Astray in a dark forest? The emotional politics of reconstruction Britain

Langhamer, Claire (2020) Astray in a dark forest? The emotional politics of reconstruction Britain. In: Noakes, Lucy, Langhamer, Claire and Siebrecht, Claudia (eds.) Total war: an emotional history. Proceedings of the British Academy, OUP, Oxford. ISBN 9780197266663

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Abstract

Based on material generated by the British social investigative organization, Mass Observation, between 1944-1946, this chapter maps some of the political work that emotion did in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. It adapts cultural theorist Sara Ahmed’s question - ‘What do emotions do?’ - to a precise historical moment. It approaches emotion through the lens of social, as well as cultural, history by asking an additional question - ‘What did people do with emotion?’ It examines how the interlinked categories of feeling and experience were invoked by individual Mass Observers as ways of knowing a rapidly changing world and as grounds for participating in a dynamic public sphere. The chapter argues that a distinctive form of ‘emotional citizenship’ emerged out of the war; one which deployed feeling as a form of epistemology and experience as an evidential base.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Britain; Mass-Observation; Feeling; Reconstruction; Emotion
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Depositing User: Claire Langhamer
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 16:38
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 14:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84551

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