Caterina Bembich, Andrea Gaspardo


The socio-constructivist approach is the mainstream theoretical framework orientating the institutional mandate of most education and training organizations. Many aspects of analysis, design, intervention, and evaluation currently refer to the ecological model, the construction of meanings and intersubjectivity. According to a socio-constructivist perspective, emotions represent an aspect strictly connected to the social life of individuals and are the result of a complex process that involves biological, psychological, behavioural, and socio-cultural factors. Understanding emotional processes should therefore focus on the relationship between emotion and culture, considering how cultural factors and social experience can influence the way emotions are expressed, encoded, and interpreted. However, in educational contexts, the social dimension of emotions is often framed within a precise framework of meanings and interpreted using rigidly applied emotion categorization schemes. Starting from these premises, the present work aims to investigate through an exploratory survey, the process of emotional signification from a socio-cultural perspective. The results show reveal that the semantic field of emotions is highly heterogeneous, and that there is a considerable subjective and cultural component in their process of signification. Finally, it highlights the critical need to deconstruct the concept of emotional categorization in educational practices.


Emotions, Cognition, Education, Socio-Constructivism, Processes of signification

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