, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 251–275 | Cite as

Challenges and Possibilities in a Postmodern Culture of Emotions in Education

  • Michalinos Zembylas


There is an increasing interest in the role of emotions in education. The concept of “emotional intelligence” is an example. There are various discourses being developed in education about the importance of emotions. One such emerging discourse builds on the argument that greater emphasis on emotions under some circumstances and control over others is functional and effective for the economy. The goal of this paper is to provide a series of reflections on the “fate” of emotions in education in an era where they appear to be marketed and discussed to an unprecedented degree. In doing so, I wish to intervene in current debates about the role of emotion in education and expose some of the complexities in the “(un)managed heart” and the dilemmas of valorization and/or rejection of emotions that are promoted in education at the dawn of the 21st century. I argue that a critical inquiry of various challenges in a postmodern culture of emotions constitutes new forms of educational spaces and signifies new understandings of the grounds for problematizing the instrumentalization of emotion in education.


Emotions in education postmodernism school culture emotional culture emotional rules instrumentalization informalization 


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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Open University of CyprusNicosiaCYPRUS

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