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Psychology of shame: major psychological and cultural aspects

Stefano Tognacci ; L'Universitá Pontificia Salesiana Roma, Italia

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 263 Kb

str. 426-452

preuzimanja: 10.635


Puni tekst: talijanski pdf 208 Kb

str. 426-452

preuzimanja: 11.137



This article provides a brief overview of psychological nature, and partly cultural, on the emotion of shame. It also deals with the sentiment of modesty, which is closely linked to shame. Both shame and modesty accompany the unfolding of the human race, helping to build those ‘social contracts’ that are transmitted, known and implied norm or otherwise violations of rules or customs, particularly interrelated to the emotional and personal sphere, ‘sexual’ or ‘intimate’ which are generally accepted. It deals with emotions social and moral, because they reflect deeply the norms and standards of the society in reference. Shame can play a significant role in psychopathology; in an Invasive form it can help in psychopatholo-gical relevance such as depression or eating disorders like anorexia.
The experience of shame involves intense sentiments of discom¬fort with different variations from person to person. They present with somatic and psychological responses accompanied by external manifestations, which are beyond control: non verbal communications like glances, grimaces, flushing, lowering the gaze, etc. Shame, therefore, arises from the loss of the proper public image and self-esteem, triggering the mechanism of ‘Inferiority Complex’, which undermines the possession of a valid self identity. When this self image is broken, the sentiment of shame that arises is intense and causes suffering. Finally, some tendencies within our culture or society cause the individual to be ashamed of being ashamed, with the result that shame becomes an opportunity of redemption and of personal and community growth thus intern becomes cause for further shame.

Ključne riječi

shame; embarrassment; impudence; person; body; society; sexuality; intimacy

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