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Emotional LexiconsContinuity and Change in the Vocabulary of Feeling 1700-2000$
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Ute Frevert, Christian Bailey, Pascal Eitler, Benno Gammerl, Bettina Hitzer, Margrit Pernau, Monique Scheer, Anne Schmidt, and Nina Verheyen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655731

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655731.001.0001

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Age(ing) with Feeling*

Age(ing) with Feeling*

(p.151) 6 Age(ing) with Feeling*
Emotional Lexicons

Nina Verheyen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines discursive relations between emotions and stages of life in German encyclopedias from the eighteenth century onwards: which emotions were ascribed, for example, to children, adults, or women in the Klimakterium (menopause)? Was emotional change in the course of a life viewed as the result of ‘natural’, culturally invariant processes of ageing, as the product of individual lifestyles, or as the result of other factors, such as gender? The chapter charts multiple shifts as well as countertendencies: life was sometimes divided into numerous ‘steps’ and later more and more often into only a few distinct phases; the humours as the determinant of emotions were replaced by nerves and/or hormones. Importantly, the knowledge stored in the encyclopedias was always highly normative. Today, too, when it is claimed that old people were never as ill-tempered as the centuries-old stereotype would have us believe, then it shows that seniors are losing their right to curmudgeon-hood!

Keywords:   age, senior, geriatric, puberty, child, humorism, humoral pathology, climacteric period, change of life, menopause, temperament, civilization, education, rearing, upbringing

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