Exiles of anger: The spatial politics of difficult emotions in contemporary education

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Anger is an under-examined yet potent and disruptive emotion with a complex social and spatial history. This paper examines the spatial politics of anger as it emerges in contemporary secondary education, arguing that everyday experience of young people is at odds with tools of emotional governance that are widely practiced across the sector. State education in the UK has increasingly turned to social and emotional forms of learning to both broaden the range of skills taught and to encourage different forms of self-governance. By exploring the operation of this particularly resonant and volatile emotion, the paper attempts to go beyond the intentions of policy to examine the everyday presentation of emotions through the bodies and spaces of governance. Specifically, I draw on young people's experience of anger and examine the individual and institutional responses that position and shape their emotional geographies. I argue that rather than treating emotions in their generality, examining anger specifically reveals a spatiality based on exile and eradication, rather than internal psychological governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalEmotion, Space and Society
Early online date01 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2019


  • anger
  • emotions
  • spatiality
  • young people
  • governance
  • displacement
  • Anger
  • Young people
  • Spatiality
  • Governance
  • Emotions


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