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Emotional BodiesThe Historical Performativity of Emotions$
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Dolores Martín-Moruno and Beatriz Pichel

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042898

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042898.001.0001

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The Language of Children’s Pain (1870–1900)

The Language of Children’s Pain (1870–1900)

(p.77) 4. The Language of Children’s Pain (1870–1900)
Emotional Bodies

Leticia Fernández-Fontecha

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the disputed place of children’s pain around the dawn of the twentieth century from the perspective of the history of emotions. It explores how the emotional expression of children’s suffering (cries and screams) was interpreted differently by various professional bodies with the performative authority to shape its meaning. Focusing on written texts and photographic practices, it compares the perspectives of scientists and psychologists with those of pediatricians, showing how the former claimed children were essentially insensitive to pain while the latter used pain to help diagnose children’s sickness. This paper questions whether specific expressions correspond mechanically and invariably to certain emotions, and shows how screams and cries created different “emotional bodies” in the pediatric and laboratory contexts.

Keywords:   History of Emotions, Childhood Pain, Photographic History, Politics of Pain, Psychology, Paediatrics, Nineteenth Century

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