chapter  2
Towards an understanding of shame
Pages 15

This chapter introduces the intrinsic relationship of shame and scapegoating. It explores that shame operates both in individuals and the social as a phenomenon that can become toxically embedded in the individual psyche from infancy, or imposed by shaming others as a mechanism for social control at any level. The chapter focuses on these and other characteristics of shame, building up a picture of the way shame works as a tool in the discursive production of gender and societies. The vehicles for public shaming have changed through the centuries, with community-based shaming rituals giving way to exposure in print and latterly in broadcast media and online, but the mechanism of shame as a means of social control remains constant. Shame profoundly influences the psychological growth of the child as early shame scripts are formed and archived, creating the basis for adult psychological health.