Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Psychoanalysis, Shame, Recognition (Psychology), Phenomenology, Mirror stage


Shame and recognition co-occur in the human psyche. Phenomenologically, shame is relational: experienced in the world with the Other. Psychoanalytically, the shame affect is treated as one of the ego's defenses, for example, as a protection from exposure. Shame seems to either promote or prevent the subject's capacity to recognize otherness and difference. In this paper, I attempt to re-read these respective theories on shame and recognition, eventually placing shame in, among other places, Lacan's (1988) mirror stage and relational perspectives of human development. I turn to two cases, one clinical, one from popular culture, to elaborate on the paradoxical experience of shame and recognition.




75 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 73-75)