Social media and the philosophy of shame

Course Dates: 24/07/21 - 01/08/21
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Location: Online
What is shame and how has it evolved in social media cultures? This course by Anita Kasabova examines shame situations in social media. Negative and positive imports of shame are explored, using insights from Aristotle’s theory of shame.
This course may include content that some learners may find of a sensitive or challenging nature.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00

This course has now finished

Course Code: HP190

Finished Sat-Sun, day, 24 Jul - 01 Aug '21

Duration: 3 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

What is shame? A feeling, an emotion or a loss of esteem? How do judgment and emotion interact in shame? Although directed towards the self, shame is usually elicited in a social context, alerting us to social norms. Can we come to terms with online shaming and its destructive consequences? As we know, shame has undergone an industrial revolution due to the new technologies facilitating social media. Is social media shame only negative or does it also have a positive side?
Students will become familiar with the discussion between philosophers and psychologists on shame. We will discuss the polarities inherent in the shame-concept and, using a tool from semiotics, we will show how Aristotle’s theory of shame can be applied in analysing social media shame. We will also look into shame across different cultures. Participants are encouraged to share expressions of shame in their own cultures.

This course may include content that some learners may find of a sensitive or challenging nature.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We begin by looking at historical accounts of shame in different cultures and then examine the dialogue between philosophers and psychologists on shame. Students will become familiar with the current philosophical debate on whether shame requires a witness. We will discuss the impact of shame and shaming in social media. Students will explore the common ground between Aristotle’s views and social media shame, looking at cases recounted by J. Ronson (2015) in ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed’, and more recent examples. Using a method borrowed from semiotics, we will examine the negative and positive imports of shame outlined by certain psychologists and Aristotle. We will also explore various meanings of shame and its family of feelings across different languages and cultures, from fear and pain to social sanction and public disgrace.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Understand and discuss key notions of shame used in philosophy and psychology.
Understand Aristotle’s theory of shame and its common ground with social media shame.
Understand and discuss negative and positive imports of shame.
Analyse social media shame using a semiotic method.
Understand meanings of shame in different cultures.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is required. The tutor will use a flexible approach to meet students’ needs.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This is a live online course and will run in a seminar format. The tutor will give initial presentations, followed by Q&A and open discussion. Power-point presentations and other materials will be available for personal study.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

None. Bring a pen/pencil & notebook, and a sense of curiosity for exploring shame and its roles in social media.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

See our website for up-to-date information on upcoming philosophy courses.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.