The Culture of Shame

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Ballantine Books, 1996 - Psychology - 225 pages
In The Culture of Shame, Harvard psychiatrist Andrew P. Morrison argues that shame pervades our culture. From its early references in Biblical stories to the works of philosophers such as Nietzsche and Sartre and contemporary novelists Philip Roth and Toni Morrison, the experience of shame emerges as a theme of human experience. Yet, until recently, the psychology profession did not acknowledge the role of shame, focusing instead on guilt. Indeed, our modern culture, which emphasizes independence and personal responsibility, tends to view shame as the mark of an inferior or self-absorbing individual.
Shame, which Dr. Morrison defines as a feeling of intrinsic self-worthlessness, is now seen to underlie a range of psychological problems. With clarity and insight, Dr. Morrison traces the development of shame, from infancy through its more sophisticated forms, and explores the roots and expression of shame in our society. Shame gives rise to a wide array of disorders, including depression, addictions, and eating and sexual disorders, as well as emotional problems linked to trauma, gender, race, illness, old age, infertility, and gender. In our society, shame manifests itself through alienation, lack of motivation, and feelings of meaninglessness.
In The Culture of Shame, Dr. Morrison exposes the many masks of shame and examines the way shame paralyzes us, individually and culturally. He explains the language of shame and its painful consequences. Through powerful case studies, he illuminates the impact of shame on the lives of individuals and how shame can be overcome.
Serious, comprehensive, and authoritative, The Culture of Shame is destined to take its place as an importantcontribution to the literature of human nature.

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A ponderous, touchy-feely examination of shame, its causes, and its role in the psychotherapeutic process. While psychoanalyst Morrison (Harvard Medical School) still holds Freud dear, he diverges ... Read full review

The culture of shame

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Psychiatrist Morrison (Shame: The Underside of Narcissism, Analytic Pr., 1989) here examines an area that has been hardly written about or researched: shame. He blames shame for eating disorders, drug ... Read full review


Wellsprings of Shame
Lifting the Burden on Your

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