Emotional fundamentalism and education of the body

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This article examines the productive capacity of emotion through the concept of emotional fundamentalism. Emotional fundamentalism combines several key concepts—fundamentalism, affective labor, biopolitics, and capitalism’s contradictions—developed by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in Empire (2000), Multitude (2004), and Commonwealth (2009) to describe the intensified attention to the body in education. I investigate the implications of the increased organizational and corporate interest in emotion using an ongoing socio-emotional learning study and the introduction of artificial intelligence aggression detectors in schools. Doing so demonstrates the tendency of Empire to manage emotions in order to ensure viable production by educating the body as data and human capital. However, though Empire depends on emotions as a resource, these same emotions display a creative unruliness that exposes potential avenues to reproduce the common and enact multitude.

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