Slovenski etnografski muzej

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Ethnology and emotions – a view from aside

To date Slovene ethnology has avoided explicit discussions of emotions. The author presents a brief survey of the development of the anthropology of emotions in the past three decades, emphasising that emotions are a cognitive category embedded in the political sphere. He therefore connects the interest in emotions with the process of the changes in the East-European countries and contemporary warnings about the risk society. He also dwells upon ethnographic practices and methods which necessarily implicate ethics when they take account of emotions. Beside tending towards empathy, researchers have to resort to a critical distance in certain circumstances.