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Are emotions becoming more conspicuous in contemporary life? Are the social sciences undergoing an an 'affective turn'? This Reader gathers influential and contemporary work in the study of emotion and affective life from across the range of the social sciences. Drawing on both theoretical and empirical research, the collection offers a sense of the diversity of perspectives that have emerged over the last thirty years from a variety of intellectual traditions. Its wide span and trans-disciplinary character is designed to capture the increasing significance of the study of affect and emotion for the social sciences, and to give a sense of how this is played out in the context of specific areas of interest. The volume is divided into four main parts: * universals and particulars of affect * embodying affect * political economies of affect * affect, power and justice. Each main part comprises three sections dedicated to substantive themes, including emotions, history and civilization; emotions and culture; emotions selfhood and identity; emotions and the media; emotions and politics; emotions, space and place, with a final section dedicated to themes of compassion, hate and terror. Each of the twelve sections begins with an editorial introduction that contextualizes the readings and highlights points of comparison across the volume. Cross-national in content, the collection provides an introduction to the key debates, concepts and modes of approach that have been developed by social scientist for the study of emotion and affective life.