startle” single emotions, because the pairs of terms clearly refer to different intensity levels of the same emotions. Turner’s combinations (“disappointment–sadness” and “assertion–anger”), however, are not justifiably considered single emotions. We define disappointment as a secondary emotion (surprise & sadness); assertion is not a primary emotion but is the behavioral concomitant of the secondary emotion aggressiveness (anticipation & anger), which includes argumentativeness (Azjen and Fishbein 1980; Boster, Levine and Kazoleas 1993; TenHouten 2013b:144–6). Thus, two of the emotions Turner sees as primary emotional components of his tertiary-level emotions cannot therefore be regarded as primary emotions. They are at best combinations of secondary and primary emotions. In Turner’s combination “aversion–fear,” aversion appears to be the behavioral concomitant of fear, not fear itself.5 Other sociologists have theorized the dimensionality of alienation. Scheff (2008) defines “solidarity/alienation” as two poles of a single dimension. He bases

A summing up


this distinction on two parties’ levels of shared agreement or disagreement about a verbal proposition, where disagreement is interpreted as a measure of alienation. Scheff sees an emotional component in agreement/disagreement, yet agreement/ disagreement is primarily a cognitive distinction, and Scheff does not specify its emotional content. Whatever feelings might accompany agreement/disagreement, they appear not to meet the Citrin et al. (1975:4) requirement that, to be considered ‘alienating’, a separation or divide must be an enduring orientation accompanied by genuine, intense, persistent, and deep feelings. Kanungo (1979) sees “alienation” as the obverse of “involvement.” This follows Durkheim’s (1893, 1897) dichotomy of anomie and involvement. Dubin (1959) has also posited an opposition between the job-alienated and the job-involved; the latter regard work as life’s central activity and an end in itself. We argue, however, that alienation in general is already a broad concept; it is uninformative to embed a general concept of alienation into a still broader, dualistic conceptualization.

The emotions of alienation, 31 and possibly counting In Table 11.1, we observe that all eight primary emotions identified by Plutchik are represented among the seven varieties of alienation. The positively valenced (PV) primary emotions occur eight times (anticipation–expectation anger, three each; joy–happiness and acceptance–acquiescence, once); the negatively valenced (NV) emotions occur 14 times (disgust and surprise, four; sadness and fear, three). The primary emotions most frequently associated with varieties of alienation are disgust and surprise; these two emotions, however, have received scant mention in the alienation literature. The most prevalent secondary emotion is contempt (three occurrences), followed by alarm, disappointment, shock, anxiety, and shame (two occurrences each). Eleven other secondary emotions occur just once, and 11 not at all. Of the seven varieties of alienation, only self-estrangement and normlessness2 are associated with a tertiary emotion comprising three NV emotions; the others are of mixed valence: Meaninglessness and cultural estrangement2 contain two NV emotions; normlessness1 and cultural estrangment1 contain just one. We have linked a total of 31 distinct emotions – 8 primary, 17 secondary, and 6 tertiary – to the seven varieties of alienation. We make no claim that this inventory is exhaustive. It is possible that kinds of alienation not considered here can be linked to specific inventories of emotions. Additionally, one or more of the models of emotions basic to the seven varieties of alienation might be underspecified, and need elaboration and the introduction of additional emotions. And, most obvious of all, the subjective experience of powerlessness is apt to involve four tertiary emotions not specified here.

Issues in contemporary alienation theory and research A key issue in social-scientific research is whether alienation should be conceptualized as a single, general concept or as a set of specific varieties of alienation. To


Emotions basic to alienation

address this question, we divided this book into two parts. In Part I, we showed that scholars who theorize alienation as a general concept presuppose that modern societies contain unsettling forces and conditions that engender alienation. Sources of alienation include capitalism’s exploitative nature and the detailed division of labor, modern society’s loss of community, and the anonymity of urban life. These scholars typically acknowledge different subtle aspects of alienation, but posit or assume that each variety of alienation reflects, or functions as, an indicator of a “general syndrome of alienation” (Travis 1986:62). John Clark (1959:852), for example, conceptualizes alienation as the individual’s inability to overcome the discrepancy between what is and what ought to be, and urges researchers “to devote further efforts to the development of a measure of the more general dimension of alienation in society.” As a general concept, alienation comprises many hidden romantic (or cynical) assumptions concerning human nature and definitions of a good society. However, while individuals in widely different circumstances (e.g., the dropout, the activist who distrusts those in power, the apathetic slum dweller) can share a feeling of remoteness from aspects of the social-politicaleconomic world, the origin and character of their separateness differ so considerably that their particular experiences cannot plausibly be seen as dimensions of a single syndrome. Those who insist on treating alienation as a diffuse concept can only reduce it to a non-theoretical, classificatory term, analogous to “separation” (Schacht 1970:175). Using the terminology of contemporary causal modeling, we label general alienation A and its associated specific varieties of alienation, a1, . . ., ak. Scholars who prefer the general concept would model A as a reflective latent variable that ‘causes’ the levels of its indicators, as shown in Figure 11.3A. Schacht, Seeman, and this author would rather argue, in the terminology of contemporary causal modeling, that A is a formative, emergent latent variable (Edwards and Bagozzi

B. The latent variable, Alienation, as a formative, emergent variable resulting from experiences of one or more specific varieties of alienation

A. Specific varieties of alienation shown as indicators of the latent variable, Alienation


Normlessness1 Normlessness2

2 A






Alienation Alienation



Cultural Estrangement1

Cultural Estrangement1

Cultural Estrangement2

Cultural Estrangment2



Figure 11.3 Alternative models of relationships between seven specific varieties of alienation and alienation as a general concept

A summing up


2000) that develops in the thoughts and feelings of individuals affected in certain specific ways, as shown in Figure 11.3B. We argue that the formative, emergent model is the more promising view. In the contemporary world, countless individuals experience one or more varieties of alienation. Investigating the sources, affective bases, and consequences of these specific kinds of alienation will yield more insightful information than contemplating alienation in general. Well-known kinds of alienation have not been addressed here, including alienation from nature, economic alienation, political alienation, work alienation, teacher alienation, student alienation, and parental alienation. These kinds of alienation refer to feelings of distance toward, and potential actual disengagement from, major institutions of society, the polity, the economy, the educational system, the family. For terminological convenience, these are called kinds of alienation rather than Seeman’s (1959) preferred term, varieties of alienation. They have been excluded from the present investigation not because they are unimportant, which is certainly not the case, but rather because it seems unlikely that they could be linked to any specific set of emotions. Varieties of alienation, while possessing cognitive content, are also affective phenomena. This is largely under-analyzed in both theory and research. Popular parlance typically holds that ‘alienation’ is associated with feelings of isolation, hopelessness, powerlessness, loss, anxiety, frustration, despair, and/or loneliness” (Rae 2011:1). Many academic studies of alienation, for example Feuerlicht’s (1978) Alienation, are similarly saturated with emotional terms, such as sadness, grief, malaise, despair, loneliness, pessimism, and beyond. Yet these terms were not bracketed out as specific emotions, and the concepts, emotion, feeling, sentiment, and affect, were neither defined nor indexed. Emotions and passions thus abound in scholarly descriptions of alienation yet are largely unanalyzed. The contemporary surge in emotions theory and research provides an opportunity to renew the concept of alienation. Social scientists can potentially gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which the dynamically changing social world contributes to individuals’ cynicism and distrust of value and belief systems, institutions, complex organizations, and governments. Alienation research and theory could have real-world applications by exploring how certain varieties of alienation might function as intervening variables between oppressive or traumatic experiences and pathological outcomes such as suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder. The concept of alienation is very much alive and is potentially useful. It is hoped that the models of the affective bases of seven varieties of alienation presented here will assist researchers to develop measures of the cognitive and affective components of these sentiments of alienation. This is a requisite step toward linking the structural determinants of varieties of alienation to their sociobehavioral consequences.

Notes 1 Self-estrangement has been described as arguably the most profound level of alienation, and despair, its hypothesized affective basis, is comprised of exactly these three primary emotions.


Emotions basic to alienation

2 As stated in Chapter 8, contempt, and especially in a context of resentment, can also take the form of self-contempt, which is often accompanied by shame. 3 While outrage is clearly directed outward, toward angering others in the social field, shock’s external focus is less obvious. The present classification system sees shock as a combination of disgust and surprise. Goddard (2014:74–5; see also note 59) defines disgust as “extremely unpleasant” and “unacceptable and shocking.” In this context, surprise refers to a threatening territorial violation, of one’s body, social integrity, or well-being. 4 If the four secondary emotions belonging only to powerlessness are removed, Kendall’s τb is reduced to .54. 5 Turners’ (2010) fourth primary emotion is “satisfaction–happiness.” While happiness is widely regarded as a primary emotion among researchers who accept the notion of primary emotions as natural kinds, “satisfaction” has been considered a primary emotion only by a few emotions researchers. Fromme and O’Brien (1982:344) include “satisfaction” among their eight primary emotions, and define it as synonymous with “contentment,” or a “relaxed” state of mind. They concur with Plutchik’s view of satisfaction as synonymous not with happiness but with acceptance, and note that “contentment, or satisfaction” is “expressed behaviorally by acceptance.” In the present classification, the combination of joy–happiness and acceptance is a secondary emotion, love. Kemper (1987) also sees satisfaction as one of his four primary emotions, but his inventory includes depression, which is related to sadness, sometimes to anger, but is clearly not an emotion.


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Name index

Abraham, Rebecca 126–7 Abrams, M. H. 9–10, 22–3, 26, 43 Abramson, Lyn, Y. 145 Abrutyn, Seth 87–8 Abu-Jamal, Mumia 104 Adams, Kathleen 95 Adorno, Theodor, W. 108 Aeurbach, Erich 128 Aiken, Michael 3, 105 Alix, Ernest, K. 195 Alloy, Lauren, B. 145 Allport, Gordon William 132 Altemeyer, Bob 81 Althusser, Louis 41 Alverez, A. 103 Améry, Jean 110 Anderson, Cameron 145 Apter, Alan 103 Arditi, Jorge 46 Arendt, Hannah 10–11 Arthur, C. J. 44 Ashley-Cooper, Anthony 20 Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo 9–10, 12 Averill, James, R. 61 Azjen, Icek 166 Bacharach, Samuel, B. 3, 105 Bagozzi, Richard, P. 155 Baier, Annette, C. 107, 115 Bakan, David 137 Balasubramani, Pragathi, P. 64 Balconi, Michela 100, 162 Balibar, Étienne 41 Balzac, Honoré de 12, 37 Barbalet, J. M. 112 Barrett, William 128 Bar-Tal, Daniel 118 Bartels, Daniel, M. 80

Baudrillard, Jean 124 Baumeister, Roy, F. 105, 130 Bearman, Peter, S. 87 Beck, Aaron, T. 92 Beck, Brittney 94 Becker, Ernest 130 Beiser, Frederick, C. 22, 28 Bekker, Noel 117 Bell, Daniel 52 Bensman, Joseph 112 Benton, Arthur, L. 89 Ben-Ze’ev, Aaron 146 Bergstein, Avner 101 Berkowitz, Leonard 148 Berlet, Chip 108 Berlin, Irving 24 Berlin, Isaiah 21, 28, 45, 48 Bernard, Mark, M. 123 Berridge, Kent, C. 131 Bethencourt, Francisco 109 Bewes, Timothy 126 Bion, Wilfred, R. 135 Bjarnason, Thoroddur 87 Blalock. Garrick 144 Blauner, Robert 54, 101, 105 Bloom, Harold 41 Boehm, Christopher 150 Bogen, Glenda, M. 104 Bogen, Joseph, E. 100–1, 104 Boiger, Michael 61 Borys, Shelly 174 Boster, Franklin, J. 126, 166 Bostik, Katherine, E. 96 Bounder, Michelle 149 Bourdieu, Pierre 139, 151 Bower, Gordon, H. 92 Bowlby, John 134 Bowles, M. J. 109 Bowman, Mary Jean 145

Name index 203 Boyer, Jean-Paul 25 Boyer, Richard 96 Brage, Diane 95 Braun, Jerome 124 Brewer, John 43 Briñol, Pablo 139 Brown, Hélène, M. 76 Brunkhorst, Hauke 24 Bryan, Craig, J. 81 Bucci, Sandra 81 Buck, Ross 60 Burke, Edmund 132 Burke, Michael, J. 135 Burson, Katharine, A. 140 Butler, Ann, B. 64 Byrne, Paul, A. 61 Cacioppo, John, T. 95 Callahan, Jamie 123 Campbell, Sally Howard 15–17 Capetillo-Ponce, Jorge 46 Carlisle, Sandra 123 Carlyle, Thomas 20, 37–8 Carr, Deborah, S. 98 Carver, Charles, S. 114, 126, 142, 145 Castelfranchi, Cristiano 83, 142 Cataldi, Sue, L. 93 Cayne, Julia 97 Chambers, Christoper, P. 116 Chaminade, Thierry 101 Charleton, Walter 27 Charney, Israel, W. 80 Cheng, Joey, T. 89 Chiao, Joan, Y. 69–70 Chowers, Eyal 50 Christenson, Janell 53 Citrin, Jack 93 Clark, Jason 89 Clark, John, P. 1, 168 Classen, Timothy, J. 98 Clegg, Stewart, R. 139 Clore, Gerald, L. 61, 146 Cobb, Jonathan 112 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 43 Collas, Sara, F. 77 Collins, Allan 61, 146 Collins, Randall 54 Coltheart, Max 104 Conti, Florenzo 104 Cooper, David, E. 30 Corning, Alexandra 111, 117 Cory, Gerald, A., Jr. 64 Coser, Lewis 26 Costello. Kimberly 81

