Humiliation and Discrimination

Social Philosophy Today 24:121-129 (2008)
In this essay, we examine one of our perennial favorites, the story of “The Sneetches” (the first of four stories in Seuss 1961) as an exposition and condemnation of the role of shame and humiliation in maintaining oppressive social systems. We argue that Seuss’s Sneetches vividly demonstrate how we contribute to the unjustified oppression of a disadvantaged group when we allow our shaming behaviors to be guided by stereotypical presumptions about aperson’s moral character based on non-voluntary personal characteristics, rather than by evaluations of character based on the evidence of voluntary behavior
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