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A sketchy thought inspired by a doctoral candidate in sociology I know: I wonder if there's a strong element of shame cultures vs. guilt cultures as well. Shame cultures, I think, enable TheIndividual more, as shame is not as powerful a demotivator as guilt, which kills thought before it's started. In a shame culture, individuals are still free to act even though they may become pariahs, and thus they can make progress. The downside, I suppose, is that shame cultures are less orderly and stable than guilt cultures. Catholicism is a guilt-based culture, whereas Protestantism seems more of a shame-based culture. Just look at the Irish (guilt --> divorce only recently legalized) vs. the English (shame --> football hooliganism). -- SunirShah

I don't have the references right now - but I've seen shame related to more 'tribal' social organisation and guilt to be more 'state' organisation - (so football hooliganism would be interpreted there as a tribal behaviour). But again I can't find the references now. -- ZbigniewLukasiak



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