Revealing Surprise

Christian Heath, Dirk vom Lehn, Jason Cleverly and Paul Luff

in Emotion in Interaction

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730735
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950034 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

Revealing Surprise

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Surprise is commonly understood as a response to the unexpected, even untoward, arising within the immediate environment, our reaction foreshadowing an associated emotion such as pleasure or fear. This chapter considers how our discovery of, and response to, the unexpected is constituted in and through our interaction with others, both those we are with and others who just happen to be within the same space. Drawing on video-recordings of visitors to museums and galleries, the chapter examines how people show surprise, enable others to be surprised and address how our emotion is tailored with regard to the presence and action of others. In particular, the chapter considers the embodied character of surprise and the ways in which surprise reflexively constitutes the sense and significance of occasioned features of the immediate environment.

Keywords: surprise; embodied action; objects and the environment; transposition of action; museums and galleries; the design of expression

Chapter.  8846 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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