Evidence That We Have Not Completely Lost Our Sense of Irony

In the “Undernews” newsletter distributed daily by the Progressive Review, David Sims of the Cass Business School in London distributed the following abstract from an unidentified academic paper:

“Our patience with forming interpretations and reinterpretations of others’ behaviour is not unlimited. The time comes when we lose interest in trying to understand, and conclude that another person is behaving in a way that is simply unacceptable. This paper explores the narratives that go with immoderate indignation, even for those best versed in the idea that they should attempt to understand the perspective of the other. The paper offers a reflexive comment on the difficulty of analysing such a topic, on the grounds that the phenomenon under discussion can debilitate analytic writing. Three narratives are discussed in which one person was seen as behaving in a despicable way by others. The description and analysis of the narratives are used to offer a narrative understanding of the process by which some people become indignant with others. It suggests a narrative construction of how sense is made of indignation, particularly in cases where two narratives come up against each other. It concludes by considering how the process of being indignant can produce conflicting emotions of joy and guilt for those involved.”

Sims’s post is titled: “Some Academic SOB Wrote This.”


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