Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool (Hardback)
  • Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool (Hardback)
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Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool (Hardback)

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Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 17/02/2015
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In Is Shame Necessary? rising star Jennifer Jacquet shows that we have to use shame if we want to bring about political change and hold the powerful to account In our individualistic world, is shame an outdated, moralising concept - or is it something that we can rediscover and use in a new way?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 Bogota 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. Jennifer Jacquet is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University. She works at the intersection of conservation and cooperation, focusing on issues such as overfishing and climate change. She formerly wrote the guilty planet blog at Scientific American, contributes to Edge.org, and conceived of the modernized shame totem pole for a presentation in 2011 at the Serpentine Gallery.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781846146114
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 444 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Thought-provoking treatise on the soft power of opprobrium, and its important role in achieving social cohesion in an ever more individualised culture... timely and urgent * Economist *
Intelligent and provocative... The prospect of shame is a powerful social corrective * Daily Telegraph *
Thoughtful and measured * Huffington Post *
[Jacquet's] arguments are backed by interesting research and her moral conviction is refreshing * Los Angeles Times *
Fascinating... an incisive argument * Chicago Tribune *
A sharp examination of the role shaming plays in our society and its effectiveness as a tool for change * Paris Review *
Shaming is society's natural stabilizer and organic risk-management mechanism, and one that is ignored in modernity, particularly in the virtual world. Worse: it has been largely ignored by researchers before Jennifer Jacquet, whose book gives us an insightful treatment of a vital topic -- Nassim Taleb, Author of Antifragile
This is a wonderful, important and timely book. It shows us that the glue that really holds society together is not laws and diktats but honour and shame -- Brian Eno, Long Now Foundation
Intellectually stimulating . . . Jacquet uses lively prose and keen insight to explore the myriad ways the shame game continues to impact our everyday lives. A sharp and surprising dissertation that puts the many facets of shame in a whole new light (starred review) * Kirkus Reviews *
It's no secret: we're a celebrity-obsessed, media-driven culture, and shame-or more precisely, the act of shaming others or of feeling ashamed-is part of our DNA. But what if we could use shame as a tool for good? Jennifer Jacquet certainly thinks we can. Her new book mines the possibilities of shame to be used as an agent for positive change. Where the book lands is as unexpected as it is revelatory * Gawker *
An astute how-to and defense of shame * Publishers Weekly *
Jacquet not only skillfully re-forges and sharpens this ancient emotional weapon using the latest and best research from across the social and biological sciences, but she gives us our first lessons on how to wield it. Polluters, exploiters and other global parasites beware, the human community has just rearmed -- Joe Henrich, Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition and Coevolution, University of British Columbia
A book that gives shame a good name - and just in time - because it reinforces our better angels, cements our communities, and crucially, because our planet needs us to feel it. Well argued, beautifully written, sophisticated and down to earth -- Sherry Turkle, Professor, MIT; Author of Alone Together
Jacquet trenchantly and engagingly analyzes how we might resurrect one public emotion - shame - and put it to good use in our collective lives, influencing public discourse and public policy -- Nicholas A. Christakis, Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, Yale
Shame is no longer unfashionable, thanks to Jennifer Jacquet. This book describes, in sparkling prose, how important a sense of shame is to civilized life, and provides some fascinating insights as to the role of social media in providing a new tool to moderate shameless behavior -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Davidson Professor of Management at the Claremont Graduate University
In the age of Anthony Weiner and Miley Cyrus, shame seems an antiquated concept - a quaint tool of conformity-obsessed collectivist societies, replete with scarlet letters and loss of face. In this thought-provoking, wonderfully readable book, Jennifer Jacquet explores the psychology and sociology of shame. In the process, she argues that shaming is far from obsolete, and can be an effective weapon wielded by the weak against the strong -- Robert Sapolsky, Professor, Biological Sciences, Stanford University; Author of A Primate's Memoir

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