© 2020

A Sociology of Shame and Blame

Insiders Versus Outsiders


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Graham Scambler
    Pages 1-13
  3. Graham Scambler
    Pages 15-28
  4. Graham Scambler
    Pages 29-45
  5. Graham Scambler
    Pages 61-86
  6. Graham Scambler
    Pages 87-103
  7. Graham Scambler
    Pages 105-108
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 109-118

About this book


“Excellent account of the social forces in contemporary British society projecting public shame and blame on stigmatized groups considered outsiders. Best explanation of Brexit I have seen anywhere. Informative, thoroughly grounded in sociological theory, and well worth reading.” —William C. Cockerham, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Chair Emeritus, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Research Scholar in Sociology, College of William & Mary, USA

“Through a series of timely case-studies, Scambler pushes us beyond the comfort zone of traditional sociological enquiry, insisting that we understand stigmatisation and shaming as multi-scalar forms of power which are entangled with the imperatives of financial capitalism and neoliberal rule.” — Imogen Tyler, Professor of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK

“Scambler’s latest book is a masterful example of theory-meets-practice, seamlessly linking together macro, meso and micro spheres to skilfully meld a deep understanding of social theory with the contemporary concerns of shame and blame.” — Alex Broom, Scientia Professor of Sociology, University of New South Wales, Australia

This book presents a novel approach to framing the concept of stigma, and understanding why and how it functions. 

Graham Scambler extends his analysis beyond common social interactionist understandings of stigma by linking experiences to the larger social structure—the political economy. A Sociology of Shame and Blame contends that stigma is being ‘weaponised’ as part of a calculated political strategy favouring capital accumulation over justice, and addresses how the shame associated with stigma has taken on the additional dimension of blame through micro-interactions.

The unique Insider-Outsider approach that Scambler harnesses draws on micro and macro social theory to identify links between the prevalence of stigma and agency, culture and structure, and will be an original and key reference point for students and scholars across the social and behavioural sciences, including, but not limited to, sociology, anthropology, psychology, public health and social policy.

Graham Scambler is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at UCL, and Visiting Professor of Sociology at Surrey University, UK.


Stigma post-Goffman stigmatisation agency culture structure migration disability homeless sex workers critical theory Habermas

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus Professor of SociologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

About the authors

Graham Scambler is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at UCL, and Visiting Professor of Sociology at Surrey University, UK.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title A Sociology of Shame and Blame
  • Book Subtitle Insiders Versus Outsiders
  • Authors Graham Scambler
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-23142-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-23145-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-23143-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VII, 118
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Social Theory
    Social Structure, Social Inequality
    Social Policy
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