chapter
Conclusion
Pages 8

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book presents a study that first outlines the physiological, psychological and social expressions of shame in order to demonstrate the inherent 'shameability' of human individuals and the power of shame to shape social and institutional spaces. It draws out the association of shame and 'social pain' in order to foreground the damage caused to individuals and groups through social exclusion, stigma and scapegoating, and to underscore the devastating consequences of Ireland's long practice of incarcerating and shaming those women and girls it deemed transgressive. The book also explores shame as it operates in gendered contexts to create and reinforce masculinist hegemonies and simultaneously to disempower and control women. The study revealed some fundamental anxieties that contribute to the sexual shaming of women by men. Ireland's Magdalen laundries and other institutions of containment flourished after 1922.