Humiliation, shame, and violence: Honor, trauma, and political extremism before and after the 2009 crisis in Greece

Authors: Gerodimos, R.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/31213/

Journal: International Forum of Psychoanalysis

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISSN: 0803-706X

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.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Gerodimos, R.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/31213/

Journal: International Forum of Psychoanalysis

eISSN: 1651-2324

ISSN: 0803-706X

DOI: 10.1080/0803706X.2018.1523558

© 2018, © 2018 The International Federation of Psychoanalytic Societies. 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 macrosocial 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 shame/violence theory to the case of Greece, focusing on the post-2009 era known as “the Crisis.” This 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-twentieth 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 civic culture in contemporary Greece, throwing light on patterns of collective self-harming behavior (“suicide by cop”)–as both a possible result of subjective humiliation, and a means of seeking pity and attention. The paper also identifies the existence of accumulated shame, which could lead to outbreaks of political extremism.

The data on this page was last updated at 05:24 on October 24, 2020.