Shame and Guilt

A Psychoanalytic and a Cultural Study

Gerhart Piers (Author), Milton B. Singer (Author)

With a Foreword by Roy R. Grinker


A psychoanalyst and an anthropologist collaborate in a now-famous formulation. Guilt and shame are feelings resulting from certain childhood experiences. Although the terms appear to have similar meanings and are often used interchangeably, each of the two feelings influences different patterns of behavior and probably contributes to different character types.

This book, whose influence and renown have steadily grown since its first publication, is a psychoanalytic and cultural study of shame and guilt. In Part I, Dr. Gerhart Piers, a psychoanalyst, gives concise definitions of these two previously inadequately define terms, and clearly distinguishes between them. He discusses the experiences that can cause guilt or shame in an individual; why some persons develop into guilt-ridden individuals, and others become shame-driven; and the special and sharply different therapeutic considerations that must be given to the person afflicted with guilt or shame. In Part II, Dr. Milton Singer, an anthropologist, applies Dr. Piers’ analysis of guilt and shame within the individual to his own study of cultures.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • October 1972
  • ISBN 978-0-393-00649-0
  • 5 × 8 in
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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