This article focuses on the fundamental role that emotion memories play in constructing autobiographical narrations. It suggests that the analysis of emotion memories can provide a deep insight into a variety of processes and fields of individual and social life (). Based on the analysis of emotion memories in life-story interviews, this article will show the deep-rooted interrelatedness between the self and its social environment with emotion memories as an influential element. This article aims to show that strong emotional experiences mould the interviewees’ narrations because they penetrate and shape the remembered past and anticipated future by enhancing, suppressing and hence shaping past and future experiences. If turned into emotion memories, these experiences allow the channelling, taming and/or evoking of emotions. This practice relates different memories and life-story moments with each other and puts them into a new context. This article claims that emotion memories have therefore a crucial structuring effect for autobiographical narrations and are therefore also a valuable element of analysis of interviews. We claim that emotion memories become visible and therefore analysable as emotional expressions or emotives, as emotion performances intentionally performed or accidentally caused (; ).
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