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About the book
  • Published: 25 March 2015
  • ISBN: 9781846146114
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $45.00

Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool


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In this urgent, illuminating book, Jennifer Jacquet argues that, if we want to make large-scale fixes, we need to become active citizens, ready to find creative ways to shame those who have the power to bring about political and social change but aren't. Individual guilt and modified consumption don't compare to the possibilities of using shame as a non-violent form of resistance.

In our individualistic world, is shame an outdated, moralizing concept - or is it something that we can rediscover and use in a new way? What can we gain from redefining shame to help solve the key social and political issues of our time? In this urgent, illuminating book, Jennifer Jacquet argues that, if we want to make large-scale fixes, we need to become active citizens, ready to find creative ways to shame those who have the power to bring about political and social change but aren't. Individual guilt and modified consumption don't compare to the possibilities of using shame as a non-violent form of resistance.

From the mimes hired by the mayor of Bogotá in the fight against bad driving behaviour to the online list published by the state of California singling out the top five hundred businesses and individuals who aren't paying their taxes, Jacquet uses real-life examples to show how shaming is relevant to the twenty-first century. Detailing how to change behaviour, she outlines seven habits of highly effective shaming that will allow us to make companies act ethically, hold governments to account when they ignore laws, and get more people to cast their vote. Shaming works best when used sparingly, but when applied in just the right way, in just the right quantity, and at just the right time, it can perhaps keep us from failing ourselves and the planet.
'Well argued, beautifully written, sophisticated and down to earth.'  Sherry Turkle, MIT, Author of Alone Together
'Polluters, exploiters and other global parasites beware, the human community has just rearmed.'  Joe Henrich, University of British Columbia

  • Pub date: 25 March 2015
  • ISBN: 9781846146114
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $45.00

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