Cowchock, F. S. 98 Cowdry, Rex, W. 103 Cozzarelli, Catherine 130 Craib, Ian 95 Crane, Jeffrey 96 Crocker, Jennifer 140 Crocker, Lester, G. 71 Currie, Robert 22, 24–6, 48 Cutler, Ian 26, 43 Darwin, Charles 28, 59–60, 62, 66, 69 Davidson, R. J. 100, 162 Dean, Dwight, G. 1 Dean, James W 127 Deater-Deckard, Kirby 121 Decety, Jean 101, 104 DeHart-Davis, Leisha 106 Delgado, Ana, R. 69 Demos, John 109 Demos, Virginia 61 Descartes, René 19, 22 Devinsky, Orrin 101 de Waal, Frans 116 Diamond, Stephen, A. 105, 115 DiCristina, Bruce, D. 87 Diggins, John 54 DiGiuseppe, Raymond 114 Dohrenwend, Bruce, P. 114 Donnachie, Ian 27 Douglas, Mary 129 Drosos, Dionysios 36 Du, Shichuan 66 Dubin, Robert 178 Dunayevskaya, Raya 51 Dunn, Richard, A. 98 Durant, Ariel 28 Durant, Will 28 Durkheim, Émile 47, 71, 73–81, 83, 85–90, 108, 167 Edmondson, Donald 132 Edwards, Jeffrey 132 Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Irenäus 59–60 Eichner, Hans 23 Eisenberger, Howard, M. 89 Eisenberger, Naomi, I. 85 Ekman, Paul 59–60, 66, 69, 79, 82, 85, 125, 166 Elliot, Andrew, J. 84 Ellsworth, J’Anne 131 Elshtain, Jean Bethke 129 Elsworth, Phoebe, C. 140 Engels, Friedrich 4, 30, 25, 37–42, 44, 53 Ergang, Robert Rinehold 21


Name index

Erikson, Erik, H. 95, 98, 135 Erwin, Edward 105 Etzioni, Amitai 2 Evans, John, W. 140 Eve, Raymond, A. 152 Eve, Susan, B. 152 Everall, Robin, D. 96 Fabrize, Robert, O. 145 Faflak, Joel 22 Farber, Leslie, H. 82, 96–7, 99–100, 102 Fassin, Didier 110 Faÿ, Eric 124, 127 Feather, N. T. 117 Feinberg, Todd, E. 104 Ferguson, Adam 35–7, 42–3 Feuer, Lewis, S. 24, 39, 51, 53–4 Feuerbach, Ludwig 4. 30, 34–5, 39, 42 Feuerlicht, Ignace 4. 30, 34–5, 39, 42, 43, 169 Fichte, Johann Gottlieb 34, 41 Finlon, Kristy, J. 59, 61 Fischer, Agneta, H. 118, 148 Fischer, Claude, S. 3 Fischer, Ernst 37 Fischer, Kurt, W. 84 Fischer, Peter 130 Fishbein, Martin 166 Fiske, Alan Page 60, 65–6, 69, 116 Fiske, Susan, T. 147 Flew, Antony 34, 51 Folger, Robert 111, 113 Foster, Helen Richardson 149 Foucault, Michel 139, 148 Franklin, Anderson, J. 151 Frazer, Michael, L. 20, 71 Freire, Paulo 141, 151 Freud, Sigmund 132 Friesen, Wallace, V. 59–60, 125 Frijda, Nico 61 Frisby, David 47–8 Fromkin, Howard, L. 12 Fromm, Erich 8, 18 Fromme, Donald, K. 170 Frymier, Jack 126 Fuchs, Stephan 47 Gadamer, Hans-George 36 Galinsky, Adam, D. 145 Gane, Mike 78, 86 Ganti, Tejaswini 124 Garaudy, Roger 41 Gardner, David, L. 103

Garvey, Brian 83 Gauthier, David, P. 15 Gaventa, John 139–43, 151 Gebauer, Jochen, E. 123 Gee, Joanna 97 Geis, Karlyn, J. 147 George, Carol 96 Gerbing, David, W. 126 Gerhards, Jürgen 55 Gerson, Walter, M. 54 Geyer, R. Felix 2 Gigerenzer, Gerd 121 Gilbert, Jeremy 123 Gilbert, Paul 141–2 Ginges, Jeremy 149 Glazer, Nathan 1, 53 Glenn, Gary, D. 14 Glockner, Hermann 44 Goddard, Cliff 121, 170 Goldberg, Elkhonen 145 Goldsmith, Marlene Mosca 95 Goodenough, Ward, H. 93, 119 Gordon. Steven, L. 61 Gottschalk, Simon 125 Gouldner, Alvin, W. 41 Grant, Peter, R. 114 Gray, Jeffrey, A. 132 Greenberg, Jeff 130 Gregory I, Pope 8 Grimsley, Ronald 131 Grotius, Hugo 4, 13–15 Grotstein, James, S. 101 Guimond, Serge 81 Guinote, Ana 140 Gurr, Ted Robert 141 Guterman, Norbert 108 Habermas, Jürgen 41 Hacker, Douglas, J. 96 Haidt, Jonathan 125, 132 Hailwood, Simon 24 Haley, Jenna, L. 149 Hall, Amanda, L. 83 Hampton, Jean, E. 14 Hanlon, Phil, W. 123 Harmon-Jones, Eddie 114, 126 Harré, Rom 61 Haskins, Charles Homer 18 Haugaard, Mark 139 He, Jie 72 Headey, Bruce 145 Hearn, Simon 95 Heaven, Patrick, C. L. 81

Name index 205 Heavener, John, W. 141 Hegel, George Wilhelm Friedrich xv, 4, 8, 28–35, 40–4, 54, 71, 107, 142, 164 Heidegger, Martin 97 Heller, Agnes 83, 149 Henderson, Gregor 123 Hendin, Herbert 102 Henrich, Joseph 89 Herman, Judith, L. 134 Hernandez, Virginia Rondero 149 Hernández-Tubert, Reyna 98 Hill, Lisa 36–7, 43 Hirschowitz, Ros 147 Hobbes, Thomas 4, 12–15, 18, 27, 75 Hodos, William 64 Hodson, Gordon 81 Holmes, Gregory, L. 61 Honour, Hugh 21 Hook, Sidney 41, 44 Hoppe, Klaus, D. 100–1 Horowitz, Irving Louis 51, 54 Horton, John 54 Howard, Donald, R. 10–11, 30–1 Howe, Irving 128 Howes, Oliver 131 Hubbard, Julie, A. 128 Hume, David 27, 66, 106–7, 111, 115–16, 118, 120 Hunter, John, E. 126 Hutcheson, Francis 20, 27 Hyppolyte, Jean 30 Ickes, William 92 Innocent III, Pope (Lotharii Cardinalis) 11 Ino, Joy Michie 96 Izard, Carroll, E. 59–61, 72, 83 James, Susan 20, 28, 71 Jansson, André 157 Jessor, Richard 77 Johnson-Laird, P. N. 125 Johnstone, Tom 61 Jonas, Eva 130 Joseph, R. 64, 101, 103 Jost, John 113 Judd, Dorothy 98 Just, David, R. 144 Kahler, Erich 7 Kalberg, Stephen 55 Kant, Immanuel 19–20, 23–4, 28, 48, 71, 108 Kanungo, Rabindra, N. 167

