Opinion Article Open Access
Great is truth, but still greater…is silence about truth. …simply not mentioning certain subjects… influences opinion much more effectively than …the most eloquent denunciations. (Aldous Huxley). This essay proposes that, like all other mammals, all human groups are built around shame. In the typical idea of shame in modern societies, it is seen as triggered by some particular cultural/personal stimulus (nakedness, for example). However, there is also a universal component, set in motion by threat to the social bond. If that is the case, we need to reclaim the many fields that so far have used alternate terms, such as honor, stigma, fear of rejection, disrespect, social pain, and so on. Although there is an actual literature on shame, it is dwarfed by the many studies that use other terms. The s-word, like the f-word, is usually taboo, both in the public and in publications. This essay describes at length five fields that hide their shame content, and also, more briefly, several more. The hiding of most shame studies is further evidence of how deeply shame is still taboo in modern societies.
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Author(s): Thomas Scheff and Steve Mateo
-, Medicine and Surgery,Physiology,Primary Health Organisation,General Practitioner