Enquirer Digest #0008 Emotional Intelligence. A different angle...
Today's subject is about emotional intelligence. Some of you that know me will know that I am quite appreciative of Daniel Goleman and his work. Today will be about a criticism of his work. I listened to a podcast of Adam Grant that had Merve Emre as a guest. The link of the podcast can be found below.
I did hear certain similar opinions that Emre voiced and so it was refreshing to hear some of those views. I should point out that quite a bit of the podcast covers Merve Emre's article that she wrote in the New Yorker on April 12,2021 (April 19, 2021, issue) The Repressive Politics of Emotional Intelligence. Not surprisingly this week's article will be this article (link below).
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Who is Merve Emre?
From the New Yorker site:
Merve Emre is a contributing writer at The New Yorker and an associate professor of English at the University of Oxford. She is the author of “Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America,” “The Ferrante Letters,” and “The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing,” which was the basis for the documentary feature film “Persona.” She is the editor of the books “Once and Future Feminist,” “The Annotated Mrs. Dalloway,” and the Norton Library’s “Mrs. Dalloway.” In 2019, she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize, and her work has been supported by the Whiting Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Leverhulme Trust, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, where she was a fellow from 2020 to 2021.
In relation to this week’s subject the podcasts to listen to is:
Here is how I understood what Merve Emre is stating. I have also added my comments (the below includes her New Yorker article as well ) :
Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence was recently republished. The republished book didn't have any major update from the original book.
This makes sense. With so much more research performed there should have been certain improvements and/or clarifications made for the book.
Individual vs. Societal Context
Merve Emre argues that it is important to consider the individual and the social together in the context of emotional intelligence, as individuals are socialized to perceive and manage their emotions in certain ways. She suggests that while there may be some people who are naturally more adept in this area, separating the individual from the social dimension can be a disservice to the concept.
I agree. And certainly, the famous marshmallow experiment performed on kids has a social impact that was discussed in the podcast explained this very clearly. Basically the experiment is ( Walter Mischel marshmallow study) that there are children who have a single marshmallow in front of them, and the strong desire, the intense emotion is to eat it there and then. Then the question is, can they wait 15 minutes, and if they can, they will be rewarded with not one, but two marshmallows. In a recent study it was found out that the children who grew up in poverty were much less likely to be able to resist the temptation. This is just a small example which strengthens Merve Emre's claims.
The idea of corporate control and emotional intelligence.
Basically, what Merve Emre suggests is that people should not have to worry about the security of their job or the profitability of the work that they do if they are not performing emotional labour at the level desired. Instead, it should be okay to be disinterested without fear of repercussions.
I do agree with Emre here. I do believe companies have to take responsibility and act on the climate and culture that's been predominant in their organizations. As was discussed in the podcast many companies are content with providing certain training for stress management and the like. Instead of these trainings as a quick remedy whereas a more strong cure to the illness is required.
**The Repressive Politics of Emotional Intelligence** by Merve Emre . The article was published in the New Yorker on April 12, 2021 ( April 19, 2021 issue)
Today's Quote is from Merve Emre's New Yorker article.
"It is a vision of personal freedom achieved, paradoxically, through constant self-regulation. “Emotional Intelligence” imagines a world constituted of little more than a series of civil interactions between employer and employee, husband and wife, friend and neighbor. People are linked by nothing more than, as Foucault summarized, the “instinct, sentiment, and sympathy” that underwrite their mutual success and their shared “repugnance for the misfortune of individuals” who cannot get a grip on their inner lives." Merve Emre
Today's quote has been resurfaced by Readwise