Kaplan, Charles, D. 53, 100 Kapur, Shitij 131 Karafa, Joseph, A. 130 Kashima, Emi, S. 130 Katyal, Neil Kumar 108 Kavanagh, David, J. 92 Kay, Aaron, C. 113 Kazoleas, Dean 166 Keane, Mark, T. 121 Keats, John 21, 25 Keenan, Julian Paul 101, 104 Kelly, George, A. 132 Keltner, Dacher 84, 132, 139 Kemper, Theodore, D. 149, 170 Keniston, Kenneth 54 Keren, Gideon 121 Kesebir, Pelin 132 Kessler, Thomas 105 Kiehl, Kent, A. 80 Kierkegaard, Søren 130–1, 137 Kinsman, Robert, S. 18 Klinger, David, A. 88 Koch, Andrew, M. 24, 48–50 Koch, Ehud 98, 131, 134–6 Koenigs, Michael 80 Kohn, Jerome 10 Kołakowski, Leszec 51 Kon, Igor, S. 54 Kornhauser, Arthur 54 Krauss, Herbert, H. 132 Kravitt, Edward, F. 21 Kringelbach, Morton, L. 131 Kristeva, Julia 95 Kunzendorf, Robert, G. 140 La Capra, Dominick 76 Ladner, Gerhart, B. 187 LaFrenière, Peter, J. 60–1 Lalande, André 76 Lamb, Robert 36 Lambek, Michael 144 Langdon, Robyn 104 Langer, Ellen, J. 98 Langman, Lauren 124 Lansky, Melvin 87 Lantz, Herman, R. 145 Lavin, Carmen 27 Layden, Anne 92 Lazarus, Richard 146 Leary, Mark, R. 130 LeDoux, Joseph 64 Lee, Alfred McClung 52, 54 Lee, Gregory, P. 162


Name index

Lefcourt, Herbert, M. 147 Leidner, Bernhard 149 Lester, David 88 Levin, Harvey, S. 81 Levin, Michael 28, 44 Lévinas, Emmanuel 107, 115, 120 Levine, Timothy 166 Lewis, Helen Block 84 Lewis, Michael 84 Lewis, Oscar 145 Lieberman, Matthew, D. 85 Lindquist, Kristen, A. 61, 71–2 Liotti, Mario 100 Locke, John 4, 13–15, 18, 27 Lodge, David 124 Loewenthal, Del 97 Lohne, Vibeke 98 Lòpez, Raúl 148 Lövheim, Hugo 59 Lowenthal, Leo 188 Löwy, Michael 25, 37–8, 40, 135 Lukes, Steven 139–41, 151, 157 Luten, Alice, G. 145 McCarthy, E. Doyle 61, 108 McCrary, J. S. 145 McGilchrist, Iain 38, 100–1 McGregor, Holly, A. 84 McKay, Ryan 104 McKee, Ian, R. 117 Mackie, Diane, M. 72, 114 MacLean, Paul, D. 59–60, 64–6, 69, 141, 150 McNaughton, Neil 132 Maguire, Phil 121 Maguire, Rebecca 121 Mah, Harold, E. 43 Maio, Gregory, R. 123 Malebranche, Nicolas 27 Maltsberger, John, T. 93–4, 96 Manderscheid, Ronald, W. 2 Manzoni, Tullio 104 Marks, Stephen, R. 73, 90 Marshall, Thomas, H. 111–13, 116 Martinez, Aleix, M. 66 Marx, Karl xv, 4, 8, 15, 26, 28, 30, 35, 37–45, 49, 61, 53–4, 105, 112–13 Mascolo, Michael, F. 150 Mason, Philip 150 Mauss, Marcel 71, 90 May, Rollo 102 Mazza, Guido 100, 162 Mead, George Herbert 28, 43 Mendoza, Carmen, T. 149

Meredith, William 95 Mesquita, Batja 61 Messner, Steven, F. 87 Meštrović, Stjepan 76 Mészáros, István 8, 12–13 Metalsky, Gerald, I. 145 Meyer, Frank, S. 53 Miceli, Maria 83, 142 Michaelis, Loralea 95 Miller, A. V. 44 Miller, Neil, E. 112, 121 Miller, Pam 149 Miller, W. I. 96 Mills, C. Wright 53 Mineka, Susan 145 Minkkinen, Panu 107 Mirowsky, John 140, 147 Moffitt, Terrie, E. 84 Mokros, Hartmut, B. 88 Monroe, William Frank 123–4, 128–9, 163 Moody, James 87 Moons, Wesley, G. 72, 114 Morgan, George Allen 108 Morling, Beth 147 Morrison, Andrew, P. 84 Mueller, Anna, S. 87–8 Murray, Alexander 120 Murray, Jennifer, L. 88 Neal, Arthur, G. 77, 124 Nettler, Gwynn 122 Neuhouser, Frederich 15 Neuringer, Charles 131 Newman, Joseph, P. 80 Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm 49, 107–10, 117, 120–1 Nisbit, Robert, A. 1 Novalis (George Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg) 24, 42 Nussbaum, Martha, C. 141 Oatley, Keith 125 Obligacion, Freddie, R. 140 O’Brien, Clayton, S. 170 O’Connor, Mary Catharine 11 Odea, Thomas, F. 88 Ollman, Bertell 39, 44 Orkin, Mark 147 Oropesa, R. S. 124 Ortony, Andrew 61 Pahl, Katrin 31, 44 Pandey, Sanjay, K. 106 Panksepp, Jaak 59–60, 64, 72, 125–6, 142

Name index 207 Pannese, Alessia 94 Pappenheim, Fritz 1, 52 Park, Jiyoung 148 Parker, James, D. A. 100 Parsons, Howard, L. 44 Pascal, Blaise 22 Paster, Gail Kern 19 Patrick, William 95 Paulson, Barbara, L. 96 Peacock, Edward, J. 105 Pearlin, Leonard, I. 54 Peckham, Morse 7, 22, 25, 37, 44 Penick, Edwin, A. 119 Pereira, Beatriz 140 Perkins, Adam, M. 80 Perlman, Daniel 95 Petrey, Sandy 37 Petrill, Stephen, A. 121 Pickett, Kate 142, 147 Pierce, Chester, M. 151 Pincus, Jonathan, H. 115 Pizarro, David, A. 80 Plotinus 9 Plunkett, H. Dudley 145 Plutchik, Robert 4, 59–60, 62–7, 80–5, 88–9, 92, 96–8, 113–14, 116, 125–7, 132–3, 135, 138, 141, 143–4, 146–8, 150, 161–2, 166–7, 170 Poblete, Renato 88 Poggi, Gianfranco 48 Popitz, Heinrich 25 Porter, Roy 17 Pratto, Felicia 79, 139, 150 Pribesh, Shana 140 Pribic, Rado 27–8 Price, John Scott 141 Putnam, F. W. 103 Pyszczynski, Tom 130, 132 Rae, Gavin 30, 169 Ralph, John, A. 145 Regin, Deric 25 Reginster, Bernard 109–10, 117, 120 Reid, Jeffrey 41 Reiner, Anton 64 Reker, Gary, T. 105 Rick, Scott, I. 140 Rinehart, James, W. 2 Ringel, Erwin 85 Rippere, Vicky 25–6, 52–3 Robinson, Robert, J. 139 Romei, Vicenzo 100 Roseman, Ira, J. 118 Ross, Catharine, E. 140, 147

