Understanding Emotion in Chinese Culture

Thinking Through Psychology

  • Louise Sundararajan

Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Conceptual Foundations for the Analysis of Chinese Emotions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Louise Sundararajan
      Pages 3-20
    3. Louise Sundararajan
      Pages 21-38
    4. Louise Sundararajan
      Pages 39-57
    5. Louise Sundararajan
      Pages 59-73
  3. Tracing Emotions Daintily Through Things Psychologically Chinese

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Louise Sundararajan
      Pages 77-91
    3. Louise Sundararajan
      Pages 93-109
  4. Chinese Creativity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-189
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 205-210

About this book


This mind-opening take on indigenous psychology presents a multi-level analysis of culture to frame the differences between Chinese and Western cognitive and emotive styles. Eastern and Western cultures are seen here as mirror images in terms of rationality, relational thinking, and symmetry or harmony. Examples from the philosophical texts of Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and classical poetry illustrate constructs of shading and nuancing emotions in contrast to discrete emotions and emotion regulation commonly associated with traditional psychology. The resulting text offers readers bold new understandings of emotion-based states both familiar (intimacy, solitude) and unfamiliar (resonance, being spoiled rotten), as well as larger concepts of freedom, creativity, and love. 

Included among the topics: 

  • The mirror universes of East and West.
  • In the crucible of Confucianism.
  • Freedom and emotion: Daoist recipes for authenticity and creativity.
  • Chinese creativity, with special focus on solitude and its seekers.
  • Savoring, from aesthetics to the everyday.
  • What is an emotion? Answers from a wild garden of knowledge. 

Understanding Emotion in Chinese Culture has a wealth of research and study potential for undergraduate and graduate courses in affective science, cognitive psychology, cultural and cross- cultural psychology, indigenous psychology, multicultural studies, Asian psychology, theoretical and philosophical psychology, anthropology, sociology, international psychology, religion studies, and international business and management. 



Chinese civilization Chinese creativity Chinese emotions Chinese poetics Confucianism Indigenous psychology Taoism cross-cultural psychology empathy filial piety harmony hierarchy-based emotions individualism versus collectivism mindfulness morality social mindfulness taoism-based emotions tight versus loose cultures

Authors and affiliations

  • Louise Sundararajan
    • 1
  1. 1.Rochester Psychiatric Center, NYRochesterUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-18220-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-18221-6
  • Series Print ISSN 1574-0455
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-7984
  • Buy this book on publisher's site