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Shame and Modernity

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (1993) British Journal of Criminology 33(1):1-18.

This article presents a review of shame in human history. First, the arguments of Elias that, with the demise of feudalism, shame became more important in the affect structure of citizens. Elias did not consider the movement away from shame and toward brutal punishment in crime control in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This period manifest the failure of stigmatization and punitive excess, opening the way for reintegrative ideals in the Victorian era and beyond. Finally, drawing on Goffman, it is argued that there is no structural inevitability about the impotence of shaming in industrialized societies.


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