Rotenstreich, Nathan 9 Rotstein, Abraham 8, 40 Rotter, Julian, B. 152 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 1–2, 4, 13–18, 21, 25–6, 28, 30, 37, 39, 42, 108, 111 Ruby, Perrine 110 Rudd, M. David 81 Runciman, Steven 18 Runciman, W. G. 113 Ruotolo, Andrew, K. 81, 88–9 Russon, John 43 Sabini, John 83 Sandlin, Jennifer, A. 123 Santayana, George 142 Sauter, Disa, A. 60 Savio, Mario 51 Sayre, Robert 40 Schaar, John, H. 40 Schacht, Richard 2–3, 13, 18, 91, 123, 168 Scheff, Thomas, J. 62, 83, 149, 166–7 Scheier, Michael, F. 142, 145 Scheler, Max 93, 109, 120 Schelling, F. W. J. 26, 34, 41, 43 Scherer, Klaus, R. 61 Schiller, Friedrich 25–7, 35, 37, 39, 42–3 Schjelderup-Ebbe, Thorleif 141 Schlegel, Friedrich 24, 43 Schleiermacher, Friedrich, D. 41, 43 Schneider, Mark, A. 50 Schopenhauer, Arthur 47 Schorr, Angela 50 Schutte, Ofelia 108 Schwartz, Barry 150 Schweitzer, David 2 Schwendinger, Herman 123 Schwendinger, Julia, R. 123 Scott, James, C. 139, 141 Seeman, Kenneth 103 Seeman, Melvin xvi, 1–4, 52, 54, 59, 76, 91–3, 103, 105, 122–3, 125, 138, 140, 143, 157, 159, 168–9 Seligman, Ben, B. 54 Seligman, Martin, E. P. 142 Sen, Amartya 50 Senault, Jean-François 27 Sennett, Richard 111–12, 139 Sewards, Mark, A. 148 Sewards, Terence, V. 148 Sha, Richard, C. 22, 24 Shahar, Golan 98 Shay, Jonathan 53 Sheikh, Hammad 149 Shewmon, D. Alan 61


Name index

Shneidman, Edwin, S. 96 Shweder, Richard, A. 59 Sidanius, Jim 79, 139, 150 Simmel, Georg xv, 4, 27, 45–8, 54–5 Simmons, A. John 14 Simon, Daniel, H. 144 Sloman, Leon 141 Sloterdijk, Peter 43, 126 Smith, Adam 35–6, 42–3, 106, 111, 117, 120–1 Smith, Craig, A. 140 Smith, Heather, J. 105, 111–14 Smith, Pamela, K. 139 Snyder, C. R. 123 Solomon, Judith 96 Solomon, Sheldon 130 Sorenson, E. Richard 59–60, 125 Spears, Nancy 145 Spiegel, Donald, E. 131 Spielberger, Charles Donald 115 Spinoza, Benedictine de 27, 71 Sroufe, L. Alan. 61 Stack, Steven 87 Stanley, Nicky 149 Starobinski, Jean 16 Stauth, George 122 Steinbock, Anthony, J. 97 Stevens, Laura, E. 147 Stone, Alison 22, 24 Stone, Andrew, M. 149 Stouthamer-Loeber, Magda 84 Stravynski, Ariel 96 Strawson, P. F. 107 Sullivan, J. W. N. 27 Suttie, Ian, D. 1, 52 Tafrate, and Raymond Chip 114 Tangney, June Price 83 Tao, Yong 68 Tarnas, Richard 23 Tausch, Nicole 118 Teigen, Karl Halvor 121 Temkin, Owsei 19 TenHouten, Warren, D. 18, 53, 59, 62, 65, 67–8, 81, 83, 85, 96, 98, 100–1, 104, 114, 121, 125, 131, 136, 143, 161, 166 Thamm, Robert 62 Thomas, Keith 49 Thompson, Lee, A. 121 Thoreau, Henry David 41–2 Thorisdottir, Hulda 113 Thorlindsson, Thorolfur 87

Toch, Hans 96 Tomarken, Andrew, J. 72, 114, 126 Tomkins, Silvan, S. 69, 72, 83, 146, 166 Tönnies, Ferdinand 25, 45 Tracy, Jessica, L. 81, 89, 102 Travis, Robert 1, 168 Tribiano, Timothy Nicholas 98 Trope, Yaacov 139 Trow, Martin 108 Tuan, Yi-Fu 151 Tucker, Don, M. 100 Tucker, Robert, C. 44 Turner, Bryan, S. 107, 111, 117 Turner, Jonathan, H. 62, 165–6, 170 Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana 64 Van Steenburg, Erik 145 Veblen, Thorstein 144 Vellenga, Barbara, A. 53 Vidich, Arthur 112 Voegelin, Eric 42 Von Henkel, Arthur 27 Walker, Eugene 51 Walzel, Oskar, P. 21, 28, 48 Wearing, Alexander, J. 145 Weber, Max x, 45, 48–51, 55, 139 Weiland, Diane, M. 149 Weinberg, I. 100 Weisfeld, Glenn, E. 89 Wessell, Leonard, P., Jr. 38, 40 Wesson, Robert, G. 51, 53 West, E. G. 36 White, Richard 107 Widrow, Leslie 103 Wilkinson, Richard 142, 147 Wilson, Marc Stewart 79 Wilson, Thomas 27 Winnicott, D. W. 98, 135 Winstanley, Gerrard 35 Wogan, Michael 100 Wong, Paul, T. P. 105 Woodburn, Elizabeth, M. 59 Woodward, John 95 Wurmser, Léon 156 Yack, Bernard 16 Yalom, Irvin, D. 96 Yesavage, Jerome 103 Yoshino, Atsuo 100 Zald, David, H. 72, 114, 126 Zweig, Paul 54

Subject index

abhorrence 35, 62–3, 67, 128 Aborigines, Australian 152–4, 156 acceptance acquiescence 15, 32–3, 66, 113, 121–3, 126, 141–8, 150, 154, 156–7, 160–1 affect 3–4, 19, 36, 38, 47, 49–50, 60–1, 64, 70, 73–83, 85, 87–90, 94, 96, 100–2, 108–9, 111–13, 120, 131, 135, 166, 169 affect-spectrum theory 62–9 Age of Reason 19–20 aggressiveness 67, 70, 76, 85, 88, 109, 112, 121, 124, 126–9, 133–4, 137–8, 148, 150–1, 160, 163, 165–6 alarm 67, 79, 82, 85–7, 131–4, 136–8, 160, 164–5, 167 alexithymia 99–100, 103 alienation: in the 1960s 51–4; and cognition 24, 16, 36, 49, 70, 77, 86, 93, 101–3, 112, 139–40, 157, 169; as objective 2, 17, 46, 138–40, 143, 149–57; and sentiments 2–3; as subjective 2, 17, 31, 46–7, 139–43, 152–7, 164; see also cultural estrangement; meaninglessness; normlessness; powerlessness; self-estrangement altruism 73–4, 78, 110 ambition 14, 20, 28, 71, 75–6, 81, 89, 110, 150 analysis 22, 28, 38, 50, 72, 105, 114, 144; see also logic; reason Ancient World 7–13, 18, 25–6, 31, 33, 40, 108, 150 anger 14, 19, 60, 62–3, 65–72, 74, 76, 78–85, 100, 106, 109–10, 112–15, 117–21, 124–9, 131–3, 136–7, 148, 151, 158–63, 165–7, 170 angst 130–1, 134 anomie 33, 52, 73–90, 108, 160, 163, 167

