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Title: ‘Man You’ve Been a Naughty Boy, You Let your Face Grow long’ on the celebration of negative affect in adolescence
Authors: Cooper, Paul W.
Kakos, Michalis
First Published: Apr-2013
Publisher: European Network for Social and Emotional Competence (ENSEC) and the European Centre for Educational Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health (EDRES) at the University of Malta
Citation: International Journal of Emotional Education, 2013, 5 (1), pp. 3-16.
Abstract: In recent years there has been an increasing interest among social researchers in people’s happiness and emotional well-being. One view, expressed in justification for this interest, is that ‘the best society […] is one where the citizens are happiest. So the best public policy is that which produces the greatest happiness.’ (Layard, 2005: 5) . From this unvarnished Utilitarian standpoint human unhappiness is the least desirable social and personal condition that must, therefore, be challenged and, in an ideal world, abolished. In this paper we set out to examine the converse position to this which we see reflected in the apparent deliberate celebration of unhappiness among some adolescents. We carry out this examination with particular reference to the context of schooling and the ways in which the regulatory functions of schools interact with this issue. We describe some different contemporary manifestations of what we term ‘a positive attitude towards negative affect’ and explore historical, cultural, social and psychological explanations for this. We conclude with a consideration of the implications of our discussion for our understanding of the condition of adolescence and some of the possible contemporary cultural significances of ‘melancholia’.
ISSN: 2073-7629
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2013 EDRES/ENSEC. Deposited with the permission of the publisher.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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