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Keeping Score

Judgement Day

In a previous post, I discussed the role of relational conversion via religious institutions, making the argument that religion to a great extent has succeeded in making the invisible but watchful presence (see also the post Wrapt in a brown mantle) that is the relational world codified and organised – made it visible.  The pomp […]

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Keeping Score

Religion and the Vale of Tears

Any talk of the relational world must inevitably at some stage come back to religion, a regulatory mechanism of real force in intersubjective dynamics, an influence obvious in so many facets of social and cultural life. Dirty Looks has already explored this influence to some extent, particularly in relation to secular forms of martyrdom and […]

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Keeping Score

The Bitterest Pill

For such a significant emotion in people’s lives, resentment rarely gets the coverage it deserves. The sickly and awkward cousin of belonging and acceptance, resentment is shunned and rarely admitted to – either in public or private. The voicing of resentment is an admittance that something is wrong – that the public self is built […]

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Keeping Score Saving Face

Spilt Milk

People are fond of saying they don’t suffer from regret – ‘no regrets’ a badge of honour to put on public display, a statement of strength in the face of crisis and failure. The public denial of regret is a performance, designed to show the world that a person’s moral and emotional fortitude can stand […]

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Keeping Score

Martyrdom

The secularisation of martyrdom is often overlooked as a by-product of modernisation, but sufficient evidence of its existence can quite easily be found across the public and private domains of modern life. It is in the workplace though that martyrdom finds, while not exactly a natural home, a functional space within which its psychodramas can […]

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Keeping Score

The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions

It needs to be said: those who manage to maintain a positive attitude in the workplace are either simpletons or part of an emotional super race. Work is designed to bring people together in a restricted physical space, away from their family, friends and home comforts. It is therefore inevitable that workplaces bring out the […]

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Keeping Score

Happiness and the Politics of Envy

In an article entitled ‘Legislating for happiness’, Randeep Ramesh today argues that any decent public policy on well-being needs to understand that we are ’hardwired for envy’: “People measure their satisfaction by how well they do in relation to others, rather than on absolute levels of income. Success is not enough: we also want to […]

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Keeping Score

What Do You Earn Again?

An important book in some ways, frustrating in others, Christakis and Fowler’s Connected: the amazing power of social networks and how they shape our lives, makes the strong claim that our connections “have an astonishing power to influence everything from what we eat to who we sleep with”. When it came out last year it […]

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Keeping Score

Keeping Score

One emotion that this site will return to again and again is resentment. A more complicated emotion that given credit for, the energy invested in resenting others is something to behold, a bottomless pit of anger, frustration and sense of injustice (resentiment is a topic for another day). Some of its emotional power stems from […]