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The Politics of Humiliation: A Modern History

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In a brilliant procession through the last 250 years, Ute Frevert looks at the role that public humiliation has played in modern society, showing how humiliation - and the feeling of shame that it engenders - has been used as a means of coercion and control, from the worlds of politics and international diplomacy through to the education of children and the administration In a brilliant procession through the last 250 years, Ute Frevert looks at the role that public humiliation has played in modern society, showing how humiliation - and the feeling of shame that it engenders - has been used as a means of coercion and control, from the worlds of politics and international diplomacy through to the education of children and the administration of justice. We learn the stories of the French women whose hair was compulsorily shaven as a punishment for alleged relations with German soldiers during the occupation of France, and of the transgressors in the USA who are made to carry a sign announcing their presence when walking down busy streets. Bringing the story right up to the present, we see how the internet and social media pillorying have made public shaming a ubiquitous phenomenon. Using a multitude of both historical and contemporary examples, Ute Frevert shows how humiliation has been used as a tool over the last 250 years (and how it still is today), a story that reveals remarkable similarities across different times and places. And we see how the art of humiliation is in no way a thing of the past but has been re-invented for the 21st century, in a world where such humiliation is inflicted not from above by the political powers that be but by our social peers.


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In a brilliant procession through the last 250 years, Ute Frevert looks at the role that public humiliation has played in modern society, showing how humiliation - and the feeling of shame that it engenders - has been used as a means of coercion and control, from the worlds of politics and international diplomacy through to the education of children and the administration In a brilliant procession through the last 250 years, Ute Frevert looks at the role that public humiliation has played in modern society, showing how humiliation - and the feeling of shame that it engenders - has been used as a means of coercion and control, from the worlds of politics and international diplomacy through to the education of children and the administration of justice. We learn the stories of the French women whose hair was compulsorily shaven as a punishment for alleged relations with German soldiers during the occupation of France, and of the transgressors in the USA who are made to carry a sign announcing their presence when walking down busy streets. Bringing the story right up to the present, we see how the internet and social media pillorying have made public shaming a ubiquitous phenomenon. Using a multitude of both historical and contemporary examples, Ute Frevert shows how humiliation has been used as a tool over the last 250 years (and how it still is today), a story that reveals remarkable similarities across different times and places. And we see how the art of humiliation is in no way a thing of the past but has been re-invented for the 21st century, in a world where such humiliation is inflicted not from above by the political powers that be but by our social peers.

39 review for The Politics of Humiliation: A Modern History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I won a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. This is a short but jam-packed history of humiliation throughout history, mostly focused on the political realm but frequently veering into parenting and schooling. It’s definitely interesting, but it’s so dense that it can be a little overwhelming. Give yourself time to really digest what you’re reading and you’ll definitely learn something new.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Little

    A genuinely thought provoking, taking the last three hundred years as a context for the modern politics of humiliation. Ute Frevert explains the function of humiliation within communities and narratives of humiliation are used by political leaders.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amelie Bir

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Mayfield

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fabiola Rivera

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sander

  8. 5 out of 5

    Doc Martin

  9. 4 out of 5

    James Haliburton

  10. 4 out of 5

    Devon Ashby

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  12. 4 out of 5

    Moritzz

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tyll78

  14. 5 out of 5

    Crocodile

  15. 5 out of 5

    Çağrı

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steven Chang

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Larlee

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  20. 5 out of 5

    Benmechen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shantel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lori Bennett

  23. 5 out of 5

    Libby Horwitz

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brittf

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  26. 4 out of 5

    Glen Helfand

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Peterson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bettye Short

  31. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  33. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  34. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  35. 5 out of 5

    lou brown

  36. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  37. 4 out of 5

    Margo

  38. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  39. 4 out of 5

    Bill Schlott

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