Between Us

How Cultures Create Emotions

9 April 2024


Featured in Behavioural Scientist’s Summer Book List 2022

A pioneer of cultural psychology argues that emotions are not innate but made as we live our lives together

“How are you feeling today?” We may think of emotions as universal responses, felt inside but in Between Us, acclaimed psychologist Batja Mesquita asks us to reconsider them through the lens of what they do in our relationships, both one-on-one and within larger social networks. From an outside-in perspective, readers will understand why pride in a Dutch context does not translate well to the same emotion in United States, or why one’s anger at a boss does not mean the same as your anger at a partner in a close relationship. By looking outward at relationships at work, school and home, we can better judge how our emotions will be understood, how they might change a situation and how they change us.

Brilliantly synthesising original psychological studies and stories from peoples across time and geography, Between Us skilfully argues that acknowledging differences in emotions allows us to find common ground, humanising and humbling us all for the better.


"The book contributes much to the discussion of the origins of emotions, presenting a dazzling array of cross-cultural studies interspersed with personal anecdotes about immigrants’ struggles to reconcile diverse emotional and social worlds." — Asifa Majid, Science



140 x 211 mm • 304 pages


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