The rise of the shame society : America's change from a guilt culture into a shame culture


【作  者】Marcel H. van Herpen

【出版社】Lexington Books (June 7, 2022)


【索书号】B842.6-05 /H563 /E

【简  介】American society is often characterized as a “guilt culture,” as opposed to non-Western “shame cultures.” But is this distinction still valid today? Through examples like shaming penalties in criminal law, “fat shaming,” and cyberbullying on the social media, The Rise of the Shame Society: America’s Change from a Guilt Culture into a Shame Culture shows how shame is increasingly invading our lives, leading to feelings of humiliation and depression. Marcel Van Herpen identifies three causes of this phenomenon: new childrearing methods, the advent of the social media, and a transformation of Western individualism. He weighs the arguments for and against a shame society and concludes that a guilt-centered approach remains preferable. Although shame increasingly permeates everyday life, the author argues that its rise is not a fatality. He emphasizes that shame is a dynamic phenomenon and that one can observe trends which lead to an increase of shame, as well as to its decrease. Examples of the latter are a growing sensitivity to the pain caused by anti-Black racism, the decrease of anti-LGBTQIA+ prejudices, and efforts to end the stigmatization of people with disabilities. Along with exploring its increase, The Rise of the Shame Society demonstrates that there are ways to overcome shame.