anticipation 62–4, 66, 70, 72, 82–85, 94–5, 98, 100, 106, 116, 122, 124, 131–8, 140, 142–3, 145, 147, 154 anxiety 52–3, 68, 70, 80, 89, 122, 124, 130–3, 135–8, 140, 142–3, 147, 153–7, 160, 164–5, 167, 169 anxiety buffer disruption theory 130–2, 138 apocalyptic prophesy 7–9, 31–2, 36, 42–4, 108 artistic production 7, 12, 14, 18, 20–1, 24–9, 43, 47–8, 94, 123–5, 128–9, 132 asceticism 24, 35, 39, 49, 51, 111 attack 85, 93, 121, 127–8, 133, 135, 147 authority 13, 15, 65–6, 75, 132, 139, 148–50, 152 awe 21, 24, 67, 85, 89, 131–5, 138 being 9–10, 12–13, 17, 21, 24, 26, 31–4, 38–44, 46, 93, 97, 101–2, 139, 142, 145, 164 belief 3, 13, 25, 27, 32–3, 35, 38, 41, 50, 52, 119, 122–3, 126–7, 129–31, 142, 146, 154 bliss 71, 93, 152 body, the 8, 10–13, 18–19, 21–22, 35, 39–40, 47, 72, 75, 93, 101, 103, 116–17, 130, 170 bondage, bondsman 8–9, 13, 15, 28, 31–3, 40, 108, 120, 141–2, 153–4, 164 boundary defense 62–3, 92, 96–7, 113, 117; see also surprise bureaucracy 18, 20, 26–7, 47, 49–51, 53, 106, 138 capitalism 15, 25–7, 36–44, 50–1, 113, 141, 168 challenge, challenge displays 64–5, 85, 115, 123, 133, 141, 147, 149


Subject index

Christianity 8–10, 12–13, 18, 23–4, 29, 31–2, 35, 38–42, 44, 49, 53, 107, 109, 110, 120 class consciousness 37, 40–1, 111–13, 118, 151 cognition 2–4, 16, 20, 36, 48, 60–1, 69–70, 76–7, 79–80, 86, 93–4, 101–3, 111–12, 135, 139–40, 167, 169 communication 11, 60, 64, 70, 89, 96, 123, 96, 125; as communicative displays 64–6 communism 35–6, 39–43, 49 community 1, 8, 12–13, 17, 22–3, 25, 29, 33, 35–6, 38, 40–1, 43, 45–6, 49, 55, 65–6, 88, 102–3, 106, 120, 123–4, 142, 145, 149, 151, 164, 168 comparison, social 16, 111–14, 116, 118 conformity 81, 103, 123, 129, 137, 142 confusion 18, 32–3, 43, 68, 70, 76–7, 86–7, 115, 135–8, 164–5 consciousness 16, 18, 23, 27, 31–4, 39–43, 84, 100, 106, 112–13, 117; see also class consciousness consumerism 123–4, 163 contempt 11, 16, 67, 69, 76, 79–82, 85–9, 109–10, 117–19, 122–5, 128–9, 136–8, 156, 159–60, 163, 165, 167–70 contradiction 26–7, 31–3, 43, 97, 101, 146 corpus callosum 100–1, 104 counterculture 4, 51–3, 123, 128 courtship displays 65–6 cultural estrangement 1, 4, 49, 51, 54, 122–30, 132–4, 136–8, 159–61, 163–4, 166–8 culture xv, 2–4, 8, 23, 25, 33, 38, 41, 45–6, 48, 60, 65, 80, 106, 118, 122–4, 126, 128–30, 137–8, 148–51, 154–6, 164 curiosity 67, 70 cynicism xv, 1, 4, 43, 67, 70, 123, 125–8, 136–8, 160, 163, 165, 168–9 death 8, 11, 13–14, 30, 35, 38, 40, 65, 98, 100, 130–2, 137–8, 142 dehumanization 25, 37, 39–40, 42, 54, 118 depression 19, 32, 74, 84, 86, 94–5, 100, 140–1, 147, 170 derisiveness 3, 41, 44, 61, 68, 76–7, 79–80, 82, 85–6, 90, 114, 118, 123, 160, 163 despair 11, 22, 33, 52–3, 67–8, 70–1, 81–2, 91, 93–104, 152, 160–4, 166, 169 destruction 35, 39, 62–3, 75, 99–100, 112–13, 125–6, 129; see also anger

detachment, social 1, 33, 54, 78, 102, 122–3, 129, 153 disappointment 11, 67, 78, 82–3, 85–7, 89, 91, 94–5, 98–9, 103, 111, 117, 121, 145, 160, 164–7 discouragement 68, 73, 82–3, 85, 88, 116, 123, 142–3, 159–64 disdain 80–1, 112, 122–9, 133, 136–8, 159–63 disgust 60, 62–3, 66–71, 74, 76–83, 85, 87, 89–92, 94–101, 103, 109, 112, 124–9, 133, 136–7, 151, 153–4, 159–63, 166–7, 170 disillusionment 34, 71, 74, 78, 83, 126 distress 25, 33, 77, 80, 91, 94, 98, 100, 128, 146, 149, 151, 153–6, 164, 169 distrust 1, 11, 21, 68, 126, 132, 140, 168–9 division of labor see occupational specialization dominance 31–2, 37, 64–7, 70–1, 75, 79, 81, 88–90, 110, 113, 118, 123, 128, 130, 141, 147–8, 150–1, 156, 163–4 dread 68, 70, 122, 130–8, 159–64 economic development 36–7, 40, 43, 47–8, 53, 112–13, 149 economic exploitation 25–6, 36–43, 45–6, 101, 106, 111–13, 116, 125, 135, 142, 151–2 economic stress 2, 37, 130, 138, 141, 144–5, 149, 151–6, 168 ego(-ism) 23, 34, 46, 55, 73, 78, 126, 134, 137 emotional focus 159–63; external 4, 76, 79–80, 82, 88, 117, 147, 159–66, 170; internal 4, 88, 117, 151, 159–66 emotional intensity 72, 81, 93, 114, 117–18, 128, 131, 165–6 emotions 57–72; see also primary emotions; secondary emotions; tertiary emotions emotions classification 4, 54, 59, 60, 62, 66–72, 74, 81, 89–90, 164–5 emotions management 28, 43, 73, 76, 81, 93 emotions–valence theory 100, 162 emptiness 18, 97, 99, 101–2, 126 ends 45–7, 50, 76–7; see also goals Enlightenment, the 10, 17, 19–23, 27–8, 38, 45, 47–8, 71, 107 envy 16, 28, 68, 70–1, 108–10, 117, 121 equality 8, 12–13, 17, 33, 36, 40, 65, 106, 109–10, 121, 150

