If shaming is crucial to crime control, then is not the task of controlling crime hopeless in modern urbanized societies? It is argued here that any such pessimism must be qualified by a broader understanding of shame in human history. First, the article considers the arguments of Elias that shame became more important in the affect structure of citizens with the demise of feudalism. Elias did not consider the movement away from shame and towards brutal punishment in crime control directed at the lower classes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This period culmintated in a demonstration of the failure of stigmatization and punitive excess, opening the way for reintegrative ideals to gather support in the Victorian era and beyond. Finally, drawing on Goffman, it is argued that there are some neglected ways in which shaming can have more power in the city than in the village. Overall, there is no structural inevitability about the impotence of shaming in industrialized societies; there is no inexorable march with modernization towards a society where shaming does not count.