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Humiliation, Shame and Violence: Honor, Trauma and Political Extremism Before and After the 2009 Crisis in Greece.

Gerodimos, R., 2019. Humiliation, Shame and Violence: Honor, Trauma and Political Extremism Before and After the 2009 Crisis in Greece. International Forum of Psychoanalysis. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1080/0803706X.2018.1523558


Recent scholarship has mapped the dynamic between humiliation and violence, including the role of trauma and self-esteem. While existing research has mostly focused on individuals, there is a strong case for applying this framework to the macro-social level. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that combines psychoanalysis, cultural anthropology and political sociology, this paper carries out a step-by-step application of Gilligan’s (2003) shame/violence theory to the case of Greece, focusing on the post-2009 era known as ‘the Crisis’. The paper outlines the root causes of the shame/violence dynamic in Greece, with reference to communitarian moral codes and honor crimes, as well as political divisions, unresolved trauma and shame/violence spirals originating in the mid-20th century. It then examines the role of humiliation during the current economic crisis, as well as the surge of political aggression. The application of Gilligan’s theory provides us with a compelling interpretation of the civic culture in contemporary Greece, throwing light on patterns of collective self-harming behavior (“suicide by cop”) – both, as a possible result of subjective humiliation, and, as a means of seeking pity and attention. The paper also identifies the existence of accumulated shame, which could lead to outbreaks of political extremism.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:civic culture; honor; humiliation; narcissistic trauma; shame; violence
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:31213
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:11 Sep 2018 07:26
Last Modified:20 Nov 2018 16:49


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