Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Shame based culture

Most cultures, for most of history on most of the planet, have depended on relatively static notions of proper behavior which were enforced by shaming and the threat of banishment. You are born into a family of a certain status and you are expected to behave in certain ways. Men act like men and eomen like women. There is no "finding yourself", except perhaps on rites of passage and religious rituals. You have sn assigned place and are both expected to act in appropriate ways, and able to count on others doing the same. You are enmeshed in a network of reciprocality.

What true Liberalism attempts is a greater freedom to explore, a greater diversity of opinion, a wider range of tolerance. Shame is greatly reduced as exploration is rewarded.

But in recent years shaming has returned in the form of speech codes. Comply or die may as well be the slogan.

What should be our most culturally advanced institutions, our universities, find themselves re attempting something very old, and very primitive.

No comments: