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Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex and the Birth of the Self



Product Details

Donald L. Nathanson
W. W. Norton & Company

Product Description

By Donald L. Nathanson

Donald Nathanson's book provides the psychological explanation for why conferencing works. A Philadelphia psychiatrist, author and lecturer, he wrote Shame and Pride before he was aware of conferencing, explaining and building upon the affect and script theories of the late Silvan S. Tomkins.

Nathanson has become an advocate of conferencing. When a crime is committed, Nathanson said in an interview, everyone involved experiences very extreme negative affect, but the court process fails to address this. Conferences, on the other hand, allow for the free expression of affect, which helps people move beyond the negative to the positive and deal with the adverse emotional consequences of the crime.

From the back cover:

This is a revolutionary book about the nature of emotion, about the way emotions are triggered in our private moments, in our relations with others, and by our biology. Drawing on every theme of modern life sciences, Donald Nathanson shows how nine basic affects—interest-excitement, enjoyment-joy, surprise-startle, fear-terror, distress-anguish, anger-rage, dissmell, disgust, and shame-humiliation—not only determine how we feel but shape our very sense of self.

For too long those who explain emotional discomfort on the basis of lived experience and those who blame chemistry have been at loggerheads. As Dr. Nathanson shows, chemicals and illnesses can affect our mood just as surely as an uncomfortable memory or a stern rebuke. Linking for the first time the affect theory of the pioneering researcher Silvan S. Tomkins with the entire world of biology, medicine, psychology, psychotherapy, religion, and the social science, Dr. Nathanson presents a completely new understanding of all emotion.

"Shame and Pride is an impressive achievement. Nathanson establishes a solid and systematic foundation for the modern study of affect, much as Erik Erikson accomplished for identity and ongoing development throughout the life cycle. A rich and rewarding experience."

—Richard P. Kluft, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Temple University School of Medicine

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