Making Sense of Shame in Response to Racism

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (7):535-550 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Some people of colour feel shame in response to racist incidents. This phenomenon seems puzzling since, plausibly, they have nothing to feel shame about. This puzzle arises because we assume that targets of racism feel shame about their race. However, I propose that when an individual is racialised as non-White in a racist incident, shame is sometimes prompted, not by a negative self-assessment of her race, but by her inability to choose when her stigmatised race is made salient. I argue that this can make sense of some shame responses to racism. My account also helps to highlight some of the emotional and cognitive costs of racism that have their root in shame as well as a new form of hermeneutical injustice and distinctive communicative harms, contributing to a fuller picture of what is objectionable about racism.

Similar books and articles

Shame, Gender Violence, and Ethics: Terrors of Injustice.Lenart Skof & Shé M. Hawke (eds.) - 2021 - New York; London; Boulder; Lanham: Lexington Books.
Active Ignorance, Antiracism, and the Psychology of White Shame.Eliana Peck - 2021 - Critical Philosophy of Race 9 (2):342-368.
Shame and the Ethical in Williams.Aness Kim Webster & Stephen Bero - forthcoming - In Andras Szigeti & Matthew Talbert (eds.), Agency, Fate, and Luck: Themes from Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press.
Shame, Violence, and Morality.Krista K. Thomason - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):1-24.
Is Prescribing White Shame Possible?Margaret Newton - 2020 - The Pluralist 15 (1):46-53.
The truth of shame-consciousness in Freud and phenomenology.Robert Metcalf - 2000 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 31 (1):1-18.
The corporeality of shame: Px and hx at the bedside.Fritz Hartmann - 1984 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 9 (1):63-74.
To See Oneself as Seen by Others.Fredrik Westerlund - 2019 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 50 (1):60-89.
The audience in shame.Stephen Bero - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1283-1302.


Added to PP

371 (#34,878)

6 months
107 (#11,646)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Aness Kim Webster
Durham University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2002 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

View all 47 references / Add more references