Subject index 211 estrangement 3, 5–8, 10, 22, 27, 39–40, 52, 54, 85, 157; see also cultural estrangement; self-estrangement Euro-Australians 152, 154, 156 evil 8–10, 12, 18, 28, 30, 93, 107, 109, 115–16, 119, 135, 137 evolution 15, 23, 27–8, 32, 41, 59–62, 64, 66, 70–1, 116, 150 existentialism xv, 9, 21, 91, 94, 100, 122, 130–1, 134, 138, 164 existential problems 4, 60, 62, 64–5, 69–70, 97, 150; see also hierarchy; identity; temporality; territoriality expectation see anticipation exploration 18, 62–3, 70, 125, 143; see also anticipation fatalism 4, 68, 70, 73, 140, 143–4, 153–7, 160, 164–5 fear 11, 14, 28, 32, 52, 60, 62–3, 56–8, 70–2, 79, 83–5, 88–90, 100, 114, 130–8, 141–2, 147–9, 151, 154, 160–3, 165–7 finitude 130–1, 137; see also death; mortality flesh, the see body fragmentation 8–10, 12, 16, 22, 25–7, 39, 35–7, 39, 42, 46, 48, 93, 96, 134–5 freedom 9–10, 13–15, 17, 21, 25, 27, 29, 32, 38, 42, 49, 51, 137 frustration 28, 39, 105–8, 115, 121, 145, 148, 169 future, the 39, 42, 44, 51, 84, 91–2, 95, 97–8, 100–1, 105–6, 112–13, 131–2, 144–5, 164 gambling 121, 144 genius 12, 25, 29, 47 Gnosticism 9, 18, 42 goals 46, 50, 54, 76, 79, 81–3, 91–2, 95, 98, 103, 122, 142–3, 145, 148, 163–4; see also ends God-concept 8–14, 18, 23, 28, 33–5, 39, 42–3 guilt 67–8, 83, 97, 149, 165–6 happiness 48, 62–3, 65–6, 68–9, 79, 81–2, 85, 88–90, 97, 100, 106, 115; see also joy and enjoyment helplessness 52, 81, 107, 111, 113, 115, 117, 131, 142, 148–9, 157 hierarchy 53, 62–3, 65–6, 70, 79, 109–10, 114, 133, 141, 150 homelessness 9–10, 53, 141, 152

homicide 73–5, 86–8 hubris 81–2, 99, 102–3; see also pride human(-ity), human nature 1, 8–9, 21–44, 47, 49–50, 53–4, 80, 89, 91–3, 99, 105, 115–16, 130–1, 138, 150, 168 humiliation 22, 27, 77, 80, 118, 149, 153; see also shame identity, social 3, 8, 17, 30, 46, 62–3, 65–6, 82, 92–3, 95, 98, 102, 116, 123, 135, 147, 150, 164 imagination 17, 20–6, 38–40, 43, 98, 102, 109, 126 incorporation 62–3, 135, 141, 143; see also acceptance inequality xv, 106, 111, 113, 116, 147, 149–50, 153, 155–6; see also equality inferiority, social 32, 34, 88, 92, 108–12, 117–18, 137, 147, 149–50, 153–6 invisibility 149, 151, 153–6 jealousy 16, 55, 68, 71, 101 joy and enjoyment 10, 13, 16, 24, 25, 27, 32, 34–5, 60, 62–3, 76, 79, 81–2, 85, 88–90, 97, 106, 109–10, 125, 133, 138, 145, 150, 160–3, 167; see also happiness left hemisphere of brain 100 life-historical interviews 153, 156 locus of control 141, 143–5, 149, 152, 154, 164; see also fatalism logic 14, 20, 23, 34, 38, 50, 97, 99–101, 103, 126; see also analysis; reason loneliness 3, 22, 28, 52, 67, 91, 94–7, 99, 103, 160, 164–5, 169 lord, the see master love 7–11, 18, 20–2, 24, 33, 38, 44, 55, 67, 69–71, 109, 115, 120, 170 magic 9, 33, 49–50, 53, 151 malaise 33, 53, 126, 169 market-priced social relations 12, 22, 25, 36, 38, 65–6 master, the 12–13, 26, 31–2, 108, 120, 142, 164 materialism 17, 22–3, 28, 38, 42, 51, 123 meaningfulness 18, 21, 32, 37, 40, 46–51, 55, 87, 91–2, 98, 102, 105, 107–8, 110, 115–17, 119, 123–4, 129–30, 132, 138, 157 meaninglessness xv–2, 11, 37, 48–51, 53–4, 101–3, 105–9, 115–16, 118–20, 157, 159–61, 163, 167–8


Subject index

means 24, 32, 45–7, 49–50, 142, 144; see also ends mechanization 20–3, 26–8, 36–7, 47, 51, 61 Medieval times see Middle Ages memory 91, 97–8, 103, 110, 120 Middle Ages 9–12, 17, 21, 25, 33, 40, 49, 108, 120, 136 modernity, modernization 9, 12–13, 15–17, 19–20, 22–7, 31, 33–4, 36–8, 41, 43, 45–52, 60, 75–6, 91, 95, 109, 111, 119, 126, 128, 168 money 12, 25, 38, 41, 46–7, 65, 151, 153–4 morality 11, 13, 15–17, 20, 23–5, 36, 38, 45, 50, 48, 54, 71, 74–77, 79–81, 86, 88, 90, 92, 103, 105, 107, 109–11, 114–20, 128 mortality see death; finitude nature 11–12, 14–15, 17, 21–9, 33–5, 38–40, 42–4, 138, 169 New Left 51–3; see also Old Left normlessness 1, 4, 52, 59, 73–7, 86–7, 89, 108, 157, 159–61, 163–4, 167–8 norms, sociocultural 43, 47–8, 50, 73–7, 79–81, 86–90, 108, 116–19, 122, 132, 142, 147, 149, 157, 159, 164 occupational specialization 1, 15, 22, 25–7, 27, 36–7, 43, 45–6, 48, 106, 13, 150, 1688 Old Left 41, 51–3; see also New Left oppression 8–9, 13, 21, 26, 32, 40–2, 49, 77, 111–13, 116, 118, 120, 128, 169 optimism 19, 49, 67, 112, 125, 145 outrage 53, 68–9, 99, 109, 114, 117–19, 121, 126, 160, 163, 165, 170 pain 12, 28, 30–1, 33, 41, 84–5, 91–4, 96, 100, 103, 107–9, 115, 129–30, 133, 147, 156, 164 passion 14–16, 19–21, 23–8, 31–3, 35, 38–9, 41, 43–4, 48, 66, 74–6, 89, 106, 110, 169 past, the 25, 27, 38–9, 44, 97–8, 100, 110, 112–13, 120 pessimism 4, 10–11, 22, 67, 70, 94, 127, 140, 143–5, 153–7, 160, 164–5, 169 poverty see economic stress power, social xv–1, 8–9, 11–14, 17–18, 25, 27, 29, 31, 38, 40, 50, 75, 80–1, 102, 106–10, 115, 117, 120–1, 124, 128, 132, 139, 141–3, 145, 147–52, 155, 157, 164

