Shame, Masculinity and Desire of Belonging published

stepien-coverThis study considers male shame in contemporary writing by men, examining why shame is often considered a female emotion and therefore denied in men. The author’s comparative approach to the private experience of shame in novels by Hanif Kureishi, Philip Roth and Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki demonstrates the extent to which shame conditions male behaviour, protecting the powerful hierarchies existing between different kinds of masculinities. Using different conceptual analyses, the author exposes the damaging nature of the culturally sanctioned demand that men be «real men», which is often simply a call for violence. The book also examines shame more broadly as a means of social control, whether of women in patriarchal cultures or of people of different ethnic, sexual and class identities. Treating shame as both an individual and a social emotion, the author draws on perspectives from scholarship on shame in postcolonial, gender and feminist studies.

Available for purchase here.

Aneta Stępień holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Surrey. She coordinates Polish Studies in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at Trinity College Dublin, where she teaches Polish culture and literature, East Central European Studes and gender. She is also working on a research project about the Yiddish modernist writer Isaac Bashevis Singer.

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