Shame, rage and racist violence.

Smith, David B. and Ray, Larry and Wastell, Liz (2004) Shame, rage and racist violence. British Journal of Criminology, 44 (3). pp. 350-368. ISSN 1464-3529

Full text not available from this repository.


In this article, we argue that much racist violence can be understood in terms of unacknowledged shame and its transformation into fury. We use studies by Scheff and Retzinger as a framework for understanding transcripts of interviews with racist offenders from Greater Manchester, UK. We argue that much of the interview data support the claim that unacknowledged shame can be transformed into rage against those who are seen as the sources of shame. We argue that offenders' shame is rooted in multiple disadvantages and that rage is directed against south Asians who are perceived as more successful, but illegitimately so, within a cultural context in which violence and racism are taken for granted. The article is intended to contribute both to greater understanding of the complex motivation of racist violence and to current moves to redress the cognitive bias of much contemporary social science and reassess the role of emotion in human behaviour.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
British Journal of Criminology
Additional Information:
Equal authorship by D.Smith and L. Ray. Wastell conducted the bulk of the fieldwork. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Social Work and Social Policy & Administration
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
25 Mar 2008 09:57
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 19:55