Interpreting Shame Affectively

  • Stephanie N. Arel


This chapter substantiates shame as an affect providing conceptual tools for identifying shame. Engaging affect theory and trauma studies, it clarifies the analytic lens that lends itself to capturing shame’s essence distinguished from guilt, associated with embodiment, and related to attachment. Arguing that shame functions naturally in the body relying on relationships of interest for its emergence and also potentially interfering with secure relational bonds, the chapter presents the interrelationship of shame with socializing aspects of disgust and shame’s evolution as a result of trauma into its maladaptive toxic forms motivating an individual to seek isolation and withdraw from or attack others. Script patterns (Tomkins) and inscribed habitus on bodies (Bourdieu) enable this dangerous dynamic of shame and its progression to more shame or rage (123).


Affect Regulation Affective Experience Christian Tradition Symbolic Violence Affect Theory 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie N. Arel
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston UniversityBostonUSA

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