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Article

Стыд и бедность: последствия для социальной политики

The article is an essay about the sociological theories of shame, with a particular focus on the shame theory of T. Scheff, where the socio-psychological functions of shame are considered with regards to poor people. The main issue under consideration is that the understanding of the poverty-shame nexus and the study of the consequences of shame in the life experience of poor people entails such factors such as social exclusion and isolation and the weakening and rupture of social connections and cohesion. On the basis of ideas about shame psychodynamics and the social construction of the shame-poverty nexus, the author attempts to describe the future prospects in the development of social policy directed toward poverty. Alongside material indicators of poverty, psychosocial indicators also play an important and continued role. This is due to the fact that the values of a market society generate the conviction that poor people themselves are responsible and guilty for their social position. This, in turn, can lead to chronic levels of shame. The consequences of this shame can be witnessed in the different types of social exclusion. Thus the emotional regime of poverty is everyday shame in various forms, which is supported in public discourses including the that of social policy. The author demonstrates that it is necessary to resist these discourses in order to diminish the negative consequences of shame and to influence the development of social policy and anti-poverty programs.