chapter  13
Dangerous Liaisons: Science, Amusement and the Civilizing Process
ByOtniel E. Dror
Pages 12

This chapter argues that the modern laboratory engaged in the construction of a new type of ‘civilized’ emotion. It describes on Norbert Elias’s and Erik Dunning’s characterization of modern sport as a locus for the production of a ‘controlled de-controlling of emotions’ in order to study the transformation of emotions into objects of knowledge inside the modern laboratory. The chapter deals with an exploration of the oppositional representation of the relationship between modern leisure and the laboratory—as understood by a cohort of late nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century emotion-focused investigators. It shows that the study of emotions entailed the creation of multiple and unique moments in which inimical cultural motifs—from science and leisure—were juxtaposed inside the laboratory. The successful creation and study of emotions inside the laboratory literally depended on this encounter between science and leisure, between the world of amusement and laboratory life, or on the introduction of art into the laboratory.