powerlessness 1–2, 4, 31–4, 37, 39–40, 51, 65, 105, 107, 111, 139–64, 168–70 present, the 38, 44, 92, 97–8, 100, 113, 145, 147 pride 10–11, 16, 20–1, 24, 67, 71, 76, 79, 81–312, 81–90, 123, 127, 129, 160, 163, 165; hubristic 102–3 primary emotions 4, 47, 54–5, 50–72; see also acceptance; anger; anticipation; disgust; fear; joy and enjoyment; sadness; surprise problems of life see existential problems proletariat 40–2, 38, 40, 50, 53, 75, 112–13 protection, defense 13, 55, 62–3, 87–8, 118, 129, 132; see also fear quantitative reason 21, 23, 25, 27, 38, 47 rational(-ity, -ism, -ization) 11, 19–25, 28, 31, 34, 38, 45, 47–51, 53, 55, 64, 86, 107, 116, 121, 127, 136, 144–5 reason 7, 11, 14, 17, 19–20, 22–3, 25–8, 31–4, 38, 45, 47–50, 97, 102, 113, 116, 119, 124, 130, 144; see also analysis; logic reintegration, social 9, 62–3, 65; see also sadness rejection 49, 52, 62–3, 81, 87, 94–6, 110, 112–13, 115–16, 122, 124–6, 128; see also disgust relative deprivation 105, 111–14, 157, 160 religion 1, 7–9, 12–13, 22–4, 32–5, 39, 44, 49–50, 77, 89, 94, 109–10 Renaissance 10–12, 18, 21, 23, 45, 49 reproduction 60, 62–3, 65 repugnance 67, 92, 107; see also disgust resentment 53, 67–71, 105–7, 110–21, 157–8, 160–3, 170 resignation 4, 68, 70, 95, 109, 143, 145–6, 153–7, 160, 164–5 ressentiment 105–11, 117, 120 resourcefulness and fatalism 68, 70, 143 revolution: American 22; French 22; Industrial 25, 42; political 37, 40, 43, 51, 112–13; scientific 20, 45 right hemisphere of brain 100, 104 romanticism 17, 20–31, 34–5, 37–44, 47–9, 53, 71, 128, 168 ruthlessness 32, 71, 73, 79–82, 85, 87, 108, 159–63 sadness 10, 60, 62, 64–8, 70–1, 78, 82–5, 87–92, 94–101, 103, 112, 117, 121, 133, 140–1, 143–6, 148–9, 151, 154, 156–7, 159–60, 162, 164–7, 169–70

Subject index 213 science xv, 2, 13, 17–23, 25–8, 33–4, 41–2, 44, 49–51, 53 scorn 11, 67, 80, 124, 127, 129, 163 secondary emotions 4, 47, 54, 59–60, 62, 66–72, 121, 140, 157, 159–60, 163–7; see also abhorrence; aggressiveness; alarm; awe; confusion; curiosity; cynicism; derisiveness; disappointment; guilt; loneliness; love; outrage; pessimism; pride; repugnance; resignation; resourcefulness and fatalism; shame self 4, 7–9, 13–19, 21–3, 27–34, 39–40, 42–3, 45–8, 52, 74–8, 80–1, 82–93, 97–106, 108–12, 115–19, 122–3, 125, 127, 130–3, 135, 139–40, 143, 145, 147, 149, 163–6 self-esteem 15–16, 28, 82, 92, 118, 122, 130–2, 137, 140, 147 self-estrangement xv–1, 3, 7–8, 11, 13, 15–17, 25, 27, 29–31, 33–4, 39, 41–2, 44, 48, 82, 91–104, 159–61, 163–9 sentiment 2–4, 20–2, 24, 28, 31, 36–7, 61, 68, 70–2, 76–7, 90, 93, 106–8, 111–14, 116, 120, 126, 139, 146, 154, 157, 169; see also resentment; ressentiment separation 1–3, 7–10, 15, 22, 35, 38, 45–6, 91, 167–8 sexuality 10, 21, 23–4, 28–9, 35, 38–9, 41, 44, 65, 112, 134–5, 149, 154–6 shame 16, 55, 67, 74, 79, 81–90, 97, 101, 110, 115, 143, 148–9, 153–7, 160, 164–7, 170 shock 67–9, 91, 94, 97–9, 103, 118–19, 121, 124, 131, 160, 163–5, 167, 170 signature displays 64–6 sin 8, 12–13, 76, 97, 130, 138 skepticism 19–20, 32–3, 74, 127 slavery see bondage social contract theory 13–18 socialism 41, 44, 51, 53 social isolation xvi, 3, 37, 53, 96–7, 102, 123, 129, 169 spirit 11, 21, 23, 31, 33–4, 36, 109, 144, 152 status, social 8, 13, 16, 37, 41, 65, 81, 88, 108–9, 111–12, 114, 141–2, 147–51, 153, 163 stoicism 21

stranger, the 3, 8, 10, 55, 97 submissiveness 4, 8, 13, 32, 64–7, 115, 143, 147–8, 150, 153–7, 160, 164–5 suffering 26–7, 35, 38–9, 44, 52, 73, 76–7, 79–80, 82, 85, 92, 96, 100–1, 105–11, 115–16, 120, 126, 129, 142, 149, 151, 157, 163 suicide 14, 18, 73–4, 77–8, 80–3, 85–90, 93–94, 96, 99, 101–4, 131, 137, 146, 169 surprise 60, 62–3, 65–70, 78–9, 82, 85, 89, 91, 92–4, 95–100, 103, 113–14, 116–17, 125–6, 132–4, 135–7, 159–63, 166–7 technology 18, 20–2, 46 temporality 62–3, 65–6, 97, 100, 103, 110, 133 territoriality 62–6, 85, 92–3, 95–6, 101, 103, 113, 116–17, 125, 132–3, 135, 141, 170 terror 24, 63, 122, 131, 134, 136–7, 160; see also fear; terror-management theory terror-management theory 130, 138 tertiary emotions 4, 54, 59, 60, 62, 68, 70–2, 79, 82, 94, 99, 103, 113–14, 117, 119, 121, 124, 130–1, 138, 160, 162–7; see also despair; discouragement; disdain; dread; resentment; ruthlessness theology see religion unhappy consciousness, the 33–4 urban life 1, 17, 27, 45–7, 168 valence of emotions 3–4, 55, 60, 62–5, 68, 72, 94, 97, 100, 114, 125, 134, 143, 149, 159–62, 164–5, 167; see also emotion– valence theory values 1, 7, 16, 21–2, 27, 29, 32–3, 38–41, 46–52, 75, 77, 80, 87, 89, 105, 108–11, 113, 117, 119–20, 122–6, 128–30, 132, 138, 141 violence 16, 27, 73, 88, 106, 110, 118, 126, 128–9, 147, 149, 151 will 12–13, 15, 17, 21, 23, 34–5, 46–8, 53, 74–6, 100, 102, 105, 107–9, 121–2, 126–7, 143, 163 witchcraft 11, 49, 53, 109, 137 world-alienation 4, 10–12