The study of emotions can hardly be reduced to the question of
brain states and bodily responses. In a broader perspective,
experiences are located in different cultural settings, and,
consequently, the notion
of ‘emotions’ is interpreted with reference to their cultural
heritage. Therefore, it is
commonly accepted that the study of human emotions is not
separated from cultural
prescriptions about emotions.
The main source for cultural interpretation of emotions is
language. The language
data provide names for fragments of the real world, but also give
them a symbolic
interpretation and evaluate them in terms of cultural properties.
Outside of the ‘real’
world, language also reflects an ‘affective’ world that manifests
itself in social,
economic and political life.