Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Emotional Self-Alienation

What is it like to feel alienated from one’s own emotions, or emotional self-alienation
(ESA)? Drawing on work from critical sociology on emotional capitalism and the commodification of emotions as well as on analytic and phenomenological philosophy of
emotions, here, I propose a multi-dimensional account of ESA. I begin by sketching a
relational account of alienation, according to which alienation is a deficient relation to
oneself, others and the world. Next, I show that ESA is not reducible to cognate but
different phenomena such as feelings of being manipulated, coercion or self-deception. I
then distinguish between three dimensions of emotions that are deficient in ESA: their
experiential, self-disclosing and normative dimension. I argue that ESA involves, first, a
certain cleavage between the affective and the intentional dimension of emotions. This
results in the loss of personal import of one’s emotions and a failure to integrate a given
emotion into one’s overall evaluative outlook. Secondly, I show that this goes hand in
hand with a deficiency in the self-disclosing dimension of emotions. I suggest that in
ESA emotions are not revelatory of what matters to oneself. Consequently, ESA hampers
an essential function of emotions, namely the elaboration of one’s overall personal
evaluative outlook. Finally, I argue that ESA also negatively affects the normative dimension of emotions: it disrupts the balance between what I ought to feel and what I actually feel. I conclude by addressing potential misunderstandings of what emotional reappropriation is, and outline how a ‘critical theory of emotions’ might reply to them.



Living the dream in SW France-Retired Love Swimming, Rambling, Labrador's, Pilates, Photography, Astronomy, Reiki, Travelling. Currently studying Psychology, and member of NAAP. I believe in truth, honesty, karma and integrity! KEEPING IT REAL - No one likes someone who lies and lives a different life on social media than they do in real life. ≧◔◡◔≦

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