Emotion, Collective Performance, and Value

John Corrigan

in Business of the Heart

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780520221963
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924321 | DOI:
Emotion, Collective Performance, and Value

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The Businessmen's Revival in Boston was an exercise in the collective performance of emotion. This display of persons gathered in groups large and small, in churches, chapels, theatres, homes, basements, on board ships in the harbor, and in outdoor settings was of utmost importance. That display of emotion, in its general contours, conformed to Protestant expectation for raised affections as part of a revival of religion. Experienced in the collective expression of their feelings through their participation in various kinds of public events Bostonians developed opinions about the nature of emotion: its causes, its uses, and its ends. Moreover, emotion was taken as a commodity, and as such could be acquired for a price and could be exchanged for various other things. So, while Bostonians collectively emoted, they were also participating in an emotional economy. Therefore, the collectivity and the economy of emotion were closely interwoven, the envaluing of emotion being possible only within a public context that allowed for the assignment of value through social agreement.

Keywords: Businessmen's Revival; Boston; protestant; emotional economy; revival of religion; collective performance

Chapter.  9956 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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