This prologue to the special issue points to the diversity in research and theory on the communication of emotion and its relation to culture and to social power. Part of this diversity results from the fact that scholars work at different levels of analysis, concentrating on different aspects of emotion and its communication, and often paying little attention to the importance of other levels. In addition, there is not agreement on what counts as an emotion, on the concept of culture, or on the definition of display rules. Finally, the role of social status or power has been very infrequently invoked in studies of emotion and its communication. The articles in this issue present diverse perspectives of the impact of power and culture on the communication of emotion. They also highlight contentious issues in the study of emotion. At the same time, they serve to widen our understanding of this central area in social life.