Building on her MPhil dissertation in Medical Anthropology (‘Transmutable Emotions: The Performance of Grief in Perspective’), Carlota’s research will analyse how local perceptions of selfhood, health, illness, and sadness shape the ways in which the latter is dealt with among the patients of a mental health care facility located in Tokyo and specialised in teaching patients how to increase their serotonin levels through bodily techniques such as breathing or crying. Carlota will particularly pay attention to the latter, known as ruikatsu.
Drawing from her own fieldwork, as well as from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary accounts, the aim of Carlota’s research is to shed light upon the impact that socialization processes have upon the ways in which sadness is dealt with within the particular context of study. By understanding feeling and thinking as inherently interrelated and analysing emotional performances beyond the ‘social’ sphere and in regard to their ‘experiential’ domain, her research aims to bridge the gap between the anthropological study of emotion – frequently focused on the sociality of emotions– and the psychological study of coping strategies – fundamentally concerned with their experience–.
During her fieldwork in Japan, Carlota will be a visiting researcher at the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University, Tokyo.
Carlota’s research is fully funded by ‘La Caixa Foundation’.
College: Green Templeton College
Department: Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography