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Shame and the Social Bond: A Sociological Theory*

Shame and the Social Bond: A Sociological Theory* Emotion has long been recognized in sociology as crucially important, but most references to it are generalized and vague. In this essay, I nominate shame, specifically, as the premier social emotion. First I review the individualized treatment of shame in psychoanalysis and psychology, and the absence of social context. Then I consider the contributions to the social dimensions of shame by six sociologists (Georg Simmel, Charles Cooley, Norbert Elias, Richard Sennett, Helen Lynd, Erving Goffman) and a psychologist/psychoanalyst (Helen Lewis). I show that Cooley and Lynd, particularly, made contributions to a theory of shame and the social bond. Lewis's idea that shame arises from threats to the bond integrates the contributions of all six sociologists, and points toward future research on emotion, conflict, and alienation/integration. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociological Theory SAGE

Shame and the Social Bond: A Sociological Theory*

Sociological Theory , Volume 18 (1): 16 – Mar 1, 2000

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References (25)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2000 American Sociological Association
ISSN
0735-2751
eISSN
1467-9558
DOI
10.1111/0735-2751.00089
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Emotion has long been recognized in sociology as crucially important, but most references to it are generalized and vague. In this essay, I nominate shame, specifically, as the premier social emotion. First I review the individualized treatment of shame in psychoanalysis and psychology, and the absence of social context. Then I consider the contributions to the social dimensions of shame by six sociologists (Georg Simmel, Charles Cooley, Norbert Elias, Richard Sennett, Helen Lynd, Erving Goffman) and a psychologist/psychoanalyst (Helen Lewis). I show that Cooley and Lynd, particularly, made contributions to a theory of shame and the social bond. Lewis's idea that shame arises from threats to the bond integrates the contributions of all six sociologists, and points toward future research on emotion, conflict, and alienation/integration.

Journal

Sociological TheorySAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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