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Enduring Emotions: James L. Halliday and the Invention of the Psychosocial

Rhodri Hayward
Isis
Vol. 100, No. 4 (December 2009), pp. 827-838
DOI: 10.1086/652022
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/652022
Page Count: 12
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Enduring Emotions: James L. Halliday and the Invention of the Psychosocial
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Abstract

ABSTRACT Emotions maintain an ambivalent position in the economy of science. In contemporary debates they are variously seen as hardwired biological responses, cultural artifacts, or uneasy mixtures of the two. At the same time, there is a tension between the approaches to emotion developed in modern psychotherapies and in the history of science. While historians see the successful ascription of affective states to individuals and populations as a social and technical achievement, the psychodynamic practitioner treats these enduring associations as pathological accidents that need to be overcome. This short essay uses the career of the Glaswegian public health investigator James L. Halliday to examine how debates over the ontological status of the emotions and their durability allow them to travel between individual identity and political economy, making possible new kinds of psychological intervention.

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